KPIs for Australian Public Mental Health Services: PI 10 – Comparative area resources, 2021– (Service level)

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Indicator
Indicator type:Indicator
Short name:MHS PI 10: Comparative area resources, 2021– (Service level)
METeOR identifier:742484
Registration status:Health, Standardisation pending 11/10/2021

Per capita recurrent expenditure by the organisation on mental health services for the target population within the organisation's defined catchment area.

NOTE: There is no jurisdictional level data source available for this indicator, therefore, there is no Jurisdictional level version of this indicator specification.

  • Equity of access to mental health services is, in part, a function of differential level of resources allocated to area populations.
  • Review of comparative resource levels is essential for interpreting overall performance data, for example, an organisation may achieve relatively lower treatment rates because it has relatively less resources available rather than because it uses those resources inefficiently.
  • When used with measures of population under care this indicator may illustrate relative resourcing in terms local mental health service delivery and therefore accessibility by proxy.
Indicator set:Key Performance Indicators for Australian Public Mental Health Services (Service level version) (2021–) Health, Standardisation pending 11/10/2021

Collection and usage attributes

Computation description:


All public mental health service organisations.

Public sector mental health services that provide a cross regional or state-wide specialist function are excluded.


  • Estimates of expenditure for defined populations are based on expenditure reported by the mental health service organisation with specific catchment responsibility for the population, adjusted to remove any cross-regional and state-wide services included in the organisation’s expenditure.
  • Defined populations should match with catchment areas of the mental health service organisations.
  • Recurrent costs include costs directly attributable to the unit(s) plus a proportional share of indirect costs. Cost data for this indicator is based on gross recurrent expenditure as compiled by Health Departments according to the specifications of the Mental health establishments National minimum data set (NMDS). As such, it is subject to the concepts, definitions and costing methodology developed for the NMDS.

Numerator ÷ Denominator

Calculated separately for setting and target population.


Recurrent expenditure on mental health services partitioned by mental health service setting.


Number of consumers who reside in the defined mental health service organisation’s catchment area, partitioned by mental health service setting.


Service variables: target population, service setting.

Consumer attributes: nil.

Representational attributes

Representation class:Count
Data type:Monetary amount
Unit of measure:Currency


Indicator conceptual framework

Framework and dimensions:Accessibility

Accountability attributes


Levels at which the indicator can be useful for benchmarking:

  • mental health service organisation
  • regional group of services
  • state/territory.
Further data development / collection required:

This indicator cannot be constructed using the Mental health establishments NMDS because information about catchment areas is not available for all public mental health service organisations.

There is no proxy solution available. To construct this indicator at a national level requires separate indicator data to be provided individually by states and territories.

Catchment area data for all public mental health service organisations needs to be available to report this indicator from national sources.

Other issues caveats:

This indicator assumes that the expenditure reported by the local mental health service organisation is directed to its catchment population and does not take account of cross border flows. The alternative approach of basing estimates on actual service utilisation by populations is desirable and needs to be explored in the future. Such an approach will require reliable utilisation data and development of cost modelling methodologies.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on behalf of the National Mental Health Performance Subcommittee (NMHPSC)

Reference documents:

National Mental Health Performance Subcommittee (NMHPSC) 2013. Key Performance Indicators for Australian Public Mental Health Services, 3rd edn. Canberra: NMHPSC.

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:

Supersedes KPIs for Australian Public Mental Health Services: PI 10 – Comparative area resources, 2020– (Service level) Health, Standard 13/01/2021