RAPS have sent the following response on the Accreditation and Safety Issues to the APS board directors: Ros Knight – Tim Carey – Joseph Gagliano – Deborah Wilmoth – Aaron Frost. We are awaiting their response. The link to the relevant consultation paper on patient safety and quality improvement in primary care, published by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care is here.
Quality and Safety Standards
A Client Centred Response
- Safety: The greatest danger to clients is the lack of access to timely and affordable services, particularly in rural and remote areas. The primary function of any body purporting to protect the safety of clients should be to advocate for more accessibility for clients.
- Cost: There is insufficient funding now for client mental health. Any diversion of mental health funding to administration will inevitably result in less direct service to clients and political lamentations about the explosion of the cost of health care.
- Existing Oversight: General Practitioners are responsible for the preparation of Mental Health Care plans and their review. Support for this process might be useful.
- Client Feedback: A useful starting point for a review of existing services would be to contact clients who have used mental health services and ask for their experiences and concerns.
- Centralisation of Service Provision: There seems to be a tendency for Mental Health Services to be centralised into larger organisations, rather than small locally situated practitioner services. Inevitably this tendency leads to the provision of triage and the assignment of clients to waiting lists, with the associated delay of treatment.
- Caution: Improvements in safety and quality service are unarguably desirable. There needs to be thorough investigation and identification of current practices. Important criteria for improvement in the safety and quality of service are that the provision of services must be
Any current shortcomings in the delivery of timely, affordable, accessible and effective services need to be redressed. The people best suited to judging these criteria are those to whom the services are directed – the clients.