Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2022) Mental health services in Australia, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 09 August 2022.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2022). Mental health services in Australia. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mental-health-services/mental-health-services-in-australia
Mental health services in Australia. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 19 July 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mental-health-services/mental-health-services-in-australia
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Mental health services in Australia [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2022 [cited 2022 Aug. 9]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mental-health-services/mental-health-services-in-australia
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2022, Mental health services in Australia, viewed 9 August 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mental-health-services/mental-health-services-in-australia
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Collection of data for the Mental Health Establishments (MHE) NMDS began on 1 July 2005, replacing the Community Mental Health Establishments NMDS and the National Survey of Mental Health Services. The main aim of the development of the MHE NMDS was to expand on the Community Mental Health Establishments NMDS and replicate the data previously collected by the National Survey of Mental Health Services. The National Mental Health Establishments Database is compiled as specified by the MHE NMDS.
The scope of the MHE NMDS includes all specialised mental health services managed or funded, partially or fully, by state or territory health authorities. Specialised mental health services are those with the primary function of providing treatment, rehabilitation or community health support targeted towards people with a mental disorder or psychiatric disability. These activities are delivered from a service or facility that is readily identifiable as both specialised and serving a mental health care function.
The MHE NMDS data are provided at a number of levels: state, regional, organisational and individual mental health service unit. The data elements at each level in the NMDS collect information appropriate to that level. The state, regional and organisational levels include data elements for revenue, grants to non-government organisations and indirect expenditure. The organisational level also includes data elements for salary and non-salary expenditure, numbers of full-time-equivalent staff and consumer and carer worker participation arrangements. The individual mental health service unit level comprises data elements that describe the function of the unit. Where applicable, these include target population, program type, number of beds, number of accrued patient days, number of separations, and number of service contacts and episodes of residential care. In addition, the service unit level also includes salary and non-salary expenditure and depreciation.
Data Quality Statements for National Minimum Data Sets (NMDSs) are published annually on the Metadata Online Registry (METeOR). Statements provide information on the institutional environment, timelines, accessibility, interpretability, relevance, accuracy and coherence.
Data presented in this publication are the most current data for all years presented. The validation process assesses the data for consistency in the current collection and across historical data. The validation process applies a range of rules to the data to test for potential issues. Jurisdictional representatives respond to each issue before the data are accepted as the most reliable current data collection. This process may highlight issues with historical data. In such cases, historical data may be adjusted to ensure data are more consistent. Therefore, comparisons made to previous versions of Mental health services in Australia publications should be approached with caution.
Specialised mental health organisations report the extent to which consumer participation arrangements are in place to promote the inclusion of mental health consumers in the planning, delivery and evaluation of the service. Organisations report their consumer participation arrangements at various levels, as detailed below.
Formal position(s) for consumers exist on the organisation’s management committee for the appointment of person(s) to represent the interests of consumers. Alternatively, specific consumer advisory committee(s) exists to advise on all relevant mental health services managed by the organisation.
Specific consumer advisory committee(s) exists to advise on some but not all relevant mental health services managed by the organisation.
Consumers participate on a broadly based advisory committee that includes a mixture of organisations and groups representing a wide range of interests.
Consumers are not represented on any advisory committee but are encouraged to meet with senior representatives of the organisation as required. Alternatively, no specific arrangements exist for consumer participation in planning and evaluation of services.
There are 8 levels used to describe the extent to which a service unit has implemented the National Standards, as shown in the table below.
Source: National Standards for Mental Health Services status (see METeOR ID: 573549).
To match definitions in the National Key Performance Indicator set for Mental Health Services, the data presented are restricted to 4 levels. Level 1 represents code 1, Level 2 represents code 2, Level 3 represents codes 3 and 4 and Level 4 represents codes 5–7. Code 8 is excluded as the standards do not apply to these units.
The National standards for mental health services were revised in 2010 (DoH 2010). In addition to these mental health-specific national standards, other national standards have been published and implemented against which mental health services may also be measured. Work is ongoing to improve the method for reporting the standards against which a service is measured.
All New South Wales Confused and Disturbed Elderly (CADE) 24-hour staffed Residential mental health care services were reclassified as specialised mental health non-acute admitted patient hospital services, termed Transitional Behavioural Assessment and Intervention Service (T-BASIS), from 1 July 2007. All data relating to these services have been re-classified from 2007–08 onwards, including number of services, number of beds, staffing and expenditure. Comparison of data over time should therefore be approached with caution.
New South Wales has been developing the NSW Housing Accommodation Support Initiative (HASI) since it was established in 2002. This model of care is a partnership program between NSW Ministry of Health, Housing NSW and the non-government organisation (NGO) sector that provides housing linked to clinical and psychosocial rehabilitation services for people with a range of levels of psychiatric disability.
In 2016, Community Living Supports (CLS) commenced to support more people with severe mental illness to access the same type of support provided in HASI.
From 2017–18 New South Wales supported housing places reflect changes resulting from the conclusion of the Commonwealth National Partnership Agreement (NPA) on Mental Health Services. The NSW Government continued funding until Dec 2017 to allow for transition to alternative support arrangements (including the NDIS) for up to 200 people in NPA funded supported housing places.
Both HASI and CLS are reported as Specialised mental health service—supported mental health housing places (METeOR identifier 390929). These programs are out of scope as Residential mental health care services (METeOR identifier 373049). See the above hyperlink for further information about the NSW HASI program.
In 2017–18, Queensland reported specialised residential mental health service beds to the Mental Health Establishments collection for the first time due to the reclassification of some public sector mental health hospital beds.
In 2012–13, the Organisational overhead setting was introduced for greater national consistency in reporting and greater clarity about staff delivering care to patients. The Organisational overhead setting consists of the components of specialised mental health service organisations not directly involved in the delivery of patient care services in the admitted patient, residential or community mental health care service settings, or in the operations of those settings. The definition does not imply that these roles do not have an impact on service delivery. For example, a chief operating officer not directly providing patient care, nor involved in the operation of services in a specific service setting, would be reported in the Organisational overhead setting. The reporting methodology for the new Organisational overhead setting is taking time for states and territories to implement (see Table FAC.39 for detailed time series data).
Calculations of rates for target populations are based on age-specific populations as defined by the MHE NMDS metadata and outlined below.
Crude rates were calculated using the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated resident population (ERP) at the midpoint of the data range (for example, rates for 2018–19 data were calculated using ERP at 31 December 2018). Historical rates have been recalculated using revised ERPs based on the 2011 Census of Population and Housing, as detailed in the online technical information.
Staffing provided in private hospital specialised mental health service are no longer available. These data were previously provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics through its Private Hospitals Establishment Collection (PHEC), but this survey was discontinued in 2016–17.
From 1992–93 to 2016–17 (excluding 2007–08) the ABS conducted a census of all private hospitals licensed by state and territory health authorities and all freestanding day hospitals facilities approved by the Commonwealth Department of Health. As part of that census, data on the staffing, finances and activity of these establishments were collected and compiled in the Private Health Establishments Collection. Additional information on the Private Health Establishments Collection can be obtained from the ABS publication Private hospitals, Australia (ABS 2018).
The data definitions used in the Private Health Establishments Collection are largely based on definitions in the National health data dictionary (NHDD) published on the AIHW’s Metadata Online Registry (METeOR) website (AIHW 2015). The ABS defines private psychiatric hospitals as those licensed or approved by a state or territory health authority and which cater primarily for admitted patients with psychiatric, mental or behavioural disorders (ABS 2018). This is further defined as those hospitals providing 50% or more of the total patient days for psychiatric patients. This definition can be extended to include specialised units or wards in private hospitals, consistent with the approach in the public sector. For further technical information, see the Private psychiatric hospital data section of the National mental health report 2013 (DoH 2013).
The last data were collected for the 2016–17 period. Increases in psychiatric beds were the result of improvements in methodology to apportion the data between psychiatric and alcohol/drug treatment wards, new establishments reporting for the first time, and a general increase in psychiatric beds in establishments that have reported psychiatric units in the past. Caution is required when comparing data for 2010–11 to other years as the survey was altered such that psychiatric units could no longer be separately identified from alcohol/drug treatment units. Therefore, the data for beds, patient days, separations and staffing were estimates based on reported 2010–11 data and trends observed in previous years. Data from the Private Mental Health collection suggest that these data may be underestimates (PMHA 2013).
The Australian Private Hospitals Association Private Psychiatric Hospitals Data Reporting and Analysis Service (PPHDRAS), previously known as the Private Mental Health Alliance Centralised Data Management Service (PMHA CDMS), was launched in Australia in 2001 to support private hospitals with psychiatric beds to routinely collect and report on a nationally agreed suite of clinical measures and related data for the purposes of monitoring, evaluating and improving the quality of and effectiveness of care. The PPHDRAS works closely with private hospitals, health insurers and other funders (e.g. Department of Veterans’ Affairs) to provide a detailed quarterly statistical reporting service on participating hospitals’ service provision and patient outcomes.
The PPHDRAS fulfils two main objectives. Firstly, it assists participating private hospitals with implementation of their National Model for the Collection and Analysis of a Minimum Data Set with Outcome Measures. Secondly, the PPHDRAS provides hospitals and private health funds with a data management service that routinely prepares and distributes standard reports to assist them in the monitoring and evaluation of health care quality. The PPHDRAS also maintains training resources for hospitals and a database application, which enables hospitals to submit de-identified data to the PPHDRAS. The PPHDRAS produces an annual statistical report. In 2019–20, the PPHDRAS accounted for 98% of all private psychiatric beds in Australia (PPHDRAS 2020)
From 2017–18, all private hospital data is sourced from the PPHDRAS. Data on expenditure and Staffing (FTE) are not collected in the PPHDRAS.
ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2018. Private hospitals, Australia, 2016–17. ABS Cat. no. 4390.0. Canberra: ABS.
AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) 2015. National Health Data Dictionary 2012 version 16.2. Cat. no. HWI 131. Canberra: AIHW.
AIHW 2021. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-specific primary health care: results from the OSR and nKPI collections. Cat. no. IHW 227. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed November 2021
APHA (Australian Private Hospitals Association) 2020. Private Hospital-based Psychiatric Services 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020. Canberra: APHA.
DoH (Department of Health) 2010. National Standards for Mental Health Services . Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia. Viewed 3 March 2021.
DoH 2013. National mental health report: tracking progress of mental health reform in Australia, 1993–2011. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.
PMHA (Private Mental Health Alliance) 2013. Private Hospital-based Psychiatric Services 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012. PMHA-CDMS annual statistical report for the 2011–2012. Private Mental Health Alliance.
PPHDRAS (Private Psychiatric Hospitals Data Reporting and Analysis Service) 2020. Private Hospital-based Psychiatric Services 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020. Viewed November 2021.
Government‑operated residential mental health services are specialised Residential mental health care services that:
Health care providers refers to the following staffing categories: salaried medical officers, nurses, diagnostic and allied health professionals, other personal care staff and mental health consumer and carer workers.
The National standards for mental health services (DOH 2010) were developed under the First National Mental Health Plan and are applicable to individual service units. There are 8 levels available to describe a service unit's status (METeOR identifier 722190). The data source section provides information for the full description of all 8 levels and information relating to the revised 2010 national standards (DOH 2010). For reporting purposes, the data are collated into the following 4 levels:
Staff numbers reported in this section refer to the average number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) staff employed, that is, the total hours actually worked divided by the number of normal hours worked by a full-time staff member (METeOR identifier 269172).
Some specialised mental health services data are categorised using 5 target population groups (see METeOR identifier 682403):
Note that, in some states, specialised mental health beds for aged persons are jointly funded by the Australian and state and territory governments. However, not all states or territories report such jointly funded beds through the National Mental Health Establishments Database.
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