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Prison health centres up to scratch

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealand Prison Health Services have joined other primary health care practices in the country in meeting the standards set for New Zealand general practice.

At Whanganui Prison, Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) President Dr Harry Pert presented Corrections Chief Executive Ray Smith with a CORNERSTONE General Practice Accreditation certificate for meeting Aiming for Excellence, the RNZCGP standards for New Zealand general practice.

Corrections Chief Executive Ray Smith says Whanganui Prison is the first Corrections site with a health centre which has formally received an accreditation certificate.

"The health centres at Auckland Region Women's Corrections Facility, Otago Corrections Facility and Tongariro-Rangipo Prison have also attained CORNERSTONE Accreditation.

"We are very pleased to be officially recognised for meeting the national standard. Working in a secure environment with people who have high health needs can create unique challenges. However, it also creates opportunities to help prisoners improve their health which can support positive long-term results like reduced rates of re-offending.

"We see our Prison Health Services as being part of the wider community. They operate alongside local hospitals and other health providers to create healthy communities."

Dr Pert says the provision of accessible, quality primary health care is a key component of reducing health inequities in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

"Through attaining CORNERSTONE accreditation, Prison Health Facilities can be confident that all members of their communities can access high quality primary health care.

"The College is committed to the consistent provision of high quality primary health care and achieving health equity in Aotearoa/New Zealand, and our work with Corrections is an important part of this."

The CORNERSTONE Accreditation process sees external assessors spending time in prison health centres reviewing every aspect of service delivery.

Mr Smith says that over the last few years Corrections has been working very hard to develop prison health services.

"We are committed to working efficiently and achieving as much as possible with every dollar. All health services staff who work in prisons are passionate about what they do."

Corrections is aiming to have all Prison Health Centres in the country accredited in the next two and a half years.

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