Treatment services specifications for the NGO drug and alcohol specialist sector in NSW

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Date Commenced:
Expected Date of Completion:
Project Supporters:

Network of Alcohol and other Drugs Agencies contract research

Project Members: 
Project Main Description: 

NADA, under funding provided by the NSW Ministry for Health, is conducting a project to develop a set of treatment service specifications for the NSW specialist NGO drug and alcohol sector. NADA has engaged the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC - Drug Policy Modelling Program) to develop the service specifications in close consultation with the NADA specialist membership. This project will provide the first set of treatment service specifications for NSW alcohol and other drug treatment services. Only three Australian states/territories have service specifications. A service specification describes what service is to be delivered, for whom the service is intended and the service setting. The intention of the specification is to give the provider sufficient guidance that they can plan the organisational structures, conditions and resources needed to deliver the service. The service specifications are intended to be integral to both NSW and Australian Health Department purchasing of AOD treatment from NGOs in NSW.

Project Collaborators: External: 

Larry Pierce

Dr Suzie Hudson


As part of the 'NSW Partnerships for Health - NGO health funding reform process', the NSW Ministry of Health's Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Office (MHDAO) has identified the need for the development of NGO drug and alcohol treatment service specifications to appropriately describe the treatment services purchased by the NSW state government and provided by the NGO sector. 


The project aims to develop a comprehensive set of treatment service specifications for alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment provided by non-government organisations (NGOs) in NSW. These treatment service specifications describe the principles and key elements of each of the types of treatment services provided by NGOs in NSW. The service specifications will be developed in consultation with the NGO drug and alcohol treatment service delivery sector, the NSW Ministry of Health and people who use treatment services.

Design and Method: 
  1. Develop the aims and table of contents (i.e. coverage) of the service specifications; and the list of service types requiring individual specifications.
  2. First iteration of service specifications; based on a review of the existing literature.
  3. Second iteration of service specifications; with the first draft of service specifications service providers (service directors) will be consulted in the form of focus groups and a revised version of the specifications will be developed in light of those consultations.
  4. Third iteration of service specifications; survey input from treatment clients will be sought on the essential elements of treatment.
  5. Final expert input and consultation; input will be sought from clinicians on the third iteration of the service specifications using the Delphi method.  

This study will provide service specifications that assist in statewide consistency of contemporary and quality, evidence-based service delivery across the NGO drug and alcohol service sector in NSW.

Project Status: 
Year Completed: