Health Services Research - Wesley Research Institute
Wesley Research Institute

Health Services Research is a new and fast-growing area of research for Wesley Research Institute. We aim to improve outcomes for patients by using research to guide the design, implementation and evaluation of new health services.

We are a multi-disciplinary research team incorporating different types of research methods such as implementation science, health economics, statistics, and consumer-led research.

We collaborate with UnitingCare Queensland, universities, other health services, not-for-profit organisations and other stakeholders to deliver better quality public and private health services.

Health Services Research Objectives

Designing healthcare solutions

We work with patients and their carers, health service leaders, doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, personal carers, general practitioners, external stakeholders, and the broader community to design health services that best suit the needs of all stakeholders.


Supporting health services to improve healthcare delivery by understanding what works, what doesn’t work, and why. We use robust, evidence-based evaluation methods to identify clinical, implementation, cost, service, and patient outcomes.

Translating evidence into practice

We use implementation science theories, models, and frameworks to support health services to use research evidence in clinical practice and recommend strategies to address contextual barriers and enablers we identify.

Virtual Hospital Research Program

Wesley Research Institute and UnitingCare Queensland have established a research program focused on the co-design, implementation, and evaluation of the new UnitingCare Queensland Virtual Hospital.

The Virtual Hospital Research Team, led by Dr Olivia Fisher, are informing the implementation and ongoing development of the hospital in real time by providing evidence-based recommendations tailored to the specific needs and context of UnitingCare Queensland, its staff, patients and their families and carers, and key stakeholders. As the Virtual Hospital becomes established, patient, health service and implementation outcomes will be evaluated.

This world-first applied health services research program is expected to be a long-term collaboration with UnitingCare Queensland.

Considerations for design and implementation of a Virtual Hospital

This study aimed to inform the design and implementation of the UnitingCare Virtual Hospital by identifying considerations, barriers and enablers to establishing an Australian private virtual hospital.

Co-Design of the UnitingCare Queensland Virtual Hospital

This study aimed to collaboratively co-design the vision, principles, and next steps of the UnitingCare Queensland Virtual Hospital along with patients, carers, clinicians, and key stakeholders.

Evaluation of the UnitingCare Queensland Virtual Hospital

This research aims to identify the service, patient, and implementation outcomes of the UnitingCare Queensland Virtual Hospital.

Chronic Wounds Research Program

Almost half a million Australians live with chronic wounds that are slow to heal. These include leg and foot ulcers, skin tears, and pressure sores. UnitingCare Queensland has identified prevention, management and treatment of chronic wounds as a priority research area.

A team led by Associate Professor Wendell Cockshaw at Wesley Research Institute is investigating ways to innovate health service delivery, which will improve the lives of those with chronic wounds and bring the benefits of chronic wound science to patients.

UnitingCare engaged Wesley Research Institute to conduct this program of research in partnership with UnitingCare community, residential and hospital services.

We are working with consumers, carers, nurses and other healthcare practitioners to design practical systems to deliver chronic wound care to those who need it.

Understanding chronic wound care systems

In this study, we aim to map current systems and practices, and investigate barriers and enablers for prevention, identification, recording, and treatment of chronic wounds across UnitingCare Queensland businesses. 

Older people, Aged Care and Dementia Research Program

In this program, we aim to improve the quality of life, and mental and physical health of older people by focusing on key issues such as healthcare, community care, aged care services, respite care, retirement living and residential care. Led by Dr Caroline Grogan, we conduct inclusive research, especially with consumers themselves, across social and economic demographics and cultural backgrounds. The team uses a mix of qualitative (e.g. interviews, focus groups) and quantitative (e.g. surveys) research methods. We use research to understand current practices, evaluate services, and we translate research into recommendations for evidence based practices. We use research findings to influence and lead changes in current practice and policy. Our key partner within Uniting Care Queensland is BlueCare and we are generously funded by the Irene Hunt Estate Trust.

Woman hugging her elderly mother

Informing design of the BlueCare Dementia In-Home Respite Program

This study aimed to understand the experiences and perspectives of people living with dementia and family carers to inform BlueCare’s Dementia In-Home Respite Service. We also aimed to understand the barriers and enablers to implementing the service across various locations. 

Evaluation of the Isaac Navicare mental health care navigation service pilot

Funded by: Mitsubishi Development

Collaborators: UnitingCare Family and Disability Services Study 

Aim: Evaluation of the reach, effectiveness, adoption and implementation of the Isaac Navicare service during the first 12-months. The study involves a survey and interviews with service users, and database review.
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