The Primary Health Care Research, Evaluation and Development (PHCRED) Strategy has been funded by the Australian Government since 2000 to improve Australia’s capacity to produce high quality primary health care research. In building research capacity, the Strategy offers opportunities for research training, support and experience spanning the full researcher development continuum.
As described in the PHCRED strategic plan the goals of this strategy are to:
- expand the pool of primary health care researchers;
- increase research relevant to practice and policy; and
- collaborate with other relevant organisations to inform primary health care practice and policy.
- The Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute (APHCRI): tasked with providing leadership in primary health care research;
- The Research Capacity Building Initiative (RCBI): funding University Departments of General Practice and Rural Health to provide training and support in primary health care research for early career researchers (discontinued in December 2011);
- A program of Training Awards, and investigator-driven and priority-driven clinical research grants: administered by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC); and
- The Primary Health Care Research and Information Service (PHCRIS): providing support in the area of dissemination and knowledge-exchange.
Phase Two: 2006-2009
In 2005 the Department of Health and Ageing developed a Strategic Plan for Phase Two of the PHCRED Strategy, following a process of stakeholder consultation. A Strategic Plan outlined the new vision and purpose for the Strategy, as well as a set of clear goals and performance measures.
An independent evaluation of the PHCRED Strategy took place in 2008, with the final report provided to the Department of Health and Ageing in 2009.
Phase Three: 2010-2014
Over the period 2010-2014, Phase Three of the PHCRED Strategy built and communicated an evidence base to support decision making around primary health care, focused on the priority areas of the National Primary Health Care Strategy which include:
- Improving access and reducing inequity;
- Better management of chronic conditions;
- Increasing the focus on prevention; and
- Improving quality, safety, performance and accountability.
Phase Three of the Strategy consists of the following three components:
- Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute (APHCRI): tasked with providing leadership in Primary Health Care Research and establishing a new network of collaborative Centres of Research Excellence (CRE's)
- Primary Health Care Research and Information Service (PHCRIS): funded to undertake a broad range of knowledge translation, sharing and exchange activities.
- National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC): funded to support NHMRC Co-funded Career Development and Early Career Fellowships, focussed on priorities identified in the National Primary Health Care Strategy.
An independent evaluation of Phase Three took place between late 2013 and early 2014 to:
- evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the Strategy and its individual components
- evaluate the appropriateness of the Strategy and its individual components, taking into account the recommendations from the evaluation of phase two, to meet current and potential future needs
- assess opportunities for possible future improvements to the Strategy, and/or alternative options to the Strategy.
The evaluation report was submitted to the Department of Health in May 2014.
For more information about Phase Three of the PHCRED Strategy please visit the Australian Government Department of Health.
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