Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care
Many older Australians, especially those who already experience socioeconomic disadvantage or come from diverse backgrounds, find the aged care system complex and difficult to access and navigate. The Australian Government has introduced a suite of reforms to help address this issue, including the ACSN extension measure.
The extension measure sought to provide older people and their families with face-to-face navigator services and personalised information and support, using a service delivery model informed by the implementation and evaluation of the original ACSN measure.
The department engaged AHA to evaluate the extension measure. Our evaluation explored:
We met these objectives by collecting data from all 28 ACSN locations across Australia through 2 parallel streams of work.
In the first stream, we conducted interviews with navigators responsible for delivering services, older people and their families who access navigator services, and a range of stakeholders with a role in referring older people and their families to navigator services. These stakeholders included health professionals, aged care sector representatives, and professionals and volunteers from community-based services.
In the second stream, we created a bespoke online data management platform that allowed organisations delivering the ACSN trials to submit regular reports on navigator activity and customer feedback data. We also collected navigator-developed case studies and information about trial expenditure from participating organisations.
Overwhelmingly, we found that navigator services are providing much-needed and highly valued support for older people and their families. Our final report identified 8 key lessons that have informed the transition from ACSN trials to ‘business as usual’ delivery of navigator services in the care finder program.
Data submitted via our online platform not only informed our evaluation but supported participating organisations, the program coordinator, and the client to engage in performance monitoring and continuous improvement activities.