HEALTH + 
SOCIAL POLICY

QUALITY STANDARDS FOR AGED CARE

mpconsulting is working with Government to develop a single set of quality standards for aged care to make it easier for consumers, and their families and carers to understand what they can expect from aged care service providers. Through the project, we have built strong working relationships with a range of stakeholders inputting into the standards including providers, consumers, carers and academics. We have used our knowledge of international practice, evidence-based standards development, and the aged care sector to draft each standard and develop a detailed rationale for each. What inspires us about this project is the chance to be part of a broader reform agenda, which will result in building the sustainability of the aged care sector and improving the experience of older Australians.

WELLBEING CENTRES AND RESIDENTIAL REHABILITATION SERVICES

mpconsulting was engaged by the Cape York Institute, Commonwealth Government and Queensland State Government (through a tripartite agreement) to project manage the establishment of wellbeing centres in Aurukun, Coen, Mossman Gorge and Hopevale and residential rehabilitation services in Cooktown and Normanton.

This project involved working closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and with health professionals responsible for the delivery of drug, alcohol, mental health and social and emotional wellbeing services. We drew on our strengths in working with people and built support for the proposed services through wide community consultation. We thoroughly evaluated existing drug and alcohol services such that we could identify service gaps and propose a new model of service delivery.

Our clients subsequently expanded our work to include the establishment of an innovative approach to residential rehabilitation services in three other Indigenous communities.

REVIEW +
EVALUATION

REVIEW OF THE VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT ACTIVITY

The Volunteer Management Activity (VMA) is overseen by the Department of Social Services and currently provides funding to approximately 50 organisations to deliver volunteer support services across more than 300 metropolitan, regional and remote areas of Australia. In 2017, mpconsulting was selected to undertake a comprehensive review of the VMA. Our review will investigate the current funding model to determine if it remains the most effective and efficient way for Government to support, encourage and maximise volunteering activity, building social cohesion and inclusiveness.

As with all our review and evaluation projects, we are engaging with a range of stakeholders to hear about their experience, knowledge and understanding of the VMA. From February to April 2018 we are hosting public forums throughout Australia. Our final review report and options for the future will be delivered in June 2018.

REVIEW OF THE HEALTH STAR RATING SYSTEM

In July 2017, mpconsulting was engaged to conduct an independent five year review of the Health Star Rating (HSR) system. The HSR system is a voluntary front-of-pack labelling scheme that rates the overall nutritional profile of packaged food and assigns it a rating from ½ a star to 5 stars. In reviewing the HSR system we are considering if, and how well, the objectives of the HSR system have been met, and identifying options for improving the system, and for ongoing implementation.

This project involves extensive stakeholder consultation. In September 2017, our team analysed more than 480 submissions from consumers, public health bodies and academics, industry representatives, peak bodies and nutritionists. Following analysis, we released a public report on key themes from the submissions. In 2018, we continue consultations with a series of public forums throughout Australia and New Zealand. We will present our final review report to the Health Star Rating Advisory Committee in 2019.

REVIEW OF RADIATION GRANTS PROGRAM

In 2016, mpconsulting was engaged by the Department of Health to undertake an independent review of the Radiation Oncology Health Program Grants Scheme, and provide advice on the relative merits of continuing Commonwealth funding for radiotherapy equipment (against the context of broader health policy and health funding). Our review involved consultation with a range of stakeholders, including manufacturers, radiation oncology specialists, leading academics and representatives from industry peak bodies. This project drew on our ability to undertake complex analysis of data and take into account the policy, political and financial ramifications of recommendations. Our review can be accessed at http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/radonc-rohpg-review

AUSTRALIAN RADIATION PROTECTION AND NUCLEAR SAFETY AGENCY REVIEW

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) regulates Commonwealth uses of radiation and nuclear facilities. mpconsulting was engaged to examine the role of ARPANSA and the appropriateness of the legislation to support its functions. Following stakeholder consultation and examination of international comparisons, we developed a detailed report including a number of recommendations for amendments to the legislation and administrative changes. On the strength of our review, we were then engaged to work with the Department to make the recommended changes to the law, and to manage all liaison and consultation with stakeholders including relevant Ministers and Commonwealth agencies.

ADVICE ON REGULATION

ADVICE ON AGED CARE LEGISLATION REFORMS

For over 10 years mpconsulting has worked closely with Government in developing and implementing its long-term aged care reform agenda. In 2018, we continue to provide specialist services and advice in priority areas including dementia care, quality standards, interactions with the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the delivery of care in rural and remote regions of Australia.

mpconsulting’s work in the aged care portfolio has been extensive across a variety of reforms. Our detailed knowledge of aged care regulation has enabled the development of effective and innovative reforms that address Government’s key priorities. The strength of our consultation and engagement services, together with our ability to lead strategic conversations, supports our clients to better understand and meet the needs of their stakeholders in delivering aged care reforms.

INDUSTRIAL CHEMICALS REFORM

mpconsulting is currently working with the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) to develop significant reforms to the regulation of industrial chemicals. We offer value to NICNAS by drafting reader-friendly consultation papers, effectively facilitating stakeholder forums, identifying ways to translate policy into law and being able to explain both the policy intent of the reforms, and the legislation giving effect to the reforms, to a wide range of audiences including interested government agencies, Parliamentarians and external stakeholders.

AUDIT OF DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH’S REGULATORY STOCK

As part of the Government’s deregulation agenda, each Commonwealth Department was required to audit and quantify its stock of existing regulation and to identify the regulatory cost to business, individuals and community organisations. mpconsulting was engaged by the Department of Health to:

  • Identify all Health regulation (749 pieces).
  • Develop a framework against which the regulation would be categorised, and the compliance burden would be reported.
  • Develop a system for sampling compliance costs.
  • Identify the overall compliance burden for each piece of regulation, applying the sampling methodology.
  • Prepare a detailed report for consideration by the Executive, Ministerial Advisory Committee and Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C).

Throughout the project, mpconsulting briefed staff on the Deregulation Agenda and provided advice to the Executive and to PM&C. The draft evaluation framework, including the sampling model developed by mpconsulting, was provided to PM&C, who subsequently shared it with other Commonwealth agencies to assist them in undertaking their audits.
Following this first project, mpconsulting continued to work with the Department, providing expert advice on reform opportunities within the Department.
Our expertise was recognised by both the Department of Social Services and the Department of Education who engaged us to provide expert advice on their audit framework, to both departmental staff and their consultants.

STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATION +
FACILITATION

STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATION + FACILITATION

In recent years, we have:

    • Facilitated meetings of the National Disability Insurance Agency Board and Executive.
    • Facilitated forums with staff across the Department of Health to discuss best practice regulation, the Deregulation Agenda and implications for staff and the work that they do.
    • Facilitated workshops for the Department of Social Services relating to compliance programs for social services.
    • Facilitated national forums with the aged care sector in relation to aged care reforms, responding directly to questions raised by peak bodies, approved providers and consumers.
    • Managed complex negotiations with a wide range of stakeholders including medical professionals, pathology providers, the food industry, the aged care industry, unions and non-government organisations.
    • Facilitated planning workshops exploring case scenarios. In one example, the firm facilitated a workshop on product contamination using a food product contamination scenario to help participants to consider: preparedness of various sectors; information sharing and communication and how best to mitigate, manage and communicate risk.
    • Conducted webinars, presenting complex information and responding in real-time to questions from the online audience.
    • Held public forums on a wide range of subjects including front of pack labelling, quality in aged care, nanotechnology, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wellbeing, and residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation services.
    • Developed and provided nationwide training on a range of subject matters including good administrative law decision making, regulatory compliance, deregulation, grants management, and best practice regulation and drafting decision documents.