Apunipima receives top marks with RACGP Certification

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On June 2 Apunipima Cape York Health Council received accreditation from Quality Practice Accreditation (QPA) under the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) 6th Edition for three of its standalone Primary Health Care (PHC) centres.

Mossman Gorge, Aurukun and Kowanyama are the latest PHCs to receive the accreditation, which is based around clinically safe standards.

The cherry on top of accreditation was the fact that it came with zero non-conformities at any of the three sites, with zero observations in Aurukun and Kowanyama and just a few observations at Mossman Gorge.

“For there to be zero non-conformities and only a handful of observations across the three sites is fantastic and the surveyors even noted that for any multisite PHC service to have zero non-conformities is exceptional,” said Apunipima Quality & Compliance Manager, Spencer Browne.

Quality Practice accreditation is considered the gold standard in Primary Health Care and is, according to Mr Browne, seen as the benchmark by the organisation and its funding bodies.

“This is an important accreditation for us as it ensures that from our members point of view, we’re providing the best possible clinical conditions, and from a funding point of view, that we’re ticking all the right boxes which means continued funding to provide access to vital services for our communities,” Mr Browne said.

Mr Browne was quick to praise the excellent work of staff on the ground including Practice Support Officer Marion Norrie, and Clinical Procurement and Compliance Manager Alison Boyd, who spent a lot of time travelling between Cairns and the communities to co-ordinate the accreditation effort.

Mrs Norrie was equally quick to point out that accreditation doesn’t happen without the complete support of all PHC staff, including both community-based and FIFO workers.

“To pass accreditation – especially to the degree of zero non-conformities – it is a real team effort and requires the commitment of all staff to a high level of compliance,” Ms Norrie said.

Ms Norrie added that there are lots of positive flow on effects that the accreditation has for Apunipima at various levels.

“RACGP maintains our status as an attractive organisation for doctors to work at which is really important for us because, being so remote, we’re always up against it in terms of onboarding doctors and nurses to come and work at our remote Primary Health Care Centres.

“At a local level, this shows stability and longevity, it deepens our roots in community and shows our members that we’re here to stay in Cape York.