In their 2016 position statement Shared maternity care obstetric patients, RANZCOG recommends that General Practitioners (GPs) practising antenatal shared care be accredited to a coordinated program and states:
“In keeping with professional and community expectations, the coordinating body needs to ensure that shared care providers are registered practitioners within their professional organisation, are covered by professional indemnity, are of good character, and have adequate maternity care training and experience or supervision.”
As such, all GPs undertaking antenatal shared care in Darwin are required to meet the requirements of the Darwin GP Antenatal Shared Care Program and be familiar with the Darwin GP Antenatal Shared Care Guidelines.
Gaining Initial Accreditation
To qualify for accreditation ,GPs must meet all of the following criteria:
- Be a registered medical practitioner with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and hold current medical indemnity insurance
- Have satisfactory obstetric experience, knowledge and skills demonstrated by one of the following:
- DRANZCOG or DRANZCOG Advanced with current recertification
- Diploma of Obstetrics without current recertification but with recent involvement in provision of antenatal care in Australia
- Prior hospital experience as an antenatal care provider (such as having spent a minimum 3-month placement in obstetrics at a teaching hospital) in an Australian setting within the last 10 years
- Supervised clinical attachment in antenatal care through Royal Darwin Hospital
- NB GPs who do not meet the above criteria but feel they have the relevant experience can apply for individual consideration
- Completion of a GP Antenatal Shared Care Accreditation Workshop.
Provisional accreditation for GPs with one of the above qualifications may be approved for a period of up to six months on the basis that the GP attends and fulfils the requirements for a Category 1 Accreditation Workshop in that time.
The ongoing accreditation of GPs for the GP Antenatal Shared Care Program is managed within a three-year accreditation cycle, which is conducted in parallel with the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) triennium as defined by the RACGP and ACRRM.
To maintain accreditation, a GP must demonstrate over the three-year period that they have engaged in CPD activities equivalent to a minimum of 12 CPD points specific to antenatal shared care such as:
- GP ASC Accreditation Workshop
- RANZCOG Diplomats Days
- DRANZCOG Revision course
- Online CPD activities eg RACGP GP learning
- Women’s health activities and other events conducted by GP Networks
- Other educational activities that can be demonstrated to be relevant to ASC eg part of a 40 point Active Learning Module
Assessment of CPD appropriateness of activities is a role undertaken by the GP Antenatal Shared Care Steering Committee. Where an activity is deemed suitable, the Committee will work with NT PHN to have accreditation points allocated by Colleges. The records management of CPD accreditation points will be managed by the Steering Committee.
Given how quickly recommendations change in the field of Obstetrics, it is highly recommended that all accredited shared care GPs attend one of the two education workshops held each year.
Frequently asked questions
Do all GPs providing any antenatal care now need to be accredited?
No, only those who are intending to provide the majority of the antenatal care for any particular woman are required to be accredited. All GPs are encouraged to continue to provide antenatal care in the 1st trimester until referral to RDH
I have done lots of GP based maternity care but not a DRANZCOG etc. – can I be accredited?
We aim to be as inclusive as possible and offer to fill any training gaps through involvement in an agreed number of RDH Antenatal Clinics. The panel therefore assesses each application for accreditation individually and should additional training be required we can facilitate this with the aim of building the skills base in the Darwin GP community.
I want to be accredited but cannot attend the workshop on 24 September – what can I do?
Please submit your application for accreditation and note this on it. We will then review your application and discuss how best to have you accredited and brought into the program - this may require a period of provisional accreditation.The next workshop for accreditation will be in early 2018.
What happens if I don’t go through the accreditation process but continue to offer this care (providing majority of antenatal care) to women?
Once the accredited Shared care program is live the RDH obstetricians will only sign off this model of care for women attending the GPs on the accredited list. Where a GP offers this care outside of this program women will be advised against this and GPs doing this are advised to seek medico legal advice about any possible implications.
What and where are the guidelines?
The guidelines are currently being formatted and will be placed on the NT PHN website with open access once finalised
Is it only for Darwin?
At present this model is only for Darwin – however could be expanded later if requested
Can I attend the workshop even if I don’t wish to be accredited or deliver this level of care?
The initial workshop is ONLY For those being accredited. NT PHN will deliver other women’s health CPD activities throughout the year.
Are there any costs?
The only cost is your time. NT PHN and TEHS are covering all costs of delivery of the accreditation process including the workshop.