The evaluation of the Primary Health Network (PHN) After Hours Program aimed to assess how well the program was being delivered and whether it continues to be the right response in the current context. The evaluation used a mixed methods approach, including case studies of eight PHN localities, interviews with national stakeholder groups and PHNs, a survey of PHNs and service providers and analysis of MBS and PIP data, emergency department presentations and potentially preventable hospitalisations. We made recommendations to sharpen the program’s focus, improve accountability and support the sustainability of services. Our recommendations recognised the importance of retaining flexibility in the program to meet local needs but also the need to target gaps in particular geographic areas and specific population groups.
This project involved a document review of key policies and progress reports by the Commonwealth and jurisdictions against the nine priority areas of the NTS. It also involved consultations with the Commonwealth, state and territory health authorities, NGOs, and tobacco control experts. Data compiled and analysed by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) were also considered to show progress against each of the indicators from the NTS. Overall, the findings indicate that significant progress has been made against most of the nine priority areas of the NTS.
HPA used a mixed methods approach for the evaluation component of this multi-year project. Qualitative data were gathered across Australia through interviews and focus groups with patients and patients’ carers/families, GPs, other primary care staff, pharmacists and other providers. Quantitative data were gathered or sourced from existing collections to analyse how things have changed for patients enrolled in the HCH trial and to compare their outcomes with similar patients receiving care from non-HCH practices. A series of reports by HPA feature the findings of the evaluation.