08 Nov 2021
Changes aim to speed up initial assessment of notifications
Queensland will introduce joint consideration of all notifications about health practitioners between the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra), National Boards and the Office of the Health Ombudsman (OHO) from 6 December 2021.
The changes aim to streamline the early management of complaints, getting them to the right agency faster.
Currently, the OHO deals with the most serious matters it receives and refers most of the remaining notifications to Ahpra and National Boards. From December, all complaints about registered health practitioners made to the OHO will be shared with Ahpra and National Boards. Ahpra and the OHO will review each notification at the same time and agree on which agency should manage the matter.
This change will benefit practitioners and notifiers, as it will speed up the initial assessment of notifications, reduce duplication, and enable whichever agency is best placed to manage each notification to get started sooner. Importantly and for the first time, the change also enables screening of every notification about clinical performance by registered health practitioners employed by Ahpra.
The changes are being supported by IT enhancements using a common risk assessment and controls approach that both regulators will use to support decision-making.
Ahpra CEO, Mr Martin Fletcher, said that the joint consideration approach would build on the strong relationship between the OHO and Ahpra in managing notifications to support access to safe, professional practitioners for Queensland and Australia more broadly.
‘We’re looking forward to working even more closely with the OHO to ensure that notifications about health practitioners are assessed as quickly and consistently as possible,’ Mr Fletcher said.
‘This means a better experience, both for health practitioners and notifiers.’
The changes to Queensland legislation take effect on 6 December 2021 and all notifications from this date will be subject to joint consideration.