The Department of Health & Human Services has developed a series of policy guidelines to support the credentialling of general practitioners (GPs) and other senior doctors who provide services to residents of publicly operated residential aged care facilities (RACFs).
Under the guidelines, any medical practitioner providing care in an RACF governed by a public health service is bound by the credentialling and scope of practice processes utilised by that health service.
For RACFs operated by a state-funded incorporated association, medical practitioners must adhere to a ‘minimum standard’ of credentialling and scope of practice, which comprises:
- medical registration (verified by the RACF on the Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria)
- medical indemnity cover (required for registration and implicit in the registration check)
- a reasonable verification of identity by facility staff (including photo identification if the medical practitioner is not known to the facility).
Collaboration between RACFs and medical practitioners
Health services operating RACFs are expected to promote credentialling as part of a strong collaborative relationship with their medical practitioners in order to ensure the highest standards of care for residents.
This also promotes the involvement of medical practitioners in the development, monitoring and refinement of quality clinical practice within the RACF.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) ‘Silver Book’ (Medical care of older persons in residential aged care facilities, 4th edition, 2006) provides an excellent basis for collaboration between medical practitioners and RACFs.
Credentialling guidelines and form
The department has produced a factsheet outlining the process for credentialling medical practitioners in RACFs, together with an application form to help health services document the credentialling of individual practitioners attending their facilities.