This project sought to clarify Australian drug and alcohol treatment funding; current and future service needs; the gap between met and unmet demand; and planning and funding processes for the future.
This project aimed to deliver:
The former Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, the Hon. Mark Butler MP, requested that the Department of Health (formerly Department of Health and Ageing) undertake a review of the drug and alcohol prevention and treatment services sector following the Substance Misuse Service Delivery Grants Fund, and Non-Government Organisation Treatment Grants Program funding rounds that were finalised in early 2012. The department conducted an open tender process to engage a consultant to undertake the review, with a team from the Drug Policy Modelling Program (DPMP) at the University of New South Wales, headed by Professor Alison Ritter, being the successful tenderer.
The Review aimed to achieve:
Primary data collection used a rapid assessment methodology. This is a highly consultative and engaged approach to obtaining and analysing large amounts of data (both quantitative and qualitative) over a relatively brief period of time. Each state/territory health department and NGO AOD peak bodies across the jurisdictions participated in the rapid assessments. The research team sourced both quantitative and qualitative data, analysed records held, discussed and reviewed data with the stakeholder providing the data, and sought out the perspectives of the various stakeholders, and their interpretations of the data.
The rapid assessment approach provided for wide consultation as the core team is in situ with stakeholders, collecting and analysing, discussing and reviewing data as it comes to hand.
In addition to documenting service types and funding sources, we documented the types of treatment provided and who receives them. We refer to this as ‘met demand’. This is best completed by way of secondary analysis of treatment data. The datasets we are using include: the AODTS- NMDS, NOPSAD, the National Hospital Morbidity Database (NHMD), and Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health data (BEACH). We conducted a gap analysis (difference between met and unmet demand) using the DA-CCP model (NSW Ministry of Health).
Aboriginal services were included within the review scope. The National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) at Curtin University undertook this work. They collected and analysed data from stakeholders across Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The final report provided an analysis across all the components drawing on:
The final report is a confidential report delivered to DoHA. Its release will be determined by DoHA.
The review will have six components:
|Component||Areas to be covered|
|1. Service funding review||
|2. Service planning analysis||
|3. Gap analysis||
|4. Funding models review||
|5. Innovation identification||
|6. Analysis, interpretation and consideration||
Each component will involve primary data collection, using the rapid assessment methodology and secondary analysis of a variety of datasets.
The Department of Health established an advisory committee to provide expert advice to government regarding the review. The list of members of the Advisory Committee, and their area of representation can be found here.
Working papers formed the core of the communication strategy – giving stakeholders access to the workings and analysis of the review team throughout the 12 months. Nine working papers were prepared, and input sought, (these working papers are no longer available on the website. Requests for a copy of the working papers can be made to Alison Ritter via email email@example.com).
The peak bodies were engaged as collaborators on the review. They were responsible for ensuring that stakeholders within their jurisdictions were kept up-to-date with progress and issues from the review as they arose.
Working Paper No. 1: Estimating need and demand for treatment – a background briefing
Working Paper No. 2: Planning alcohol and other drug services in rural and remote areas
Working Paper No. 3: Alcohol and other drug treatment financing in Australia: Funding flows
Working Paper No. 4: The Non Government Organisation Treatment Grants Program (NGOTGP) and the Substance Misuse Service Delivery Grants Fund (SMSDGF) - a descriptive overview
Working Paper No. 5: The potential role of pay-for-performance in alcohol and other drug treatment funding: A literature review
Working Paper No. 6: "Hard to count" or unrecorded treatment utilisation for alcohol and other drugs
Working Paper No. 7: Australian alcohol and other drug treatment spending
Working Paper No. 8: Alcohol and other drug treatment utilisation in Australia
Working Paper No. 9: Planning processes for alcohol and other drug treatment in Australia
Working Paper No. 10: Approaches to purchasing alcohol and other drug treatment in Australia
This project is now concluded and the final report submitted to the Department of Health.
Commonwealth Department of Health / Contract Research
The review provides an opportunity to detail what is occurring and establish principles for future planning, useful for all levels of government, service providers and, ultimately, the broader community.