Friday, February 15, 2013

ACT Health Directorate recognises the role of consumer representativse

The ACT Health Directorate held an event yesterday to thank consumer representatives for our contribution to improving the quality and safety of health services.
Adele Stevens speaking at the Consumer
Representatives  Thank you event at the
Canberra Hospital

Dr Peggy Brown, Director General of the Health Directorate, spoke about the vital role consumer representatives play and the unique perspective we bring to the health care system.

Dr Adele Stevens, HCCA Vice President and one our our experienced consumer representatives also shared her experiences at how consumers can contribute to  improving quality and safety of health care.

Dr Sue Andrews, HCCA President, also spoke and below is a copy of her speech.
I’m really pleased to be here today as HCCA President - and also a consumer representative – on this occasion to recognise and celebrate the very important core business of our organisation – the Consumer Representatives Program - and the people who contribute to its success here in the ACT – the consumer representatives themselves, all volunteers who bring a great deal of experience and wisdom to their role.
HCCA President, Sue Andrews

The HCCA is committed to responsive, informed and accountable consumer engagement and participation across the health system, including health service provision, policy development, services planning, and accreditation processes.

The external review of the CRP undertaken in August last year indicated just what a good job we are doing, and also provided valuable feedback on where improvements could be made. The Consumer Representatives Program was highly regarded by the majority of respondents to the survey and by the vast majority of people spoken to during the review. Both the stakeholders and the consumer representatives agreed that the CRP is having a positive role in the health system.

HCCA consistently delivers well above what we are funded to provide, and the demand for consumer representatives and community consultation continues to increase. Last year more than 60 active consumer representatives provided input into the work of over 100 committees. But consumer participation also encompasses much more than having representatives on committees. While this continues to be a very visible and effective method of engagement, we are also developing different models of consumer participation, and our role in the development of consumer and community consultation on health policy is also becoming an increasingly important part of our work.

I think it is also good to remind ourselves that we are all consumers of health services no matter what “hat” we wear in any particular moment in our work and community lives – whether it is as a patient, carer, support person or a parent. And our experiences of the health system are informed by our age, gender, sexuality, cultural or religious backgrounds, our different physical abilities or our emotional and mental health – or any combination of the above!

So with our shared knowledge and experience it is important that as consumers we continue to work together to ensure that genuine, effective consumer participation is part of a consumer centred health care system. Successful consumer representation benefits not only our organisation, but the ACT Government and the ACT community.

We look forward to another busy and positive year ahead.

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