Project objectives

The purpose of the evaluation of the NSW Service Plan for Specialist Mental Health Services for Older People (SMHSOP) 2005–2015 was to assess the progress of the implementation, assess outcomes from the initial phase of the implementation, and review strategies and service models identified for Phase 2, which included evaluating whether these were still relevant and consistent with the latest evidence.

The purpose of the evaluation of the NSW Ministry of Health released a Guideline documenting the NSW Older People’s Mental Health (OPMH) Community Services Model of Care was to assess program progress, evaluate initial impacts and outcomes associated with implementation and provide recommendations on ways to support ongoing implementation and adherence to the model by OPMH community services.

NSW Department of Health

Our approach

The evaluation of the NSW Service Plan for SMHOP involved extensive consultation with clinical co-ordinators and key stakeholder groups, including consumer and carers, CALD and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representative groups, professional organisations, and peak aged care and mental health non-government organisations. We also designed and conducted a comprehensive survey of SMHSOP clinical co-ordinators and clinicians and analysed outcomes of activity supported under the program. We facilitated workshops to validate the preliminary findings and obtain further stakeholder input.

For the evaluation of the NSW OPMH Community Services Model of Care, we designed and conducted a survey of OPMH community services, partner organisations and participating health professions; undertook focus groups with consumers and their families; conducted interviews with various stakeholders and analysed Mental Health Ambulatory (MH-AMB) and Mental Health Outcomes and Assessment Tool (MH-OAT) data.


For the evaluation of the NSW Service Plan for SMHOP, we made recommendations which led to refining the strategies and service models identified for Phase 2. The evaluation findings and recommendations guided the implementation of the Plan over the remaining period.

For the Evaluation of the NSW OPMH community services model of care, we documented the extent to which individual LHDs had implemented the model and the challenges and barriers associated with implementation. We also critically evaluated the model of care and provided recommendations to the Ministry in relation to how it might be improved and how to better support LHDs in implementing the model. We provided recommendations to LHDs in relation to leveraging local capacities and integrating the model with other older people’s mental health service elements. The findings were used by the Ministry to improve the model and its implementation.

Our vision

HPA aims to be a leading firm in specialist consulting services in the health care sector, offering qualitative and quantitative analysis and synthesis of evidence, providing expertise in statistics and data science, and contributing to well founded and practical policy advice. We aim to deliver the highest quality of services, helping our clients to achieve their objectives, while transferring our expertise and building their capabilities.

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