Treatment service users (TSU) project: phase two

Appendix 1: TSU: phase two promotional flyer

Page last updated: March 2011

National Treatment Service Users Project, Phase 2
Improving consumer participation in drug treatment agencies

The 'Treatment Service Users Project' is an exciting and pioneering project funded by the Australian Commonwealth Department of Health & Ageing, Drug Strategy Branch.

It will be implemented by AIVL (The Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League), a peak national consumer representative organisation, in collaboration with NCHSR (The National Centre in HIV Social Research).

The project has already completed its first phase. Phase 1 found that consumer participation has a highly beneficial role to play in the planning & delivery of high quality drug services.

Phase 1 also found that while there were currently only relatively low levels of consumer participation across drug treatment services in Australia there was, widespread support for moving to higher levels of consumer participation.

What does the project plan to achieve in this phase?
Who will be involved?
How will this project be implemented?
Project outputs
What impact will this project have?
How can you be kept informed about this project?

What does the project plan to achieve in this phase?

Phase 2 of the project will involve the development and evaluation of 5 consumer participation projects in 5 different drug treatment services. The projects will be located in 3 Australian States, within various drug treatment settings; including pharmacotherapy, detoxification and rehabilitation programs. A model of consumer participation derived from available literature and findings from Phase 1 will be used to evaluate the demonstration projects. Phase 1 of the project found that there is a significant amount of low level participation occuring in Australia, for example, feedback sessions and suggestion boxes. While these consumer participation activities are valuable, Phase 2 will focus on the development and evaluation of projects where consumers are more actively involved in decision making processes, for example staff recruitment, policy working groups and membership of management committees. Phase 1 also identified obstacles in implementing consumer participation such as lack of funds and appropriate expertise. Phase 2 of the project will respond to these obstacles via specific actions, including providing resources to the selected drug treatment agencies so that thay will have the capacity to develop consumer participation activites, tailored to suit the individual needs of each service.

The demonstration projects will provide insights and data that will be used to develop a national model of consumer participation for drug treatment services. Towards the end of the project all the project partners and key stakeholders will be bought together at a national workshop where the findings from the demonstration projects will be disseminated and discussed and used to develop a nationally agreed definition of consumer particpation. The findings of phase 2 will also lead to the development of policy that supports consumer participation and increases the capacity amongst drug treatment service providers and consumers to undertake consumer participation effectively.
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Who will be involved?

This project is a great opportunity for the AOD sector to work together. AIVL and the NCHSR have forged an exciting partnership bringing together a balance of consumer experience and research expertise.

The project will also look to bring together a range of key stakeholders including:
  • AOD peak bodies
  • State/Territory and Commonwealth AOD government departments
  • Consumer Representatives Organisations
  • Drug treatment service providers
  • Drug treatment service users (consumers)
An advisory committee has been formed to provide overall advice on the development and implementation of the project and comprises of representatives from key stakeholders and project partner agencies.

How will this project be implemented?

This project will be implemented through the following process:
  • Through a call for expressions of interest from drug treatment agencies across 3 Australian states, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.
  • These agencies will have the opportunity to apply for funds to assist them develop a demonstration consumer participation project.
  • AIVL will provide assistance to the agencies to develop their applications.
  • A total of 5 agencies will be selected as project partners across the 3 states.
  • The demonstration projects will then be evaluated by the NCHSR & AIVL.
A national workshop will then be convened involving all key stakeholder to discuss the findings from the demonstration projects and develop a nationally agreed definition of consumer participation in drug treatment services.

Activity flow chart

Text equivalent of figure below. Activity Flow Chart.
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Text version of figure

Activity Flow Chart:
  • Step 1: Identify demonstration agencies
  • Step 2: Develop & evaluate consumer participation projects
  • Step 3: Disseminate findings among key stakeholders at a nationally convened workshop
  • Step 4: Develop a nationally agreed definition of consumer participation for drug treatment agencies

Project outputs

At the end of Phase 2 the project will look to achieve specific outputs such as:
  • The development, implementation and evaluation of a suitable model of consumer participation in a range of drug treatment settings.
  • Policy development
  • A national workshop bringing together all key stakeholders
  • A nationally agreed statement or definition of consumer participation in drug treatment services
"Involving the community in decision making about their own health, as well as the planning & management of health services is integral to effective health promotion & illness prevention" Better Health Outcomes for Australians 1994 Commonwealth Dept. of Human Services and Health

What impact will this project have?

Considering the fact that only low levels of consumer participation exist among drug treatment agencies, this project at selected sites will seek to:
  • Increase skills and capacity amongst service providers and consumers in relation to consumer participation
  • Increase consumer participation among drug treatment agencies
  • Develop policy at the local level which supports the sector and stakeholders in undertaking consumer participation
  • Improve consumer satisfaction and quality of service delivery
  • Strengthen partnerships among key stakeholders to progress consumer participation in the drug treatment sector.

How can you be kept informed about this project?

The TSU project is committed to keeping all stakeholders informed about the project's progress. Regular project updates will be accessible through:
  • AOD sector publications such as 'Of Substance' from ANCD anf "ADCA News" and AIVL e-list
  • State/territory Drug User Organisation newsletters and state/territory AOD Peak body newsletters.
Or you can contact the TSU Project Worker

John Francis, Tel: (03) 93291500, Contact John Francis at

AIVL: Level 1/112 - 116 Sydney Building, Alinga St, Canberra, ACT 2600, T: 02 6279 1600, AIVL website at

NCHSR: Level 2, Webster Building, UNSW, Sydney, NSW 2052, T: 02 9385 6776
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