Patient charter updated to align with Standards

Morgan Liotta

19/06/2020 1:44:52 PM

The update helps promote mutual understanding of the roles and responsibilities of patients and GPs while adhering to national healthcare rights.

General practice community illustration
The refreshed Charter represents a statement of values and principles for the general practice community.

Comprising an implementation guide as well as a poster and flyer to display in practices, the RACGP’s General Practice Patient Charter has been refreshed to align with the 2019 update of the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights.
The revised RACGP Charter also aligns with the fifth edition of the Standards for general practices, which Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee – Standards for General Practices (REC­­–SGP) Dr Louise Acland says reflects the importance of the Standards.
‘The General Practice Patient Charter directly aligns with the patient-centred focus of the Standards, with the implementation guide cross-referencing the Standards,’ she told newsGP.
The implementation guide supports practices in their understanding of their responsibilities and includes a section informing practices which parts of the Standards they need to comply with.
In addition to compliance within a practice, the Charter represents a statement of values and principles for the general practice community and aims to increase public awareness of healthcare rights through providing guidance to patients of their roles and responsibilities ­and those of the GP.
Dr Acland also underlines it has a goal of maintaining a positive GP­–patient relationship by supporting high-quality patient-centred care.
‘[The goal is] to help improve patients’ experiences when they use general practices, and to help patients to become more involved in decisions around their healthcare,’ she said.
‘In this way patients will gain a better understanding of their rights when receiving general practice care and forming a partnership with their GP.’
In addition to patients and healthcare providers, the Charter is also designed to help families and carers to share an understanding of the rights of people when receiving care, and reinforces protections included in Australian legislation.
While the Charter is not compulsory for practices to adopt, Dr Acland says it is an important reminder of what GPs should be working towards in their practices as tools for patients to use so they can be aware and become advocates for their own healthcare needs.
She is confident the Charter will help to better link patients with their rights and give them more autonomy of their healthcare, as well as build on the therapeutic GP relationship.
‘As GPs and practices implement the elements of the Charter and assist patients to navigate the complexities of the healthcare system, patients will feel better connected with their GP, and obtain better health outcomes,’ she said.
The updated General Practice Patient Charter and individual components to download are available on the RACGP website.
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