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 healthcare delivery by supporting healthcare providers to design, implement and evaluate new models of healthcare delivery.

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

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 and implement health care solutions that best suit the needs of all stakeholders.

Improve understanding

Conducting focus groups with people living with Dementia and their carers will provide an understanding of how local barriers and enablers influence the In Home Dementia service and will help to improve, not only patients quality of life, but enhance communities across Queensland.

Mental Health Support

Navicare is a mental health service which has been piloted in rural Queensland within the Bowen Basin. The study is now being evaluated with the hope it can be expanded to other regional communities.

UnitingCare research strategy

Wesley Research Institute has been engaged by UnitingCare to lead the roll-out of their Research Strategy. Wesley Research Institute will provide expert knowledge and training while building the research knowledge and capacity of UnitingCare staff, particularly in health service design and evaluation.

Our Goals

Research into faster and more accurate diagnosis

Improve understanding around the causes of disease and better prediction of disease progression

Increase survival and quality of life for patients and families

Co-design of the UnitingCare Virtual Hospital

In this world first research study, we are working closely with Uniting Care to design a new Virtual Hospital. To do this, we are interviewing stakeholders from a wide range of backgrounds including patients and clients of Uniting Care services and their carers, staff of The Wesley Hospital, St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital, St Stephen’s Hospital, and Buderim Private Hospital, Blue Care Community, Blue Care Residential Aged Care Facilities, and UnitingCare as well as key external stakeholders such as Queensland Health.

We ask each interviewee about gaps and challenges in the current health system, the opportunities that virtual health care brings, and barriers and enablers to implementing a new virtual hospital.

In the second half of 2023 we will hold a series of co-design workshops where we will present the results of our interviews, decide together on the vision for the new hospital, and identify the model of care which the hospital team will roll out. We will then evaluate the health, cost, implementation, patient experience, and staff satisfaction outcomes of the 12-month pilot and provide recommendations about any adaptations and next steps for the Virtual Hospital.

Implementation and Evaluation of the Blue Care In-home Dementia Respite Service

Funded by: Irene Hunt Estate Trust

Collaborators: Blue Care Community

Study Aim: Supporting Blue Care to expand the In-Home Dementia Respite Service to new sites, and to understand how local barriers and enablers influence the uptake and suitability of the service in different areas of Queensland.

We will conduct focus groups with people living with dementia and their carers in three Queensland regions, hear from nurses and personal carers, and provide recommendations on local adaptations to the program before it is implemented. We will then evaluate the roll-out in these and other regions to understand how these local factors influenced the service.

UnitingCare Research Strategy Roll-out

Funded by: UnitingCare

Collaborators: UnitingCare, The Wesley Hospital, Buderim Private Hospital, St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital, St Stephen’s Hospital, Blue Care, Family and Disability Services

Wesley Research Institute has been engaged by UnitingCare to lead the roll-out of their Research Strategy. This will include:

  • Designing and conducting the inaugural projects under the strategy
  • Building the research knowledge and capacity of UnitingCare staff, particularly in health service design and evaluation
  • Providing expert knowledge and training
A lady on the phone looking out from a balcony window

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.

Visit Navicare website

Who we are

Dr Olivia Fisher, Senior Research Officer

Olivia is an implementation scientist with a PhD in Public Health from Queensland University of Technology. For more than 20 years Olivia has worked in the health sector in public, private and community organisations as an Occupational Therapist, in project management, health promotion, and research. Olivia is well known in the Queensland mental health sector for her research into mental wellbeing and the prevention of mental illness, aswell as her role as the State Coordinator of the internationally recognized Mind Matters Initiative. A former lecturer and researcher at Queensland University of Technology, Olivia brings extensive knowledge of health services and project leadership

Dr Caroline Grogan, Research Officer

Caroline is a qualitative researcher with a PhD in Social Work from Queensland University of Technology, and a background of more than ten years experience in community services. Caroline’s research focuses on person-centered dementia and aged care, with special interests in co-design, lived experience, and research translation. Caroline is passionate about supporting the wellbeing and autonomy of people living with dementia and their families.

Kelly McGrath, Research Assistant

Kelly’s career has encompassed many roles in the health, education, community development and research sectors. Kelly has a Bachelor of Applied Science, Honours in Life Science, and a Graduate Diploma in Human Nutrition. Her research has focused on metastatic melanoma, ovarian cancer, colorectal cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, and community development. Kelly’s publications have been highly cited, including four with more than 100 citations each, and she has lectured in science, health and nutrition units.

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