National Safety and Quality Primary and Community Healthcare Standards

The National Safety and Quality Primary and Community Healthcare Standards (Primary and Community Healthcare Standards) aim to protect the public from harm and improve the quality of health care delivered.

Primary and Community Healthcare Standards

The Commission has developed the Primary and Community Healthcare Standards for services that deliver health care in a primary and/or community setting. They are person-centred, and describe the processes and structures that are needed to deliver safe and high-quality health care.

The Primary and Community Healthcare Standards were formally launched on 12 October 2021.

Frequently asked questions

Responses have been prepared to frequently asked questions (FAQs) to address some of the key themes of questions received in the lead up to the launch of the Primary and Community Healthcare Standards.

Implementation and resources

All Australian primary and community healthcare services directly involved in patient care will be encouraged to implement the Primary and Community Healthcare Standards.

Resources are available to support healthcare services implement the new standards and help consumers understand what the standards will mean for them.

The Commission will be developing more comprehensive resources to support the practical implementation of the Primary and Community Healthcare Standards in different service contexts.

Please check back regularly for updates, or subscribe to our eNews and updates.

Accreditation

Accreditation provides assurances to the community that a healthcare service meets expected standards for safety and quality.  It is a formal program in which trained independent reviewers assess a healthcare service’s evidence of implementation of the Primary and Community Healthcare Standards.

The Commission is developing an assessment model for healthcare services to become accredited to the Primary and Community Healthcare Standards under the Australian Health Service Safety and Quality Accreditation (AHSSQA) Scheme. Accreditation is expected to commence from mid-2022.

Accreditation to the Primary and Community Healthcare Standards will be voluntary.  In certain circumstances, healthcare services may be required to become accredited to the Primary and Community Healthcare Services to satisfy regulatory, contractual or funding obligations.

Alignment with other standards

The Primary and Community Healthcare Standards are aligned to the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards, which are implemented in all Australian hospitals and day procedure services. Both standards highlight the importance of clinical governance and consumer partnerships in effective, safe and high-quality health care wherever healthcare is delivered.

Primary and community services can be subject to multiple sets of standards.  It is intended the Primary and Community Healthcare Standards are used as the core safety and quality component of each set of standards, thus minimising the compliance burden across multiple sets of standards. Where profession-specific standards exist, the Commission expects that within a reasonable time period, these standards will be aligned to the Primary and Community Healthcare Standards to ensure a nationally-consistent approach to safety and quality improvements across the sector.

Contact us

For questions and feedback on the Primary and Community Healthcare Standards please contact the Safety and Quality Advice Centre via AdviceCentre@safetyandquality.gov.au or 1800 304 056.

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