Evaluation of the Pathways to Community Living Initiative

Pathways to Community Living Initiative (PCLI) Evaluation

New South Wales Ministry of Health
Duration: February 2017 – December 2020


The Pathways to Community Living Initiative (PCLI) commenced in 2015 to support the transition of long-stay mental health patients into appropriate community-based services as part of the NSW Mental Health Reform 2014-2024. It is a key component of the Reform underpinned by substantial investment from the NSW Government. The PCLI is led, funded and coordinated by the NSW Ministry of Health in collaboration with local health districts.

CHSD has been commissioned to conduct a formative and summative evaluation of the program. Formative evaluation aims to inform the ongoing development and improvement of the PCLI whereas summative evaluation seeks to ascertain whether and to what extent the desired/anticipated results have been achieved. The evaluation will conclude in December 2020.

What we did

In March 2017, an evaluation plan was developed which included an evaluation framework, a set of evaluation questions, and a range of methods and data sources for answering those questions. With minor amendments, the evaluation plan was approved by the Ministry of Health in April. The plan structured the evaluation into four main components: (1) evaluation of consumer outcomes; (2) evaluation of consumer and carer experience; (3) evaluation of provider/system change; and (4) an economic evaluation.

The evaluation to date has focused on the evaluation of provider/system change. Ethics approval for the evaluation of provider/system change was obtained from the University of Wollongong and Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District Health and Medical Human Research Ethics Committee in July. We recruited an experienced consumer researcher to be involved in all aspects of the evaluation.

From September to November we visited the six main sites involved in the PCLI at Morisset, Concord, Orange, Cumberland, Liverpool and Macquarie hospitals. In November and December, we conducted semi-structured interviews with key informants involved in the PCLI who had in-depth knowledge of the program and its implementation.

In December, we delivered our first evaluation progress report which included a summary of progress with the evaluation; the main achievements of the program; findings regarding program design and governance, the context within which PCLI is being implemented and local implementation; and a discussion which aimed to make a contribution to the PCLI’s ongoing development by raising a number of issues as prompts for learning and joint reflection.


Project team: Kate Williams, Anita Westera, Conrad Kobel, Sonia Bird and Darcy Morris

Collaborators: Tim Coombs and Peri O'Shea

Last reviewed: 9 August, 2018

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