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In this chapter, reports are provided for each unit of the AIHW involved in statistical analysis and reporting. The reports contain detailed information on the units' objectives, outputs and additional activities, as well as listing the committees and data collections that they support.
A short outline of the responsibilities of each of the AIHW's corporate units is also included.
Continuing and Specialised Care Group
Hospitals and Performance Group
Housing and Homelessness Group
Information and Statistics Group
Social and Indigenous Group
Information about the outputs and other activities undertaken during 2010–11 by each of the AIHW's statistical groups is detailed in this chapter.
The reports for each unit include information on the status of each planned output as well as other activities and responsibilities undertaken through the year. Other activities and responsibilities can include:
The chapter also includes information about the activities of AIHW collaborating units:
Information about the activities of the Business Group and the Governance and Communications Group is interspersed throughout the other chapters of this annual report, however the responsibilities of each are briefly outlined below.
The Business Group had the following unit-based structure.
The Governance and Communications Group had the following unit-based structure.
Ms Vicki Bennett (acting from August 2010 to January 2011) Mr Brent Diverty (from January 2011)
The Continuing and Specialised Care Group develops, maintains and analyses national data to support monitoring and reporting on the health and welfare of key sub-populations and the use of services within a range of health and welfare sectors. In addition, the group carries the primary responsibility for producing biennial editions of the Australia's welfare publication.
During 2010–11, major achievements for the group were:
The group was created in August 2010 following transfer of the Ageing and Aged Care Unit, Drug Surveys and Services Unit, and Mental Health Services Unit from three other groups. Since then, changes to the group's structure have occurred as follows:
The group also hosted a temporary Australia's Welfare Unit during the year to assist with the production of the AIHW's biennial flagship report on welfare services to be published in 2011–12.
Ms Gail Brien (to November 2010) Ms Judith Abercromby (from November 2010)
The Ageing and Aged Care Unit analyses and disseminates national information on aged care services, the informal care sector, and older people's health and social participation. The unit works closely with the Data Linkage Unit to analyse and report on the dynamics of the aged care system as a whole and its relationship with other key sectors (for example, acute care). Currently the unit has a particular focus on dementia, including an NHMRC grant-funded project on dementia services provided in hospitals.
The unit does not collate data provided by multiple sources into national collections, but maintains, documents and analyses national data, provided by DoHA, held at the AIHW on residential aged care, Community Aged Care Packages, Extended Aged Care at Home, Extended Aged Care at Home Dementia, Transition Care, and Home and Community Care.
An ageing population means a growing need for specialist services for older Australians. With this comes increasing government and community interest in residential aged care, community-based aged care packages and informal care arrangements.
In December 2010, the AIHW published two reports on aged care services, Residential aged care in Australia 2008-09: a statistical overview and Aged care packages in the community 2008-09: a statistical overview.
The reports are part of a series produced annually by the AIHW since 2000. This year, they were redeveloped to improve readability, clarity and ease of access. Several new topics were added along with data cubes to allow users to tailor a view of the statistics to suit their needs.
During the year, the AIHW released two new reports on specific aspects of aged care. The first was an analysis of information on people with dementia in residential aged care, using data collected through the recently-introduced Aged Care Funding Instrument. The second was an overview of the Transition Care Program, which assists older people after they leave hospital.
Ms Amber Jefferson
The Drug Surveys and Services Unit manages and produces reports from the National Drug Strategy Household Survey, conducted every three years. It develops data and information and produces reports on publicly funded alcohol and other drug treatment services and opioid pharmacotherapy programs. It also compiles reports about tobacco, alcohol and other drug statistics and information from other sources.
Ms Kate Mallen (to February 2011) Ms Vicki Bennett (from February 2011)
The Housing Unit works with state housing authorities and other state and territory government representatives, FaHCSIA, and the not-for-profit sector to produce national housing information. In collaboration with these stakeholders, it develops national data standards, identifies data items for national collection, collects and analyses national housing data, makes data available for policy development and research, and produces national reports on housing and housing assistance. In particular, its work covers public rental housing, state owned and managed Indigenous housing, community housing, home purchase assistance, private rent assistance and Indigenous community housing.
The unit provides data to the Productivity Commission on performance indicators within the framework of the SCRGSP's Report on Government Services, as well as those under the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA), supporting the COAG objectives for transparent and standardised performance information for the public.
Publish working papers on:– developing a community housing unit record data collection – integrated waitlist data for community housing
Young people and children make up a considerable proportion of people living in social housing. In 2008-09, nearly 40% of all those living in government-managed housing were young people aged under 25. This is more than the proportion of people in this age group in the general community, which is around 34%.
The AIHW report, Young people and children in social housing, released in December 2010, reveals that in 2008-09 about 300,000 young people were residents of public rental housing or state-owned and managed Indigenous housing.
About three-quarters of the 90,210 households that included young people or children were single-parent households. Of the 9,865 households where the main tenant was under 25, nearly half were single-parent households.
'While one interpretation of these housing figures is that young people and children are over-represented in social housing, it is equally fair to say that government housing is being allocated on a priority basis to households with young people and children, particularly those in high need' said AIHW spokesperson Vicki Bennett.
There was some evidence of inter-generational use of government housing. Between 2003-04 and 2008-09, about 1,600 'transitions' occurred where a dependant living in government-managed housing became a main tenant the following year.
Ms Moira Hewitt
The Housing and Homelessness Integration Unit liaises with external stakeholders to further the AIHW's work on developing and reporting housing and homelessness data. The unit works closely with other housing and homelessness units at the AIHW to contribute to the development, measurement and reporting on the performance measures in the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) and associated partnership agreements as set out in the Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations.
A key component of the work program is the development of data and metadata to support reporting, including the development of related national minimum data sets. The unit also develops reports across housing and homelessness that support the measurement of progress towards the achievement of the targets specified in these agreements. The unit collaborates with jurisdictions to develop and integrate housing and homelessness data collections, metadata standards, performance reporting requirements and the national performance reporting framework.
Mr Gary Hanson
The Mental Health Services Unit reports on a range of hospital and community-based mental health services in Australia, and provides leadership in the development and refinement of the various data sets and indicators, including the mental health performance indicators for the National Healthcare Agreement (NHA). The unit also undertakes other mental health related projects under contract on behalf of various Federal and State Government entities. The unit is also responsible for a work program in support of the National Palliative Care Strategy launched in 2010.
In May-June 2011, the AIHW undertook a comprehensive national pilot study of the latest version of the Mental Health Interventions Classification (MHIC) protocol.
Developing the MHIC is a national health information priority and will enable information to be collected on the types of services provided to mental health consumers.
The pilot study used a range of technologies, and participants were provided with an educational CD with interactive menus and video content, as well as email and '1800' phone support.
A variety of data collection methodologies were used in the study, including a commercially available online survey, Apple iPads with preloaded survey links, direct extracts from jurisdictional systems and paper booklets. The online survey tool was designed by the AIHW MHIC project team staff and was also used as the data entry tool for paper booklet survey responses.
This data collection is important because of its potential to inform national mental health policy development.
Ms Lynelle Moon (acting to August 2010) Ms Lisa McGlynn (from August 2010)
The Health Group develops and maintains national data to support monitoring and reporting on the health of Australians. This includes monitoring the determinants of health, health status and diseases, and related quality of life. The group reports on the health of populations and chronic disease monitoring, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, arthritis and asthma. It also reports on related health services such as cancer screening and primary care. It carries the primary responsibility for producing the flagship publication Australia's health and coordinates the AIHW's international work for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the WHO and the Institute's input into the national e-health agenda.
During the year, there were changes to the structure of the Health Group as follows:
Ms Chris Sturrock
The Cancer and Screening Unit monitors, investigates and reports on cancer incidence, mortality, survival and prevalence as well as population-based cancer screening indicators. This includes maintaining the Australian Cancer Database as part of the National Cancer Statistics Clearing House in collaboration with the Australasian Association of Cancer Registries. The unit is responsible for annual monitoring of the national breast cancer, bowel cancer and cervical cancer screening programs. The unit also undertakes record linkage with the Australian Cancer Database for health research approved by the AIHW Ethics Committee. In addition, the unit is responsible for the National Centre for Monitoring Cancer which was established in 2009.
Ms Susana Senes Ms Anne Broadbent (acting to August 2010) Ms Lynelle Moon
The Cardiovascular, Diabetes and Kidney Unit undertakes national monitoring of three diseases, including analysis of incidence and prevalence, mortality, morbidity, functioning and disability, risk factors, and associated health services. This work is carried out through the National Centre for Monitoring Cardiovascular Disease, the National Centre for Monitoring Diabetes (including the National Diabetes Register) and the National Centre for Monitoring Chronic Kidney Disease.
Mr Gordon Tomes
The e-Health Unit scans the national information environment in the areas of health, welfare, housing, disability and community services. Within the AIHW, the unit disseminates and brokers information across the Institute for the national e-health agenda. It seeks to contribute to the continual improvement of statistical use of data to support better health and welfare outcomes. The e-Health Unit leads the AIHW's engagement with cross-cutting e-health initiatives, supports the Australian Collaborating Centre for the WHO Family of International Classifications (WHO-FIC), and provides advice on best practice for information management.
The AIHW compiles and submits health and expenditure statistics to a number of international agencies, including the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the WHO.
OECD Health Data is an interactive online database maintained by the OECD. It contains information on over 1,000 health and health-related indicators, covering 34 OECD member countries and dating back to 1960.
The AIHW collates the Australian data for the health-related indicators, drawing on sources such as the DoHA, the ABS, other government and non-government organisations, and our own
Indicators cover health status, health care utilisation and resources, health care quality, long-term care, health expenditure, pharmaceutical sales and consumption, and determinants of health.
OECD Health Data provides the basis for much of the OECD's analytical work on health, including the biennial publication Health at a glance and other policy-relevant reports relating to population health status, non-medical determinants of health and health care resources and utilisation. The OECD Health Data is freely available at http://stats.oecd.org.
Mr Mark Cooper-Stanbury
The Population Health Unit develops and reports information on the health of the Australian population and priority sub-populations, and covers health inequalities. It undertakes specific projects in the areas of environmental health and veterans' health, and hosts the National Centre for Monitoring Mandatory Folic Acid and Iodine Fortification. The unit also takes a 'population health' approach to its work in monitoring chronic diseases and associated determinants of health, management of the National Mortality Database, provision of official Australian data to international organisations (notably OECD and WHO), management of topic-specific population health surveys, and in support of the Institute's use of demographic and survey data.
While some Australian men enjoy good health and improved life expectancy, many could be doing more to protect their health.
The AIHW's The health of Australia's males offers a unique insight into lifestyle factors, health conditions, mortality and use of health services among Australian males.
The report was launched on 14 June at the Tuggeranong Men's Shed in Canberra, to mark the start of International Men's Health week in Australia.
The Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Minister for Defence Science and Personnel and Minister for Indigenous Health launched the report. The event was also attended by Mr Tim Mathieson, Men's Shed Ambassador, and members of the Men's Shed Association.
Examples of the report's findings include:
The report provides a summary for policymakers, researchers and others interested in male health issues, and sets the scene for future reporting and research. To support this broad brush picture, the second report in this series will examine how health varies among males in certain population groups.
Dr Adrian Webster
The Primary Health and Respiratory and Musculoskeletal Monitoring Unit is responsible for monitoring and reporting on three health areas.
Ms Jenny Hargreaves
The Hospitals and Performance Group provides statistical leadership, develops and compiles data, undertakes analyses and disseminates policy relevant statistical information about hospitals and about health sector performance, including the safety and quality of health care. Major outputs are the Australian hospital statistics suite of products and data and information content for the MyHospitals website.
The group has a focus on shaping the AIHW's future role in hospital data management and reporting, and in health sector performance reporting, within the changing environment of the national health reforms.
The group contributes to national and international data and information infrastructure development through participation in a range of national activities and forums relating to information on hospitals, health care safety and quality and performance reporting. The group also has responsibility for the coordination of aspects of Australia's international health classification work.
The former Economics and Health Services Group changed its name to the Hospitals and Performance Group in August 2010. This followed the transfer in August 2010 of:
Other changes at that time were that:
Ms Cheryl Harkins (to August 2010) Dr Julia Tresidder (acting from August 2010)
The Health Care Safety and Quality Unit focuses on the development and reporting of safety and quality information in relation to Australia's health care services. Major priorities are medical indemnity information and partnership work with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) to improve the quality and availability of national information on health care safety and quality. The unit also contributes to the development of specifications and data for the National Healthcare Agreement (NHA) performance indicators on health care safety and quality and the OECD's Health Care Quality Indicators project.
Ms Louise York
The Health Performance Indicators Unit develops, compiles and analyses data relevant to the performance monitoring of Australia's health care system. The unit's major focus is on coordinating the development and delivery of high-quality performance indicators under the National Healthcare Agreement (NHA), in consultation with national information and data committees. The unit also coordinates AIHW contributions for the SCRGSP's Report on Government Services (published through the SCRGSP), and works with stakeholders to develop national data collections required for health performance reporting, particularly for non-admitted hospital patients.
Mr George Bodilsen
The Hospitals Data Unit is the custodian of the AIHW's national hospitals databases. The unit is responsible for the collation and maintenance of the databases, and for improving data quality and timeliness (such as by managing use of the online validation tool, Validata®). It also provides support for the use of the hospitals data by AIHW staff and staff in collaborating units. The unit undertakes hospitals data development, focusing on establishment-level data.
Undertook receipt and validation of quarterly Non-Admitted Patient Emergency Department Care data on behalf of DoHA
Ms Cheryl Harkins (from August 2010)
The Hospitals Information Improvement Unit has a strategic focus on hospitals information development, in the context of the national health reforms. It is the AIHW's focal point for health classifications (such as ICD-10-AM), contributing to national and international classification development, and providing a source of expert advice for staff working with classifications and coded data. The unit undertakes development of performance reporting for the MyHospitals website, undertakes development of other hospital data (focussing on admitted patients) and contributes to the OECD's Health Care Quality Indicators project.
Katrina Burgess (acting from August 2010)
The Hospitals Reporting Unit is responsible for statistical reporting on hospitals, including the preparation of the Australian Hospital Statistics suite of products and the data component of the MyHospitals website. The unit also prepares hospital performance indicators for National Healthcare Agreement (NHA) reporting and for the SCRGSP's Report on Government Services.
Mr Geoff Neideck Dr Ken Tallis was Division Head with responsibilities covering Housing and Homelessness Group prior to his resignation in August 2010.
The Housing and Homelessness Group is responsible for producing statistics, analysis and information on housing and homelessness. The Group aims to describe and analyse the services and forms of assistance which help all Australians to find or maintain safe, secure and affordable housing.
In 2010–11, the Group has had lead responsibility at AIHW for production of performance indicators to support the COAG reform agenda, as articulated in the National Affordable Housing Agreement, the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness, the National Partnership Agreement on Social Housing and the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing.
The group works closely with stakeholders in the Housing and Homelessness Policy and Research Working Group (HHPRWG), the Homelessness Data Project Board, and the Housing and Homelessness Information Management Group for which AIHW acts as the Secretariat.
During the year several functional changes were made to the group, to accommodate the expanded work program associated with the former SHS Project as follows:
Ms Alana Shaw (acting from September 2010)
The Client Management System team is responsible for the development and implementation of the new Client Management System for the homelessness sector. This system has been deployed to help agencies that work directly with people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to run their core business and concurrently capture the data required for reporting purposes.
Ms Penny Siu (from January 2011)
The Homelessness Business Transition Unit was established to develop a series of communication, training and transition products to ensure the success of the business implementation of the new Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) data collection.
The unit managed the transition from previous homelessness data collections to the new collection by:
Every day, government-funded homelessness agencies receive an enormous number of requests for accommodation.
Unfortunately, not all people seeking accommodation are able to be assisted. While these agencies are operating to capacity, they are unable to keep up with the demand.
When a valid request cannot be met, the person is classified as having been 'turned away.
In June 2011, the AIHW released the report People turned away from government-funded specialist homelessness accommodation 2009-10, providing information on why so many in need are 'turned
'In 2009-10, people needing new and immediate accommodation comprised a relatively small percentage of total demand (about 4%), but of those new requests, the majority (58%) were unable to be accommodated,' said Geoff Neideck, head of the Institute's Housing and Homelessness Group.
Family groups were those most often unable to be catered for, while individuals who presented without children had the lowest turn-away rate.
People turned away from government-funded specialist homelessness accommodation 2009-10 provides valuable insight into the reality of homelessness, identifying Australia's most vulnerable groups and the risk-factors that stand in the way of meeting their needs.
Ms Alana Shaw (acting to September 2010) Dr Edmond Hsu (from November 2010 to March 2011) Ms Felicity Murdoch (acting October 2010; March 2011 to May 2011) Ms Cathy McNickle (acting from May 2011)
The Homelessness Data Collection Unit collects data on government-funded specialist homelessness services and the Victorian Homelessness Data Collection (VHDC). The Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) ceased in 2008. However, the unit continues to collect data, via the SAAP National Data Collection (NDC), on existing government-funded specialist homelessness services and new services that began with the advent of the National Affordable Housing Agreement.
The unit collects, processes and reports on data collected from specialist homelessness agencies pending the introduction of a new national homelessness data system in 2011, and for the VHDC. It also works closely with other agencies in conducting the above-mentioned collections.
Mr Anthony MacLean (from February 2011)
The Specialist Homelessness Services Collection System Team will improve the evidence base with regard to homelessness and services to support the homeless by building a new homelessness data collection system. The primary objective of this team is to provide a system that will allow submissions of specialist homelessness client data, the storage and administration of this data, and a flexible reporting system that will be able to provide reports for the Commonwealth, jurisdictions, agencies and AIHW. The new homelessness data collection will be an important contributor to the evidence base for monitoring and evaluating homelessness in Australia.
Homelessness has become an increasingly important area of the AIHW's work.
Much of our focus is on providing information on the assistance programs for people experiencing homelessness and those at risk of homelessness.
This year, a key activity of the AIHW's Housing and Homelessness Group has been the upgrade of the homelessness data collection.
The new SHS data collection was developed under the National Affordable Housing Agreement, and expands on the previous collection to include more information about the experiences of, and outcomes for, people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Geoff Neideck, Head of the AIHW's Housing and Homelessness Group, said that the new collection will help governments gain a better understanding of the resources needed to overcome homelessness.
'While the data collected previously very much focused on what services were delivered to people who were homeless or at risk of homelessness, the new data focuses more on the outcomes for these people once they have accessed these services,' Mr Neideck said.
The new collection will provide more information to support the Australian Government's homelessness strategy, which aims to halve homelessness by 2020. The strategy emphasises the importance of improving data on homelessness to assess the effectiveness of services and programs, and enable progress towards breaking the cycle of homelessness.
'Tackling homelessness has been highlighted as a key area for government action, and it's appropriate that we gather and maintain better information to enable us to better understand and solve the problems,' Mr Neideck said.
The new collection is the result of two years of intensive work by the AIHW.
Ms Teresa Dickinson
The Information and Statistics Group is responsible for supporting the statistical excellence of the AIHW through metadata and information management services, data linkage, statistical quality assurance work, support and conduct of advanced statistical research and continual improvement of AIHW's statistical infrastructure, including classifications and standards.
The group also publishes policy-relevant statistical information about the financial and human resources used in health and welfare. Expenditure is analysed in a number of ways, including by state, by funding source and for different groups, such as indigenous Australians. The group manages the statistical reuse of information from the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for health professionals, as well as providing other information relating to the workforce in health and community services occupations and industries in Australia.
During 2010–11, the Information and Statistics Group was also responsible for producing reports on functioning and disability in Australia and for managing national minimum data sets relating to disability. From January 2011, it also took on oversight of work performed by the Dental Statistics and Research Unit—a collaborating unit of AIHW, based at the University of Adelaide.
Major achievements for the group during 2011–12 are listed below.
During the year a number of structural changes were made to the Information and Statistics Group, as follows:
In Australia, more than $5,000 on average, is spent on the health of every individual each year. But expenditure of this money differs depending on whether a person lives in remote, regional or city areas. For some types of health services, clear differences can be seen in the patterns of service expenditure by residents of the different geographical areas.
The AIHW report, Australian health expenditure by remoteness: a comparison of rural, regional and city health expenditure, compares in dollar terms, the different types of health services that were accessed and used in different parts of Australia.
The report found that in 2006-07, the amount spent on hospital admissions, per person, tended to increase the further away a person lived from urban areas. On average, $2,609 was spent on each person in very remote areas, compared to $1,321 per person in major cities.
The per person cost of Medicare services on the other hand, decreased from $761 in major cities to $390 in very remote areas.
Dr Phil Anderson
The Data Linkage Unit facilitates the development and analysis of person-centred (rather than program-centred) data to support whole-ofgovernment and whole-of-life approaches to policy. The unit achieves this by investigating data linkage and analytical methods, by undertaking data linkage and analyses of linked data sets, and by providing leadership and assistance to analyses undertaken elsewhere within the AIHW, through close collaboration with subject matter staff. The unit is the main point of contact with the wider national and international data linkage communities. The unit also undertakes record linkage with the National Death Index, the National Cancer Statistics Clearing House and other data to support internal and external linkage-based research projects that have received AIHW Ethics Committee approval. All data linkage takes place within the strict ethical and privacy arrangements determined by the AIHW Board, the AIHW Ethics Committee and the AIHW Director.
Mr Richard Juckes (to March 2011) Ms Gail Brien (from April 2011)
The Expenditure and Economics Unit develops, collates and reports information on expenditure relating to the provision of specific types of health and welfare services, and expenditure by disease. The unit also undertakes other economic analysis work relevant to health and welfare.
Mr Sean Ackland
The Functioning and Disability Unit measures the need for and use of disability support services and monitors trends in the prevalence of disability in Australia. The main focus of disability monitoring is the analysis and dissemination of information on levels of functioning, and types and levels of disability (including disability related to specific health conditions) in the Australian population. Disability services monitoring also includes the collection and analysis of data on specialist disability services provided or funded under the National Disability Agreement (NDA), including the development of data for the purpose of monitoring demand for specialist services. The unit strives to make information about disability and disability services accessible to a wide audience including government, disability service users and service providers, and the general public.
Data development and enhancement in the area of functioning and disability is a significant area of activity for the unit. This work is done in consultation with the ABS, the Disability Policy and Research Working Group (DPRWG) and their associated technical advisory groups, and other stakeholders. It involves the development, promotion and implementation of national and international data standards across the health and community services fields in Australia.
There is a large gap between people with disability and those without, in health status terms.
In November 2010, the AIHW released the first bulletin in a new series designed to examine how health-related factors affect people with disability in Australia.
Health of Australians with disability: health status and risk factors, uses data from the 2007-08 National Health Survey and 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, which included, for the first time, a disability identification component to shed new light on the health of Australians with disability at the national population level.
One of the most interesting findings showed that Australians with a disability were more likely to have seriously thought about committing suicide, or to have actually attempted suicide, than Australians without disability.
Of people aged 16-64 years with severe or profound disability, 42% had seriously contemplated suicide, compared with 9% of people without a disability. Of this group, 18% of those with a disability had actually attempted suicide. In people without a disability, this figure is just 1%.
Thoughts of—and attempts at—suicide among people with severe or profound disability were associated with a high prevalence of mental and behavioural problems and a high level of psychological distress.
Access this bulletin online at: www.aihw.gov.au.
Mr David Braddock
The Labour Force Unit provides information relating to the workforce in health and community services occupations and industries in Australia, drawing on a range of AIHW and external data sources. A major focus is the statistical reuse of information from the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) for health professionals and the collation of national data on the health labour forces and the production of annual reports and online statistics based on them.
The unit also manages the relationship between the AIHW and the AIHW's collaborating Dental Statistics and Research Unit.
Ms Melanie Taylor
The Metadata Information Services – METeOR and Metadata Unit aims to improve the comparability, consistency, relevance and availability of national health, community services, housing and homelessness information. The unit manages Australia's national health and community services data definitions and standards, which provide the national infrastructure for the gathering and analysis of information in these areas. The unit also ensures that the AIHW and its many stakeholders have access to, and benefit from, world-leading data standard and metadata management technologies. In particular, the unit manages METeOR—a web-based data standard management system. This system enables the online creation and dissemination of shared data standards that are the basis of consistent, comparable and linkable data collections.
The unit manages significant metadata collections held on the AIHW's METeOR website.
Dr Fadwa Al-Yaman
The Social and Indigenous Group provides leadership both within the AIHW and externally in the area of mothers, children, youth and families, in addition to Indigenous health and welfare information and statistics. It carries out data development work, analysis and reporting on health and welfare issues relating to mothers, children, youth, families and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The group is responsible for national analyses and reporting against:
The group also produces statistics on juveniles in the juvenile justice system and on prisoners' health and provides expert advice and information related to these areas to key stakeholders in both government and non-government sectors.
The group maintains strong working relationships within and outside of governments, and works closely with many of these stakeholders to deliver a range of products. This includes overseeing the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse and leading the production of the biennial report on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and welfare and the online Indigenous observatory.
The group continues to work to improve the quality of Indigenous identification in key data sets in order to improve reporting against the COAG targets.
Child Protection Australia 2009-10 reveals a mixed picture for Australia's child protection environment.
There has been a steady downward trend in the rate of substantiated child abuse and neglect over the past six years. While there are variations at a state and territory level, the overall direction at national level is promising, and in line with the long-term goals of the National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children 2009-2020.
On the other hand, national trends in children on care and protection orders and living in out-of-home care show a very different pattern, with steady increases in rates.
Much of this change might be due to an increasing number of children entering these arrangements from a relatively young age and remaining in them for several years.
Major achievements for the group during 2010–11 are listed below.
During the year there were changes to the organisational structure of the Social and Indigenous Group, as follows:
Mr Tim Beard Ms Cynthia Kim (to March 2011)
The Child and Youth Welfare Unit coordinates, develops and disseminates national statistical analysis and reporting for a diverse range of child and youth welfare issues, including adoptions, child protection services (covering out-of-home care, educational outcomes and family support services), juvenile justice and prisoner health.
Work undertaken by the AIHW in 2010-11 has produced, for the first time, a clearer picture of the link between the socioeconomic status of young people and their likelihood of being under juvenile justice supervision.
This year's Juvenile Justice 2008-09 report included a detailed analysis of the socio-economic status of young people under juvenile justice supervision, and found that almost six young people out of every 1,000 aged 10-17 years living in an area of the lowest socioeconomic status were under supervision on an average day, which was five times the rate of those living in an area of the highest socioeconomic status.
The report also found that while both Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people under supervision were more likely to come from an area of disadvantage, the differences were greater for Indigenous young people. On an average day, 36% of Indigenous young people under supervision were from one of the areas of lowest socioeconomic status in Australia, compared with 22% of non-Indigenous young people.
The figure excludes young people under supervision in WA and the NT.
Young people in rural and remote areas often experience health and wellbeing outcomes very different to that of their urban-dwelling counterparts.
The recently released AIHW report, Young Australians: their health and wellbeing 2011, describes these differences across a range of indicators.
One of the report's main findings is that death rates of young Australians increase substantially with remoteness, with rates in Remote and very remote areas almost 2.5 times as high as in Major cities.
The teenage birth rate also increases with remoteness, with teenage females in Remote and Very remote areas more than five times as likely to give birth as their peers in Major cities.
Young people living in rural and remote areas are less likely to:
The report, which the AIHW produces every four years, is a valuable resource for anyone interested in youth health and wellbeing issues.
Ms Sushma Mathur (to March 2011) Ms Melinda Petrie (acting from April 2011)
The Children, Youth and Families Unit monitors, investigates and reports on the health and wellbeing of Australia's children and young people. It does this by developing, analysing and disseminating high quality and timely national information and statistics on the health, development and wellbeing of this target population group. The unit undertakes work in the areas of child and youth health, development and wellbeing, encompassing early childhood development, health status, risk and protective factors, education and employment, family and community environments, and safety and security.
The unit maintains, documents and analyses national ABS and AIHW data related to child and youth health, development and wellbeing.
The Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) Child Health Check Initiative identified a high prevalence of dental health problems and ear health conditions among children living in NTER areas.
In response, the Australian Government funded follow-up dental, audiology and ear, nose and throat (including surgery) services to Indigenous children living in the NT 'prescribed communities' as defined under the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Act 2007.
The first report, Dental health of Indigenous children in the Northern Territory, from a follow-up dental data collection showed that over 9,500 occasions of service were provided to more than 6,000 children between August 2007 and June 2010.
The most common services provided were preventative (70%) and restorative (48%), followed by fluoride varnish and dental surgery (16%).
Fifty-five per cent of children required further dental care after their initial consultation.
Eighty-three per cent of Indigenous children in the NT prescribed communities had decayed, missing or filled teeth—much higher than for non-Indigenous children.
The average waiting time between referral and receipt of service was just over 14 months.
Dr Indrani Pieris-Caldwell
The Indigenous Determinants and Outcomes Unit provides statistics and information on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians through a range of statistical reports. The unit is responsible for reporting against the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework, which is published every two years. The unit also manages and reports on a major data collection on the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) Child Health Check Initiative and associated follow-up services data collections.
In May 2011 the unit name changed from Indigenous Determinants and Outcomes Unit.
Dr Norbert Zmijewski
The Indigenous Community and Health Service Reporting Unit's areas of work include reporting on primary health care, substance use and 'Bringing Them Home' services and specialised programs such as the Healthy for Life program that aims at improving quality of services and health outcomes for Indigenous mothers, babies and sufferers of chronic diseases. In collaboration with DoHA's Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH), jurisdictions and services, and using METeOR, the unit has developed national key performance indicators for Indigenous specific primary health care services. Collection, analyses and reporting of data on a subset of those indicators will commence in 2011–12. The unit also provides advice on data collection and taxonomy of services to OATSIH.
May 2011 saw a major step forward for the AIHW's web presence, with the implementation of a new online information product.
The Indigenous Observatory—an online repository of information on the health and welfare of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people—was launched with the authoritative AIHW report, The health and welfare of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, an overview 2011. The Minister for Social Inclusion, the Hon. Tanya Plibersek MP, presented these products at the Coalition for Research to Improve Aboriginal Health (CRIAH) conference.
The Observatory helps to maximise the reach of AIHW's messages about Indigenous health and welfare issues, by providing information in an accessible, user-friendly format, consistent with the Institute's efforts to promote access to its data.
The Observatory covers a range of subject areas, including:
The report, which features in the Observatory, provides the most relevant and interesting information gathered from AIHW and ABS Indigenous statistics, and explores the impact of disease on the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. About 80% of the mortality gap can be attributed to chronic diseases, most significantly heart diseases (22%), followed by diabetes (12%) and liver diseases (11%).
Access the Indigenous observatory at: www.aihw.gov.au/indigenous-observatory/.
Ms Barbara Gray (acting to October 2010) Mr Conan Liu (from October 2010 to February 2011) Mr Anthony Cowley (from February 2011)
The Indigenous Data Gaps Unit manages a range of data activities that seek to improve Indigenous identification in key health data sets in order to better monitor the COAG Indigenous 'Closing the Gap' targets as outlined in section F of the National Indigenous Reform Agreement (NIRA).
Major projects include assessment of the level of Indigenous identification in key health data sets (hospitals, mental health, perinatal, diabetes, cancer, alcohol and other drugs and general practitioner data), in conjunction with the development of best practice guidelines for linking data relating to Indigenous Australians and the enhancement of Indigenous mortality data. The Unit is also involved in the development of indicator specifications and a data collection instrument for reporting under the Indigenous Early Childhood Development National Partnership Agreement and in reporting against the NIRA.
In May 2010, the first annual report from the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse, What works to overcome Indigenous disadvantage: key learnings and gaps in the evidence, was launched at Parliament House in Canberra by the Hon. Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.
The report draws on the evidence collected by the Clearinghouse around six COAG building blocks: early childhood, schooling, economic participation, health and safe communities.
A number of prominent themes emerged, including the importance of community involvement, sustainable infrastructure, adequate resources, shared leadership, strong networks and respect for language and culture.
The Clearinghouse is an online source of evidence on what works to overcome Indigenous disadvantage, making it easier for policy makers, service providers and the public to identify 'best practice' and most successful strategies to reduce Indigenous disadvantage.
Visit the Clearinghouse at www.aihw.gov.au/closingthegap.
Ms Vicki Bennett (to October 2010) Ms Barbara Gray (acting jointly from October 2010 to February 2011) Ms Helen Johnstone (acting from October 2010)
The main area of work of the Indigenous Program Monitoring Unit is managing the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse, which is funded by COAG and delivered in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Family Studies. The unit coordinates the production of the biennial report on the health and welfare of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and leads the development of the online AIHW Indigenous Observatory. The unit is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the youth demonstration projects for improving sexual health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
In May 2011 the unit name changed from Indigenous Program Monitoring Unit.
The AIHW has collaborative arrangements in place during 2010–11 with a number of research organisations, based mainly at universities (see Appendix 6).
These organisations work collaboratively with the AIHW and provide their expertise for specific tasks funded by the AIHW.
The AIHW has an agreement with the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research Limited for the enhanced monitoring of asthma and linked chronic respiratory conditions by the Australian Centre for Asthma Monitoring. The centre is based at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research in Sydney.
The agreement continues to 30 June 2013.
Professor Guy Marks
The Australian Centre for Asthma Monitoring aims to help in reducing the burden of asthma in Australia by developing, collating and interpreting data relevant to asthma prevention, management and health policy.
The AIHW had an agreement with the University of Sydney related to the collection and dissemination of information by the Australian General Practice Statistics and Classification Centre (AGPSCC) about the characteristics of patients of general practitioners and the medical and pharmaceutical prescriptions provided to patients. The AGPSCC is located at the Westmead Hospital campus of the University of Sydney in association with the Family Medicine Research Centre of the University's School of Public Health.
The agreement ended on 30 June 2011.
Professor Helena Britt
The AGPSCC continuously collects information about clinical activities in general practice in Australia, including characteristics of the general practitioners, patients seen, reasons people seek medical care, the problems managed and how they are managed by the GP. The Centre is also responsible for the development of primary care classification systems.
The AIHW has an agreement with The University of Adelaide for the operation of the AIHW Dental Statistics and Research Unit at the university. The unit was established for the purposes of collecting, collating and analysing statistics relating to dental care and oral health, and on dental services and service providers; and for initiating and undertaking associated research studies.
The agreement continues to 30 June 2012.
Dr Liana Luzzi (from August 2010) Dr Jane Harford (from August 2010)
The Dental Statistics and Research Unit aims to improve the oral health of Australians through the collection, analysis and reporting of dental statistics, and through research on dental health status, dental practices and use of dental services, and the dental labour force.
In April 2011, the Dental Statistics and Research Unit (DSRU), a collaborating unit of the AIHW, released the Dental attendance patterns and oral health status report, offering valuable insight into the oral health of Australians, their behaviours and their patterns of dental service usage.
Nearly 30% of Australian adults display 'unfavourable' dental attendance patterns - characterised by infrequent visits to dental care providers, and usually only for a dental problem.
Compared with those who visited their dentist at least once a year for regular check-ups, these adults were more likely to report:
They were found to have, on average, more than three times the level of untreated decay and 1.6 times more teeth missing due to dental disease. They were also nearly four times more likely to have had a tooth extracted in the previous year.
Adults with 'unfavourable' dental attendance tended to report barriers to accessing dental care. In particular, they were three times more likely to report any of the following:
Only 40% of Australian adults were found to engage in 'favourable' dental attendance patterns - namely, visiting a usual dental care provider at least once a year for a check-up. These adults were more likely to have dental disease treated promptly, leading to less untreated decay, fewer extractions and more teeth restored.
The AIHW has an agreement with Flinders University for the operation of the AIHW National Injury Surveillance Unit at the university. The unit was developed for the purposes of informing community discussion and supporting policy making on the prevention and control of injury in Australia by developing, coordinating, interpreting and disseminating relevant information, research and analysis.
The current agreement continues to June 2012.
Associate Professor James Harrison
The National Injury Surveillance Unit aims to be the main source of national statistical reporting on injury in Australia.
The AIHW has an agreement with the University of New South Wales for the operation of the AIHW National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit at the university. The current agreement continues until 30 June 2012. During the year, the name of the unit changed from the National Perinatal Statistics Unit in recognition of the epidemiological work program being undertaken by the unit. The unit was established for the purposes of providing national leadership in the development and study of statistics relating to perinatal health; collecting, collating and analysing statistics relating to perinatal health; and initiating and undertaking associated research studies.
Associate Professor Elizabeth Sullivan
The National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit aims to improve the health and wellbeing of mothers and babies in Australia through: analysing and reporting of existing national reproductive and perinatal health information; assessing needs and opportunities for new information sources and mechanisms and improvement of existing information sources; developing new information sources and other relevant infrastructure; and providing advice and other services to assist others who are engaged in monitoring and researching perinatal health.
Specifically, the unit carries out and assists with research and reporting on reproductive, maternal and perinatal health including assisted reproduction, pregnancy outcomes, maternal morbidity and mortality, congenital anomalies, admission to neonatal intensive care and perinatal mortality.