On Friday 9 December 2016, the ACT Minister for Health Ms Meegan Fitzharris MLA launched the Service Users’ Satisfaction and Outcomes Survey report outside the ACT Legislative Assembly.
The survey outcomes show that the Canberra community can be proud of its alcohol and other drug sector that delivers evidence based and cost-effective interventions. The people who access these services have high levels of satisfaction in the care they receive.
ATODA is grateful to the Minister for launching the report, which showcases such a high performing part of the ACT’s health system.
Statements by the Minister for Health
“I am pleased to release ATODA’s survey report today. The survey shows that our alcohol and drug services are making a difference and helping people get their lives back on track,” said Minister Fitzharris.
“I am proud to say that the ACT Government invests more than $19 million a year to provide drug treatment and support services in our community.
“What these positive survey results highlight is that this investment is making a difference in our community every day, and I would like to thank all of the hardworking staff in our alcohol and other drug services who support some of the most vulnerable in our community.
“I would also like to thank ATODA for their ongoing work. The ACT Government will continue to work with the sector to improve the alcohol and other drug support services and programs available to Canberrans,” said the Minister.
Read the full media release here
Minister for Health Ms Meegan Fitzharris MLA (fourth from left) with representatives of specialist alcohol and drug treatment, harm reduction, support and policy services at the launch.
Service Users’ Satisfaction and Outcomes Survey: Collective Impact Statement
The Service Users’ Satisfaction and Outcomes Survey was implemented on a single day at nineteen sites at all ten specialist alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment and support services in the ACT. A total of 469 people completed the Survey.
Specialist AOD services deliver high levels of satisfaction and positive outcomes
- Service users have high satisfaction levels with the specialist AOD services they are accessing.
- Services scored an average of 26.9 on a satisfaction scale ranging from 8 to 32.
- Service users self-reported high levels of positive outcomes:
- Reduced level of substance use (86%)
- Reduced experience of AOD-related harm
- reduced involvement in crime—91%
- improved knowledge of prevention of blood borne virus transmission—85%
- Improved health and wellbeing
- improved general health—79%
- improved mental health—78%
- 57% of tobacco smokers reported either quitting or reducing their smoking since accessing specialist AOD services.
Quality specialist AOD care is being delivered despite increased demand and complexity
- Over the past 3 years there has been a significant increase in demand for specialist AOD services:
- Between 400–500 people access specialist AOD services on any single day.
- There has been a 36% increase in the numbers of Survey respondents between 2012 and 2015.
- 70% of service users attend non-residential services weekly or more often.
- Service users have identified the need for non-residential AOD services to be provided outside of business hours (i.e. 9am–5pm).
- Specialist AOD services are working with a high needs socio-economically disadvantaged population that requires other types of support additional to specialist AOD care. Of the Survey respondents:
- 82% were smokers when they first started using the specialist AOD service
- 74% were unemployed
- 46% were homeless or at risk of homelessness
- 25% identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
Read the full Collective Impact Statement here
Read the full Service Users’ Satisfaction and Outcomes Survey report here
The Service Users’ Satisfaction and Outcomes Survey is a collaboration between all ACT Health funded and delivered specialist drug and alcohol treatment, support and policy agencies:
- Alcohol and Drug Services, ACT Health
- Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy
- Canberra Recovery Services, The Salvation Army
- Directions Health Service
- Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation
- Karralika Programs
- Sobering Up Shelter, CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn
- Ted Noffs Foundation
- Toora Women
- Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service
- Alcohol and Drug Policy Unit, ACT Health
Conclusions and Implications
- Specialist AOD services are currently maintaining high levels of service user satisfaction and positive outcomes despite higher demand, longer waiting times, increased complexity and poly drug use.
- In addition to quality specialist AOD care, service users have additional needs that are not within services’ primary remit (or funding)—e.g. legal and housing support, transport, childcare.
- While ACT specialist AOD services and their service users are currently achieving some outstanding outcomes, the increased demand is not sustainable. This has implications for future resourcing and health service planning by the ACT and Australian Governments.
ATODA would like to acknowledge and congratulate all the service users, their families and friends, the workers, services, researchers and policy makers in the ACT for all their contributions and hard work in 2016.
We wish you all a well-deserved rest over the festive season!