Increasing rates of chronic illness within an ageing population are requiring increasingly accessible and well-integrated primary health care (PHC) services. Although there is some evidence that integrated Primary Health Centres (IPHCs) can improve access and integration, we do not currently know which types of IPHCs are best able to do this in the Australian context, the most effective approaches for them to adopt, or what aspects of government policy best support it. This study will show how successful different types of IPHCs are at maximising access and integrating care, the strategies they use and how this can be supported through policy.
The study will identify effective strategies and gaps in ensuring access and integration within the IPHCs, and the factors which contribute to these, including aspects of national and state policy. It will describe the processes by which these strategies are developed, and the systems and routines which sustain them. This will be valuable to services wishing to improve access and integration, and also for governments wishing to ensure that their programs support high quality primary health care.