Friday, April 27, 2012

Consumer Representative Training - March 2012

group work activity at consumer representatives training
HCCA Training, March 2012












Consumer Representative Training is well underway for 2012. The two-day course run on Friday 23 and 30 March was the first of three training sessions that will be held this year. Training provides an opportunity for health consumers to come along and learn more about Health Care Consumers’ Association (HCCA) and how to become more involved in the health care system. This year some slight modifications have been made to the content and presentation of sessions. Participants at the March training were very positive about the new approach, which is a great starting point as the program continues to develop.

Fifteen people attended March’s training, three of them being new HCCA staff members. All participants came along with an open mind, ready to learn, share and and participate, making it a worthwhile experience for everyone. Across the two days, four modules were covered. The first day began with an introduction to consumer participation and how to be an effective consumer representative. These modules provided a general background about HCCA and explained how the organisation works. The focus then concentrated on consumers themselves and how their participation can help shape the health care system by working alongside health professionals.

The second day covered the third and fourth modules on patient safety issues and the ACT health system. The third module included important information about how to stay safe in the health system and the different options of health care available to everyone in the ACT.   Main messages from the patient safety issues session included questions to ask when seeing a medical professional, the importance of people washing their hands and understanding medicines. This session also included a game of health care bingo, for a bit of fun!

With many new health buildings being constructed under the Health Infrastructure Project (HIP) throughout the Territory, it is exciting to understand what will be available to consumers in the near future. This was the purpose of the fourth module. Although construction sites may be a bit inconvenient for now, the completed projects will provide better services and access for all.

Three Consumer Representative guest speakers provided insight into the role of the Consumer Representative. They shared their stories of how they became Representatives and the influences they have made since. A frequently asked questions session covered the experiences of representatives and painted a picture of what it is like to be involved in committees. On the second day participants received a fact sheet with advice and useful tips on how to be a really effective Consumer Representative. It was a great way to finish what had been two very informative days.

Overall, the feedback received from March’s training was fantastic. Participants enjoyed the sessions and many have since signed up as members of HCCA. Preparation will soon begin for the next training session to be held on Saturday 23 & 30 June. If you would like to find out more about June’s training, please send us an email

Alisha Summerton
Training and Events

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