Descriptors used within this report

Stakeholders varied in terms of the method through which they provided their information to the evaluation. Where possible, this report describes stakeholders in accordance with these methods as follows:
  • Interviewees – individuals who provided their information within the context of a face to face or telephone interview or focus group.
  • Respondents – individuals who provided their information within the context of a survey.
  • Stakeholders – individuals who were nominated by a peak professional representative body or state or territory health department to speak on behalf of the organisation.
Similarly, there is variation within this report with respect to the following terms:
  • Individuals – people within the community who may or may not be in receipt of services through the Better Access initiative.
  • Clients – the term used by Allied Health providers for the people to whom they provide services.
  • Consumers – people within the community who are consumers of mental health services, which may include services through the Better Access initiative.
  • Patients – the term used by psychiatrists and GPs for the people to whom they provide services.

Stakeholder views

This report presents a summary of consultations undertaken to end August 2009. The purpose of this report is to provide an indication of the range of opinions and comments that have been expressed by stakeholders interviewed. Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed are those of individuals interviewed.

Following each consultation, a summary of key points was prepared, and then forwarded to the interviewees and stakeholders for comment, amendment and/or the inclusion of any additional information they wished to raise. In most cases, either a confirmation that the notes reflected the issues raised in the interview, and/or inclusion of some points of clarification or additional issues thought of subsequent to the interview, were received. In some cases, interviewees were asked to clarify issues through further discussion or to follow-up on any additional information that had been provided. Where responses were not received, it was assumed that the interviewee agreed with the notes provided. No further follow-up was undertaken.

As the groups and individuals consulted reflected a heterogeneous range of opinions the review has sought to capture the range of comments and opinions expressed and provide some indication of the relative strength of opinion by indicating whether an issue was expressed by nearly all, most, many, some, or few stakeholders. It should be noted that a numeric weighting of this nature is not necessarily an indication of strength or validity of the opinion expressed as this may vary in respect to the background, breadth of experience and understanding of the initiative by the respective stakeholders.

In respect to stakeholder comments on patterns of service utilisation across geographical areas and/or population groups these have not been validated against Medicare data and reflect only the comments of stakeholders consulted. Where supporting information has been provided the source of this information has been identified.
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