21 November 2015

RACGP releases Best practice guide for collaborative care between General Practitioners and Residential aged care facilities

The RACGP is proud to launch a new resource for General Practitioners (GPs) and staff working in Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs), the Best practice guide for Collaborative Care between General Practitioners and Residential Aged Care Facilities (the guide).

The guide was developed by the RACGP’s National Standing Committee for General Practice Advocacy and Support (NSC-GPAS) and aims to offer older Australian people living in RACFs access to safe, high quality, coordinated and timely care.

The guide serves to provide GPs, general practice staff and RACF staff with advice regarding best practice for collaborative arrangements for the care of older persons residing in RACFs, and has been designed to be read and implemented in conjunction with the RACGP’s Medical care of older persons in Residential Aged Care Facilities (silver book).

Providing medical care for residents requires the use of effective and robust practice systems and clear and transparent arrangements that support GPs working with multiple RACFs, as well as other members of the healthcare team.  Due to the complexity of multidisciplinary care needs and the provision of care by multiple providers, it is essential that systems of care and collaborative arrangements are clearly defined.

Dr Liz Marles, RACGP President, said the guide is the first of its kind to identify the most effective and favourable processes to assist all parties caring for people in aged care facilities in a collaborative manner.

“The guide will assist GPs and RACF staff to identify clear roles and responsibilities in delivering high-quality care for residents, including processes for the consultation, referral and transfer of a patient’s care.

“By developing this guide, the RACGP is fostering stronger relationships between GPs and RACF staff, streamlining processes and ensuring a high level of satisfaction for all involved.”

The eight key areas covered in the guide are:

  • Access to clinical care and medical records
  • Protocols for referral arrangements
  • Communication protocols
  • Medication management
  • Pathology and imaging
  • After-hours care and emergency medicine
  • Remuneration for non-MBS reimbursed work
  • Ongoing review of collaboration and quality assurance

The advice provided in the guide is aligned with the Living Longer, Living Better Aged Care Reforms in Australia, which aims to offer older Australians with more choice, control, and better access to care, regardless of whether they are new or existing, high or low care RACF residents.

The guide is complimented by a Collaborative Care information form and both are available for download free of charge from: www.racgp.org.au/

Media enquiries

Journalists and media outlets seeking comment and information from the RACGP can contact:

John Ronan

Senior Media Advisor