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In July 2017 Albany Family Medical Centre formed a partnership with Green Cross Health. Dr Paul Milton will be retiring in December after 35 years as a GP in Albany. We warmly welcome Dr Samar Hamid to the team, a very experienced general practitioner from Australia.
We are pleased to welcome Melinda and Teresa to our reception team.
We are pleased to welcome Practice Nurse Jo to our nursing team.
Cornerstone Accreditation – Royal College of General Practitioners NZ
“The practice has a very homely feel with an inviting atmosphere in reception. Consulting rooms are well stocked and comfortable, but most importantly they have very well-trained staff who work well together and provide an inviting atmosphere for their patients and provide very good medicine to their population.”
The following is the glowing report Albany Family Medical Centre received when it passed the Cornerstone Assessment. We caught up with Practice Manager Julie Russell to find out the practice’s secret.
How does it feel to pass CORNERSTONE first time and being called ‘one of the best General Practices in NZ’?
Absolutely fantastic! We were overwhelmed by the accolade. All the team worked hard and put in long hours to reach this goal. Our CORNERSTONE journey started in 2009 in our old building. We were accredited for three years in December 2009. Due to a prolonged building programme and terminal illness with two of our long-serving nursing staff we had to postpone the re-accreditation process until last year. At that stage we started the process from scratch, reviewing all our policies and procedures and updating systems and equipment. because we had a new building much of the refurbishment and updating of clinical equipment and computer systems had been done – at a huge cost financially I might add.
How did you manage to pass first time?
By having a very clear organisational structure within the practice. Having one person with overall responsibility for inputting information into Geethal software. By giving a time-frame to all staff on when areas of responsibility, i.e. policy updates and procedures and surveys etc needed to be finished and returned to me for inclusion in Geethal. Sheer determination and pride in our work to ensure all 161 criteria were met and understood by the whole team.
How did you create the ‘inviting atmosphere” mentioned in the report?
“Happy staff, happy life” as the saying goes – you can have the most comfortable luxurious surroundings that money can buy, but if your front line reception and nursing staff are not welcoming and supportive, patients will not return – not to mention of course having doctors practicing good science with compassion. Our physical surroundings are important to us – we have to work here so comfort, privacy, security and cleanliness are important factors in creating an inviting atmosphere. Most importantly we try to have a level playing field approach with our interpersonal relationships of support, genuine respect, sense of humour and spirit of generosity towards each other and I think that is what creates an ‘inviting atmosphere’.
What advice would you give to other practices regarding staff training?
Ensure that your nurses are paid for attending CNE updates. Pay your Receptionists for attending training meetings at your PHO, respect every person’s way of learning, find out how they best learn new processes and tasks. Have a ‘living’ front desk procedure manual with easy-to-follow processes and procedures, and be flexible and open to change.
I guess you can relax for a while, now you’ve achieved accreditation?
Are you kidding me? The accreditation process is like having a very tidy filing cabinet where everything is in place and labelled. All the team members know their scope of practice BUT there is a multi-dimensional universe out there called DHB’s, PHO’s etc that have a direct call on your time and energies – targets, targets, targets, and then there are the patients and funding – need I say more? Everyday is a challenge.
We welcome Dr Grace Beshara and Dr Janice Brown to our team. Grace is available on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for appointments and Janice specialises in women’s health and is available on Friday mornings.
The new surgery is everything that we hoped it would be with a spacious and airy feel, pleasing design, easy to keep clean, and yet retains the homely feel of the old place and it is efficient to move around and work in.
The road works are likely to continue for a further six months and thank you for your patience while our entry and exit and parking continues to be disrupted. The end result will be a bigger better safer road with a traffic light intersection road to the surgery and Kristin School.
We welcome Dr Laura Steen and Anna the nurse to our team.
Albany Family Medical Centre is a Cornerstone Accredited Practice. In December 2009 we were accredited by the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners as having successfully implemented an accreditation programme – Aiming for Excellence into the practice.
The accreditation process supports Continuous Quality Improvement with the development of managerial, organisational and clinical systems as a method to achieve quality standards and promotes greater accountability to patients and other stakeholders. The accreditation certificate is awarded for a three year triennium and will expire on 21 December 2012.
We are delighted to announce that Dr Harriet (Harry) Martin has joined the practice. Harry is available for consultations Monday afternoon, Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday morning and Thursday afternoon. Dr Harry has extensive experience in general practice and welcomes new patients.
New Nursing Staff:
We are also delighted to introduce you to our three new Practice Nurses:
Sarah Campbell who has been with us for a year comes and has extensive knowledge and experience with new mums and babies. Sarah has worked with Plunket in NZ and in the UK was a midwife and Public Health Nurse.
Alison Payne: Alison is a very experienced nurse with 25 years experience of Paediatrics within both hospital and community settings.
Anna Wang has recently joined the practice. She speaks Mandarin, and can also carry out smears when requested.
We also have a relief nurse and receptionist working for us from time to time, so you may meet Sue or Helen on your next visit.
A new purpose built medical centre for Albany Family Medical Centre is about to be started on Kristin School land bordering Albany Highway. Our existing centre has to be moved due to Auckland Transport roading plan for Albany and our existing centre will be moved off site and the area will become the main entrance to Kristin School and the AFMC. In the coming months there will be a lot of building work and possibly some disruption to our day to day operations and for this we apologise in advance. We hope to be in our new, improved, larger premises by April 2014 – watch this space.
Update: Our new building is nearly completed. We have high hopes of relocating sometime in July.