Progress made on national standards for general practice
Progress made on national standards for general
The Boards of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and Midland Health Network Limited (Midlands)/Pinnacle Incorporated met in Hamilton last month to discuss the setting of standards and associated accreditation processes for general practices, looking at both the existing system and future options.
At the meeting it was agreed that, while everyone should be working toward a set of national standards and associated accreditation processes that meet the needs of general practices in New Zealand, changes were needed and Midlands should be involved in the change process.
College President Tim Malloy said, “It was a very positive meeting where many of the issues that have been concerning College members and others within Midlands were able to be discussed in an open and constructive way.”
Setting national standards for general practice is part of the core role of the College, he said. A review of the College’s standard, Aiming for Excellence, initiated in January 2013 is looking, as a first step, at how a set of foundation standards could be developed that would meet all legal, regulatory and professional standards expected of safe, high quality general practices. It will also look at requirements for, and implementation of, a national standard if this is to be made a requirement.
The College has broad support within the primary health sector and at ministry level to develop a new set of foundation standards that will apply to every practice in New Zealand.
Tim Malloy said, “We greatly value the opportunity to progress this work with Midlands and the other networks, within the broader development of a revised Aiming for Excellence and, alongside that, revised accreditation processes and changes to CORNERSTONE® to make it fit-for-purpose.”
Midlands has its own set of Core Standards (MHNCS) and associated evaluation processes and has expressed concerns about the College standards and also the impact on its practices of the CORNERSTONE® accreditation requirement for teaching practices, he said.
“It will be important to ensure there is a managed transition in which Midlands practices can continue to be teaching practices and to employ registrars, provided they are committed to adopting the new standard and associated processes, once these have been agreed to by all parties and are in place.”
John Macaskill-Smith, Midlands CEO, says, “In practical terms, the agreement we have reached means the College would accept Midland practices are able to continue being GPEP Year 1 teaching practices and to employ GPEP Year 2 registrars if they are committed to transitioning to the new standards and revised accreditation processes once they have been agreed to by all parties and are in place.
“We look forward to working with the College on developing an agreed national standard that will support the delivery of consistent, high quality general practice to all New Zealanders.”