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This report was originally published as Westera. A et al, The NSW SAFTE Care Program - evaluation of a pilot program to prevent unnecessary hospital attendances by older people, Centre for Health Services Development, University of Wollongong 2007.


The NSW SAFTE Care Program is a pilot program, which targets older people living in the community who are at risk of presenting to an Emergency Department. It is based on the premise that by providing rapid response multi-disciplinary assessment and diagnostic services, together with coordinated care services, that ED attendance and/or hospital admission can be prevented and/or delayed or shortened. A secondary premise is that the cost of the provision of these services is equal to, or less than, the cost of the avoided ED and inpatient services. This is the Final Report of the Independent Evaluation of the NSW Sub Acute Fast Track Elderly (SAFTE) Care Program. The Interim Report of the Evaluation1 presented the results of the evaluation of the Program from its commencement in March 2006 to August 2006 and concluded that while many elements of the model are working well, the overall model needs refinement if the program’s goals are to be met. This Final Report has repeated the type of analysis included in the Interim Report for the period up until the end of January 2007, and includes additional information based on client and stakeholder feedback and a comprehensive literature review. This evaluation has considered the program’s impact on three levels - consumers (patients, carers), providers (health and community care) and the system (structures and processes, networks, relationships).