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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4315 ..

Mr Moore: The Minister's answer is as follows:

(1) & (2)

In 1997 and 1998 the Alcohol and Drug Program (ADP) sought consumer input through surveys, telephone surveys and discussion groups. Consistent themes emerged eg: that consumers of the Program would prefer better liaison between the ADP services and to access services by making one phone call.

When the Alcohol and Drug Program went through the Community Health Accreditation Standards Program (CHASP) accreditation process consistency in practice, and improved continuity and integration of care were recommendations made to improve the services provided.

The new model is based on integrated care systems. Such models have been successfully introduced in the (previously named) Community Health Care and Child Family and Youth Health Programs of ACT Community Care but also interstate in Victoria and Queensland. Integrated care systems have been shown to increase outputs for the same cost, eliminate waiting times, produce higher referrals, show improvements in consumer and staff satisfaction levels.

The changes to the Alcohol and Drug Program aim to build on previous aspects of the service delivery such as 24 hour helpline, phone assessment processes applied by both the detoxification unit and methadone clinic prior to the implementation of the reforms. It is also a variation of the duty system previously implemented by staff of the community unit.

When the drop in duty counsellor system was operational many clients before presenting at the community unit would initially make phone contact, it was during this phone contact that consumers would be advised of the duty counselling system. It is more efficient for the client to be responded to when they initially make contact on the phone.

The new service delivery arrangements of the Alcohol and Drug Program seek to draw together all aspects of service delivery therefore the intake system replaces all previous intake systems across the Program not only the counselling systems previously in place. Hence integrated service delivery models have been used as the basis for developing the new service arrangements for the ADP.

If it is evident that the intake process is not the most effective means of communicating with the client there is flexibility within the new arrangements for staff to coordinate an appointment with the client to meet with the client in person to assess their needs.

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