Join the conversation: evaluating the effectiveness of experienced based co-design in improving the client experience of mental health transition across health sector interfaces



  1. Understand the experience of consumers as they transition through tertiary/sub-acute programs to primary care and self-management support
  2. Identify opportunities for service redesign and integration, which will improve consumers' service transition
  3. Develop, trial and evaluate strategies for preventing consumer re-entry from primary care to acute/sub-acute care at a clinical and systems level, based on the consumer experience
  4. Promote greater understanding of services, more integrated care across the system, and more effective communication between stakeholders
  5. Develop the research culture and capacity of primary care staff, GPs and service providers in implementing experience based co-design methodology


The western region of Melbourne is one of Victoria's fastest growing and most diverse regions. Health demands are on the rise and will continue to grow rapidly, fuelled by a high burden of disease, socioeconomic disadvantage and population diversity. Mental Health issues have been prioritised as a high need area by the health service providers of the region. There is a pressing and regionally supported call for an organised and systemic approach that breaks the cycles of repeated crisis intervention and fragmented care experienced by people with complex mental, medical and social health care needs.

The western region experienced based co-design (EBCD) research project, led by Western Health, focuses on working together with consumers of mental health services to improve their experience as they transition from subacute to primary care services and self-management support. The research project gathers the experience of consumers, their families and those who work in the industry and aims to promote service and system integration to improve the consumer experience in the future.

This EBCD research methodology does not simply request feedback from consumers but actually involves them and their experience in shaping the design of future services. The methodology has proved successful in making a tangible and sustainable difference to consumers. The research will target consumers with mental health and complex health care needs who are frequent presenters to the emergency department and high users of health care. It will follow their experience as they make the transition from sub-acute care to primary care services and gather 'touch points' (emotionally significant points) or opportunities to improve their experience.

The research project will work specifically with the Western Health Mental Health Hospital Admission at Risk Program (MH HARP), which is a step-down service providing intensive care coordination and support to consumers with mental health issues that frequently present to tertiary, and primary care services (principally GPs). The MH HARP service work with consumers, their families/carers, services and primary care providers in the community to transition clients from tertiary! Sub-acute programs to primary care and self-management support.


Updated:  22 October 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, APHCRI/Page Contact:  Web Admin, APHCRI