Evaluation of Intermediate Care Services

Project Type - Mental health, Program evaluation and review


SA Health - Mental Health and Substance Abuse - appointed HOI to conduct an evaluation of the Intermediate Care Centres (ICCs). The objectives of the evaluation were to determine:

  • whether ICCs have been implemented in line with the service model and operational guidelines
  • the accessibility and responsiveness of the service
  • the outcomes for consumers who access intermediate care centres
  • how ICCs are fitting into the broader stepped model of care
  • the overall efficacy of ICC services.


The evaluation was conducted through the prism of the Mental Health Performance Framework. The key components of the methodology included the following:

  • development of an Evaluation Framework to guide the contact of the evaluation and development of data collection tools
  • consultations with key stakeholders including Clinical Service Coordinators from each ICC or ICS, staff surveys and staff focus groups, allied health focus groups, carer and consumer feedback through interviews or focus groups and telephone interviews with referrers
  • robust collection, collation and analysis of available outcome, output, demographic financial, human resources and service usage data that was already collected by ICCs, government mental health services and the acute sector i.e. CBIS, ISAAC and CCCME
  • preliminary and final reporting.

A number of findings and recommendations around opportunities for improvement were made about the ICCs evaluated around the following:

  • service model and operational guidelines (including referrals, review, admission and assessment, services, discharge, carer involvement, cultural competence, safety and facility design and data)
  • staffing and costs (including value for money)
  • accessibility and responsiveness
  • consumer outcomes (including consumer vignettes, impact on NOCC scores and readmission rates)
  • stepped model of care (including the impact on hospital admissions, emergency department presentations and community team contacts and the ICCs role in the stepped system of care).