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Service integration & referral

In 2015 we engaged CheckUP to research the views of frontline workers in remote Queensland to understand and improve service integration and referrals for clients.

Referrals and working with other services is an important way to provide support to those experiencing mental health and alcohol and other drug problems.

Research report

The research project was conducted by CheckUp on behalf of the Commission and concluded with the following reports:

The report examines service provider perspectives of service integration and referrals for mental health, alcohol and other drugs, and suicide prevention/postvention in the North West, Central West and South West Hospital and Health Service regions.Service user experience

Based on the views of frontline service providers it also outlines what supports integration and effective referrals between services, and those factors that act as barriers.


  • Service integration is supported by strong individual relationships between workers, a dedicated case coordinator or care coordination model, and clear internal policies and practices
  • The main barriers to integration were a lack of services due to:
    • distance or cost
    • a lack of specialist services
    • ability of the person being referred to take up the referral, or being reluctant to do so.
  • To improve service integration and referrals, service providers indicated that there is a need to:
    • build relationships
    • hold interagency forums or regular meetings with key agencies
    • promote their own agency’s role and functions
    • provide training or resources
    • develop localised tools or systems where providers can access information about other services
    • develop local and shared resources.

Next steps

Research was subsequently undertaken to study service integration and referral from the perspective of service user experience. That research was completed in September 2018.