Senior Australians Face-to-face Service Offer Evaluation

Senior Australians Face-to-face Service Offer Evaluation, Department of Health and Aged Care

Findings from The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (2021) noted the significant challenges faced by older Australians and their carers when seeking to access and navigate Australia’s complex aged care system. The Royal Commission called for new face-to-face assistance to help older people and their carers to understand the processes involved in obtaining aged care. In 2021 a new face-to-face channel of My Aged Care was introduced to supplement the existing digital and telephony channels.

The new My Aged Care face-to-face channel is delivered by 80 Aged Care Specialist Officers(ACSOs) employed by Services Australia; it commenced operations in October 2021. HMA was appointed to undertake a formative evaluation of the new channel to assess its effectiveness, sustainability, scalability, and the scope for enhancing quality assurance arrangements to support continuous improvement. HMA also examined complementarity of the new service with the existing channels and newly introduced care navigation services.

In undertaking this evaluation, HMA incorporated analysis on several assemblages of data and triangulated their insights to formulate the evaluation findings. Twelve separate data analysis activities were completed including:

  • analysis of client customer demographic data, location and distance travelled for appointments, and data referencing appointment type, duration and wait times
  • conduction of an ACSO survey to gather feedback on their perceptions of the role
  • activity-based costing analysis to determine the direct unit cost of each of the ACSO functions
  • analysis of normative perspectives on the face-to-face function including:
    • primary and follow-up interviews with a structured sample of ACSOs
    • interviews with Executive Level 1 ACSO supervisors
    • interviews with Services Australia’s Assistant Directors responsible for the face-to-face service project
    • focus groups with General Service Officers
  • analysis of consumer perspectives on the face-to-face service offer including:
    • consumer interviews
    • interviews with peak bodies, and
  • thematic analysis of ACSO user record notes and quantitative analysis of appointment content types from different service channels.

The project commenced in June 2022 and is due to be completed in March 2023.