Friday, February 7, 2014

Speech at the ACT Health Consumer Representatives Thank You Celebration

I’d like to acknowledge the Ngnunnawal people on whose land we are meeting today and pay my respects to their elders past and present
I’m really pleased to be here today as HCCA President on this important occasion where consumer and carer representatives are recognised and acknowledged for their significant contribution to the ongoing quality and safety of health services in the ACT. Most are volunteers who bring a great deal of  experiential knowledge about their own and their families’ engagement with, and care in, a broad range of services from community based care, to primary and acute care settings. They contribute to all the other expert knowledge around the many tables where decision making processes about health services policy, planning and implementation are undertaken.
The range of representational activity contributed by consumer representatives is impressive indeed. From a HCCA perspective, this year we provided and supported more than fifty active representatives who worked with over 120 committees.
The ongoing commitment of the ACT Government to the implementation of the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards is providing enhanced opportunities for consumers to continue to work closely with the ACT Health Directorate in improving the quality, safety and effectiveness of healthcare in the ACT. Health services are now required to be more focused on the needs and experiences of consumers and their families in achieving good health outcomes and patient centred health care more broadly. 
This is very much in line with a key principle of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare which states that:
Patient or consumer centred care is increasingly being recognised as a dimension of high quality health care in its own right, and there is strong evidence that a patient centred focus can lead to improvements in health care quality and outcomes by increasing safety, cost effectiveness and patient, family and staff satisfaction. (http://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/our-work/patient-and-consumer-centred-care/)
The HCCA is committed to responsive, informed and accountable consumer engagement and participation across the health system,
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 us all including the ACT Government and the ACT community.
We look forward to another busy and productive year ahead.

Sue Andrews

20 November 2013

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