August 2023

Chair report

A message from the Chair – Dr Louise Acland

I’m very pleased to announce that we’ve recently published both the Standards for health services in Australian prisons (Prison Standards, 2nd edition) and new Standards for general practice residential aged care (Standards for GPRAC).

The release of these standards follows extensive consultation, across multiple iterations, with the profession and key stakeholders. I would like to thank the members of each working group for their substantial contributions to the development of these standards.

The Standards for GPRAC focus on the clinical and systemic interface between GPs and care teams working in residential aged care facilities. They set out the essential needs for GPs to provide high-quality and safe care in these settings. It was a privilege to chair the working group developing the Standards for GPRAC.

The second edition of the Prison Standards applies to health services provided to adult, juvenile and remand prisoners, and aims to address the quality and safety of the healthcare provided to people in these settings. I would like to thank Dr Tim Senior for leading the development of the Prison Standards.

Looking ahead to the rest of 2023, new editions of the Standards for general practices and Standards for point-of-care testing are underway and key updates regarding our work on the definition of a general practice for the purpose of accreditation are on the horizon.

Thank you for your ongoing engagement with the RACGP Standards.


Standards for health services in Australian prisons (Prison Standards)

The Standards for health services in Australian prisons (2nd edition, Prison Standards) is now available on our website.

Given the inherent vulnerabilities of groups of individuals who are detained within the Australian justice system, health services within prisons provide healthcare in a unique and challenging environment. The Prison Standards apply across health services provided to adult, juvenile and remand prisoners, including satellite health clinics that may be located outside of the prison health centre.

The Prison Standards support health professionals and their employer organisations to provide high quality healthcare to people in prison settings. The standards include a prison health services module, which provides setting-specific indicators, together with core and quality improvement modules to form, in essence, the same standards that apply to and are expected of general practices within the community.

Standards for general practice residential aged care (Standards for GPRAC)

The RACGP Standards for general practice residential aged care (Standards for GPRAC) were developed to address the many challenges GPs face when delivering care in residential aged care facilities (RACFs), and identify gaps between the Aged Care Quality Standards and the RACGP’s Standards for general practices (5th edition).

The Standards for GPRAC don’t replace existing requirements for accreditation against the Aged Care Quality Standards as set by the Department of Health and Aged Care. They highlight the inextricable link between the GP and the RACF and demonstrate how the GP and broader RACF care team are connected via systems and infrastructure.

The Standards for GPRAC support and facilitate RACFs and GPs to work collaboratively to provide care that is respectful, responsive and coordinated while addressing some of the challenges facing GPs in delivering care to patients living in RACFs.

Winter planning toolkit

We’ve launched recent updates to the Winter planning toolkit. This toolkit helps your practice consider winter preparedness activities you can implement for the health and safety of your patients and practice team. 

The Winter planning toolkit uses a modular structure and is your ‘go-to’ resource for up-to-date information on winter readiness, preparation for heightened spread of viruses, vaccination, and infection prevention and control.  

Access the Winter planning toolkit 

We hope you find the Winter planning toolkit helpful.  If you have any questions or would like to provide us with feedback about the toolkit, contact


High-risk results identified outside normal opening hours

General practices must have systems and protocols for identifying high-risk results outside normal opening hours. This means GPs must advise diagnostic services of appropriate contact details to communicate high-risk results back to your practice. This contact information could be the requesting GP’s phone number or the after-hours and medical deputising service (AHMDS) contact information.

If your practice engages an AHMDS, you must explain to deputising doctors what you expect of them if they receive urgent and life-threatening results for one of your patients, as they have a responsibility to contact the general practice. This can be documented in a formal agreement between your practice and the service providing after-hours care.

What do the Standards say?

GP2.2►E : High-risk (seriously abnormal and life-threatening) results identified outside normal opening hours are managed by our practice.

You must:

  • have a documented policy that outlines the process for your practice’s management for high-risk results identified outside of normal opening hours
  • give diagnostic services the contact details of the practitioner who ordered the investigation.

Standards for general practice – Web version

A reminder that the Standards are now web-based (in html format), allowing us to efficiently make updates when needed, link accompanying resources to the appropriate criteria within the Standards, and maintain links to external resources.

Previous PDF downloads are considered out-of-date. Refer to our website for the current version. Any substantive changes to requirements in the Standards will be communicated separately.

Hand hygiene learning modules

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) recently published two new hand hygiene modules:

  • Hand Hygiene for non-clinical healthcare workers
  • Hand Hygiene for clinical healthcare workers.

These modules support the hand hygiene education and training needs of clinical, non-clinical and student healthcare workers.

The new modules are available in the NHHI Learning Management System (LMS) at The NHHI LMS is free, and modules can be accessed once you have registered a profile on the system.


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