Objective: To determine if multi-purpose service (MPS) Programs deliver improved residential aged care as opposed to traditional rural hospitals. Design: A variation on comparative-experimentalist: type 4. In this design 2 groups providing different service models of rural health services are compared. Setting: Six MPS Programs and three traditional hospitals in rural New South Wales. Subjects: Key stakeholders - area representatives, health service managers, MPS managers, doctors, staff, MPS or hospital committee members and consumer groups including residents. Main outcome measure: To analyse the ability of MPS Programs to deliver quality residential aged care as opposed to using traditional hospitals for such services. Results: Multi-purpose service programs provided better residential environments and greater flexibility of service provision. There were few apparent differences between the two service models in regard to organisational culture and training. Conclusions: The findings of this evaluation suggest that in the provision of residential aged care in rural communities, MPS Programs demonstrated better standards of care than traditional hospital based services.
- Aged care
- Health evaluation
- Rural health
- Rural health service delivery
- Traditional rural hospitals