Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service Named State’s Best GP Service for 2023

Derbarl Yerrigan Health Services (Derbarl) has been awarded Western Australia’s best GP practice of 2023 by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).

The Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service that operates on the lands of the Whadjuk Noongar people in metropolitan Perth was recognised for demonstrating excellence in patient care, safety and a commitment to the wellbeing of the community. Derbarl GP Registrar, Dr Corey Dalton, was named the RACGP’s 2023 GP in Training. It is the second consecutive year that an Aboriginal doctor from the Derbarl medical team has taken out the award. Derbarl Chief Executive Officer, Tracey Brand, said the RACGP awards come as the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary. “It is remarkable that a service started 50 years ago by a group of volunteers in an old city building with disused equipment from Royal Perth Hospital has become the largest Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service in Western Australia,” she said.“These awards acknowledge our Board’s strong leadership and the dedicated Derbarl team’s compassion and commitment to cultural safety and clinical excellence.”

Earlier this year Derbarl chose to undergo accreditation through the Australian General Practice Accreditation (AGPAL) which involved the practice team reviewing all systems and processes, prior to an independent assessment conducted by a team of AGPAL surveyors. Ms Brand said “Our model delivers culturally responsive comprehensive primary health services with a focus on prevention, early intervention, comprehensive care and care coordination across the life course of our 22,000 patients.”

In addition to primary health care, Derbarl has added 14 visiting specialist services, environmental health, child and maternal health, health promotions, dental services and social and emotional well-being including suicide prevention programs and a family violence support service. It is a holistic and integrated care model. “At Derbarl we have a very strong multi-disciplinary focus and there is an emphasis on shared decision-making with our patients who are encouraged to have autonomy and agency,” she said. “We are also committed to continuous improvement in patient outcomes through our robust clinical governance framework.”

Derbarl Chairman Professor Dan McAullay said “The dedication, passion, and relentless pursuit of improving health outcomes for our community has not only earned this prestigious recognition but has also set an inspiring standard. This accomplishment is a testament to the unwavering commitment and the extraordinary impact our staff continue to make. We are so proud of this recognition which reflects the incredible teamwork and vision that define our organisation.”

Ms Brand said Derbarl was grateful that the RACGP had recognised its model of care that is focused on clinical excellence in a culturally secure setting.