Western Victoria Primary Health Network (WVPHN) recently undertook a review of the GP Craft Groups that we currently support.
Given the long history of these groups, and the need to better understand best practice models that support the rural and remote workforce, the review focused on a number of objectives including:
- Better understanding the value of these groups, their outcomes and the factors that contribute to their sustainability
- To consider the impact on groups of current Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements and the expected changes in the 2023 – 2025 Triennium
- To identify best practice models for primary care support
- To consider recommendations for equitable access to support, for the broader multidisciplinary primary care workforce, across the western Victoria region.
We received 20 responses to the survey sent to all GP Craft Group attendees and held 11 interviews. Interview participants were largely GPs who are members of the peer groups or Special Interest Groups, as well as group facilitators and attendees of the Barwon Health Multidisciplinary Meetings. Our consultation also included internal WVPHN input and benchmarking with other Primary Health Networks.
The review provided clear evidence to indicate that the range of groups currently supported by WVPHN are considered by the participants and other stakeholders, to be valuable and valued. The review highlighted the elements within each group that lead to their success and sustainability and provides clarity regarding the level of support the groups currently receive from the WVPHN. The review also identified the role CPD points have within the groups, and both the impact and opportunities that changes to RACGP CPD arrangements will have from 2023.
Following the review, a series of recommendations have been made. These primarily focus on how WVPHN can use the learnings from this review to further expand the reach of GP Craft Groups across the WVPHN region with identified best practice models, to increase support for the rural primary health care workforce. We are in the process of addressing these recommendations now and will keep you updated as we progress this work.
We look forward to sharing further information regarding these important groups with you in future.