Consumer and Community Engagement
Working with our consumers and carers is our number one priority. It starts at the bedside or the treatment office or counselling room; but also extends to the decisions around policy, procedure and process. In the Women's and Children's Health Network (WCHN) we believe in the philosophy "nothing about consumers, without consumers".
The WCHN will provide all children, adolescents, women and their families with the best possible care that is based on patient-centred principles. To ensure that care is the best, we involve consumers into our workforce and decision-making processes.
Welcome to Consumer and Community Engagement in the Network
The following 50 page guide is your introduction to working as a Consumer Representative and using your expertise through lived experience to shape and make decisions with us. If you are serious about coming on board or just curious about what it involves, this guide will help answer all your questions. Check out page 48 for items that you can check off before coming on board. If you any questions, you can also contact the Director, Consumer and Community Engagement.
What is Consumer and Community Engagement?
WCHN Aboriginal Consumer and Community Engagement
We partner strongly with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. On average 5% of the consumer feedback on experience comes from people who identify from an Aboriginal background. Aboriginal people experience more life risk factors, poorer health and less acceptable outcomes in a range of life areas when compared to other South Australians. As a result, Aboriginal people are among the most disadvantaged population groups in the community, and in our healthwork we take partnering seriously with the community to ensure we are addressing the health inequities, in collboration.
Public Participation in the Network
All public engagement is coordinated through the Consumer and Community Engagement Unit. The Unit is managed by the Director of Consumer and Community Engagement who holds Australia's first Public Certificate in Health Consumer and Community Engagement issued by the University of South Australia. All engagement begins with knowing why the Network wants to engage with the public and being clear at the beginning how feedback, ideas and suggestions will be used to influence change. Public participation upholds the highest levels of health literacy, adapting communication approaches to meet our target audience. Our approach to decision making occurs when literature, staff experience and experiences from members of our public are equally considered.
last modified: 15 Aug 2018