Changes in Psychosocial Support Services


What are the changes?

In the 2017-2018 Budget, the Government announced changes in the way that services for people with chronic and complex Mental Health conditions are funded. These services are within our Psychosocial Support Services program. This program encompasses the National Psychosocial Support Measure, National Psychosocial Support Extension and Continuity of Supports.

Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network has recently procured providers to deliver National Psychosocial Support Extension and Continuity of Supports and are now preparing to re-procure providers to deliver the National Psychosocial Support Measure services from January 2020.

Why the need for change?

As part of the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), new programs are being implemented to provide supports for clients who have not been deemed eligible for ongoing support under this scheme.

We have funded providers to deliver services under the National Psychosocial Support Measure. These services are for people with severe mental illness with reduced psychosocial functional capacity who are not eligible for assistance through the NDIS and who are not supported through the Partners in Recovery, Day 2 Day Living, and Personal Helpers and Mentors programs.

We have also funded providers for National Psychosocial Support Extension and Continuity of Support to ensure that clients are supported during transition to the NDIS. These programs replace services which were previously funded under Partners in Recovery, Day 2 Day Living and Personal Helpers and Mentors programs, which all ceased on June 30, 2019.

National Psychosocial Support Extension is an extension of ongoing supports for clients who are either waiting for an eligibility assessment from the NDIS or for those who have not yet submitted an application for assessment to the NDIS.

Continuity of Support provides ongoing support for clients deemed ineligible for supports through NDIS.

How will the changes be implemented?

For new clients who have not previously been assisted under other programs and to meet the Department timelines, we are undertaking a two phased approach:  

Phase 1

  • Directly commission existing Partners in Recovery Program (PIR) lead agencies to deliver psychosocial services across the region for the initial 12-month period: from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019
  • Conduct a comprehensive Needs Assessment that will inform services for Phase 2
  • Deliver tender writing workshops to providers and community managed organisations (CMO) across the region to build capacity and strengthen the market.

Phase 2

  • Undertake re-procurement of psychosocial services through a tender process based on the findings and recommendations from the Needs Assessment
  • Services will be commissioned for the remaining 18-months of funding available.

What is happening now?

Soon we will be releasing the tender to fund psychosocial services under the Psychosocial Support Measure. In response to information gathered in the needs assessment these services will:

  • Be delivered through brokerage whereby clients are linked to local and relevant third-party services
  • Target providers situated within clusters of LGAs
  • Be delivered across all LGAs within the clusters
  • Improve service availability and equity of access for people across the region.

If you wish to participate in the National Psychosocial Support services tender exercise you will need to register as a supplier on . Once registered you will then be notified of all future Expressions of Interest / Quotations / Tenders conducted by the Primary Health Network.

We recognise that commissioning is a new approach for many providers, so we have prepared a series of webinars to explain the tendering process and help you to prepare a competitive tender response.

You can access these webinars here