Collaboration: developing integration in multi-purpose services in rural New South Wales, Australia

Judith Anderson, Ann Bonner, John Grootjans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Introduction: The Multi-purpose Service (MPS) Program was introduced to rural Australia in 1991 as a solution to poor healthoutcomes in rural compared with metropolitan populations, difficulty in attracting healthcare staff and a lack of viability and range ofhealth services in rural areas. The aim of this study was to describe the main concerns of participants involved in the development ofmulti-purpose services in rural New South Wales (NSW). This article is abstracted from a larger study and discusses the extent towhich collaboration occurred within the new multi-purpose service.Methods: A constructivist grounded theory methodology was used. Participants were from 13 multi-purpose services in ruralNSW and 30 in-depth interviews were conducted with 6 community members, 11 managers and 13 staff members who had beeninvolved in the process of developing a multi-purpose service.Results: The main concern of all participants was their anticipation of risk. This anticipation of risk manifested itself in either trustor suspicion and explained their progression through a phase of collaborating. Participants who had trust in other stakeholders weremore likely to embrace an integrated health service identity. Those participants, who were suspicious that they would lose status orpower, maintained that the previous hospital services provided a better health service and described a coexistence of services withinthe multi-purpose service.Conclusions: This study provided an insight into the perceptions of community members, staff members and managers involvedin the process of developing a multi-purpose service. It revealed that the anticipation of risk was intrinsic to a process of changingfrom a traditional hospital service to collaborating in a new model of health care provided at a multi-purpose service.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalRural and Remote Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


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