The analyses in this section profile the number of Psychological Therapy Services items or Focussed Psychological Strategies items received in each calendar year since Better Access was introduced.

6.3.1 How many Better Access psychological services are delivered by allied health professionals to each consumer within a calendar year?

Table 6.7 and table 6.8 summarise the distribution of total number of Better Access psychological services in calendar years 2007 and 2008 respectively, for all psychological services and grouped by provider type.

Table 6.7 shows that, for all psychological services regardless of provider, the median number of services received in 2007 was 4. The distribution across service ranges showed that approximately three–quarters of people who received psychological services received between 1 and 6. A further 22% received between 7 and 12, and 4.8% received between 13 and 18. The table also shows that the distribution was similar across all allied health provider types. The 2008 data showed some modest increases in services received compared to 2007, and an increase in the overall median number of services received from 4 to 5 (table 6.8).

Given that consumers are able to claim up to 12 Better Access allied health services (18 in exceptional circumstances), and a further 12 group services, in a calendar year, the median of 4–5 services may appear low. This will, in part, reflect the fact that the period of eligibility for using these services is the calendar year, regardless of when in that year the GP Mental Health Treatment Plan is conducted. That is, consumers whose Plan was conducted towards the end of the year will have less time in which to use the allied health services than people whose Plan was conducted earlier in the year.

Table 6.7 Total number of Better Access psychological services in calendar year 2007, for all psychological services and by provider type.

Persons
Total N
Services Total NServices
Max. per person
Services
Median
Services
Mean
Persons receiving 1-6 allied health services
(%)
Persons receving 7-12 allied health services
(%)
Persons receiving 13-18 allied health services
(%)
Persons receiving 19+ allied health services
(%)
All psychological services
314,410
1,586,362
30
4
5.0
73.5
21.6
4.8
0.1
Provider typea:
Clinical psychologist
98,612
507,367
30
4
5.1
72.2
22.7
5.0
0.1
General psychologist
213,963
1,015,656
30
4
4.7
76.3
19.6
4.0
0.1
Any psychologist
302,531
1,523,023
30
4
5.0
73.6
21.6
4.8
0.1
Occupational therapist
2,011
10,444
20
4
5.2
72.0
22.4
5.6
0.0
Social worker
10,918
52,895
22
4
4.8
76.0
19.5
4.5
0.0
Non-psychological allied health
12,921
63,339
22
4
4.9
75.3
20.0
4.7
0.0
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Data have regard to all claims processed up to and including 30 April 2009.
a Person counts for Provider types are not mutually exclusive.

Table 6.8 Total number of Better Access psychological services in calendar year 2008, for all psychological services and by provider type.

Persons
Total N
Services Total NServices
Max. per person
Services
Median
Services
Mean
Persons receiving 1-6 allied health services
(%)
Persons receving 7-12 allied health services
(%)
Persons receiving 13-18 allied health services
(%)
Persons receiving 19+ allied health services
(%)
All psychological services
449,130
2,309,897
30
5
5.1
72.7
20.8
6.4
0.1
Provider typea:
Clinical psychologist
151,587
785,174
30
4
5.2
72.3
21.2
6.5
0.1
General psychologist
289,785
1,400,485
30
4
4.8
75.4
19.1
5.4
0.1
Any psychologist
427,601
2,185,659
30
4
5.1
73.0
20.7
6.3
0.1
Occupational therapist
3,701
21,193
28
4
5.7
68.3
21.9
9.3
0.6
Social worker
20,157
103,045
23
4
5.1
73.0
20.7
6.3
0.0
Non-psychological allied health
23,836
124,238
28
4
5.2
72.2
20.9
6.8
0.1

Data have regard to all claims processed up to and including 30 April 2009.
a Person counts for Provider types are not mutually exclusive.