3.12 Under what circumstances can a nurse/practice nurse, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioner or Aboriginal health worker be one of the three minimum members of a multidisciplinary Team Care Arrangements (TCAs) team?
If a nurse/practice nurse/Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioner or Aboriginal health worker is independently providing ongoing treatment or services to the patient, that is:
- not as part of the general practice medical services provided by the GP;
- not under the supervision of the GP; and
- different to the ongoing care provided by the other members of the team;
they could constitute one of the minimum three members of the team.
Where the nurse/practice nurse is:
- providing general practice services on behalf of the patient’s GP (including Medicare items for immunisation, wound management and Pap smears, which must be provided on behalf of and under the supervision of a GP); and/or
- otherwise providing services under supervision, not in their own independent professional capacity;
they could not qualify as one of the three independent members of the team.
Within the general guidance above, it is up to the GP to determine in the specific circumstances whether the practice nurse is skilled or qualified to independently provide ongoing treatment or services to the patient that is different to the care provided by the other members of the team.
If a GP believes that there is a clear case for the practice nurse to qualify as one of the minimum three members of a TCAs team, given the particular needs and circumstances of the patient and the treatment to be provided by the practice nurse, the GP should be clearly satisfied that their peers would regard the involvement of the practice nurse as a member of the TCAs team to be appropriate in the circumstances.