Benalla Health believes that consumer participation is fundamental to ensuring an effective and responsive health service. Furthermore Benalla Health also recognises that consumer participation is essential to providing information for improvements in individual health outcomes and health service delivery.
Consumers can provide unique and valuable insights into health care due to their own experiences of using the health system as a patient, client or carer and as members of a community. Many consumers understand what is happening within their community and what they might value.
From Benalla Health’s point of view, the participation and feedback from consumers, carers and the community is particularly important to understand:
- Are we meeting consumer needs?, and;
- Can we do things better?
Consumer Participation Plan, 2016-2020
To download a copy of the plan, click here
Supporting a healthy community.
The purpose of Benalla Health is to facilitate a healthy and resilient community through the provision of integrated, lifelong healthcare services.
Why do we have a Consumer Participation Plan?
Benalla Health’s Consumer Participation Plan outlines how Benalla Health will engage with consumers, carers and the community to help shape health services whilst keeping the community involved and informed.
There are three levels at which people want to be engaged with Benalla Health:
- Information - one way communication from Benalla Health to target groups and the broader community. The information desired is service availability, accessibility, costs and ‘what is happening’ updates.
- Feedback on current services and making them more appropriate and better for users. This includes specific input on levels of service, what is provided and when, how well it is provided, satisfaction, quality and new ideas. (Involvement can be at the individual level where people participate in making decisions affecting them; at the program level and at the organisational level).
- Collaboration and involvement in future service planning.
Benalla Health aims to increase active engagement and participation from consumers, carers and community members to:
- Improve the quality of health care and health outcomes for consumers;
- Ensure that current services are meeting consumer needs, and will be designed with consumers to meet future needs and
- Provide information and feedback for improving services and service delivery.
Specifically, through better engagement and participation of consumers, carers and the community, Benalla Health intends to:
- Use consumer and carer experience and feedback to improve services;
- Continue to create consumer and carer friendly access to services;
- Improve communication between all stakeholders;
- Design future services to meet the needs and preferences of the community, from the planning stage through to evaluation and monitoring;
- Engage people and design services that are responsive to diverse groups;
- Establish links with community organisations, and partner with other health and community service organisations to deliver seamless and integrated services where possible and
- Obtain feedback on system level issues regarding consumer and carer feedback and complaints.
- Ensure that the continual practice of consumer participation in all facets of service provision at Benalla Health is part of the cultural norm, with systems and processes in place to support participation.
- Improve upon the existing practices of consumer participation at Benalla Health so that consumers enjoy increased opportunities to contribute, and know how their input has made a difference.
- Build the capacity of people to be more fully involved in participation with Benalla Health inclusive of:
- individual consumers and carers;
- board members and committee members and
- volunteers and staff.
The actions contained within this Plan, cover four areas that will assist with achieving the stated aims and objectives:
- Clinical governance and quality improvement systems to support partnering with consumers
- Partnering with Consumers in their own care.
- Health Literacy
- Partnering with Consumers in Organisational Design
Strategies and Actions
Strategy One: Clinical Governance and Quality Improvement Systems to Support Partnering with Consumers
Systems are designed and used to support patients, carers, families and consumers to be partners in healthcare planning, design, measurement and evaluation.
Strategy Two: Partnering with Consumers in their own care
Systems that are based on partnering with patients in their own care are used to support the delivery of care. Patients are partners in their own care to the extent that they choose.
Strategy Three: Health Literacy
Health service organisations communicate with patients in a way that supports effective partnerships.
Strategy Four: Partnering with consumers in organisational design
Consumers are partners in the design and governance of the organisation.