Project objectives

HPA has developed projections for the NSW Health system since 2006, originally for subacute services, and from 2010 for acute care services and other areas, updating them over time. The projections inform capital and recurrent investment decisions.

For the 2015 project, the Ministry was seeking to develop projections based on best practice methods as well as reflect recent trends in the need for health care and service delivery changes (including new models of care).

An operational update followed in 2021.

NSW Health

Our approach

For the 2015 review, HPA started with a systematic review of methods for forecasting health care activity. An expert reference group with members from Australia and overseas considered the methods and advised on best practice.

Extensive clinical consultation was undertaken in a range of clinical areas to identify key issues in the historical trends and advise on potential disruptors on the horizon that could impact the forecasts within each specialty (for example, new models of care or new technology).

A final round of clinical consultation was conducted following the development of the projections to validate the results.

The 2021 review was overseen by a Functional User Group involving health service planners and Ministry personnel. The group reviewed each stage of the development of the projections to sense check the methods and the results.


The projections have been consistently refreshed over time, ensuring a sound technical basis and providing NSW Health with projections that reflect the most recent trends in morbidity and service delivery.

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