Get involved at the system level for better consumer-centred care
Are you motivated to make a difference to health care at a regional or state level? Maybe you already have some experience in giving feedback to a health service or advocating for better management of a specific condition and would like to do more to improve health care.
There are opportunities for health consumers to get involved at ‘the system level’ (beyond single facilities) to provide the consumer voice in health service design, policy development and other health decision making.
These opportunities may involve participating in one or more events or applying for and taking up an ongoing role (for example as a consumer on a committee).
How to find health consumer roles that are making a difference to health care at a system level
Join HCNSW and indicate your interest in becoming a consumer representative
By joining Health Consumers NSW as an individual member you will be able stay up to date with a range of resources and opportunities including:
- Hearing about and volunteering for health consumer roles across NSW as they arise
- Learning more about health consumer work through seminars, face-to-face training and webinars
- Staying informed via email alerts and newsletters
- Sharing your views directly through conversations or activities hosted by Health Consumers NSW.
Contact the health networks in your area about opportunities to make a difference
Wherever you live in Australia there are two main health networks that operate in your region to coordinate health care services.
- Primary Health Networks or PHNs are funded by the Commonwealth Government and they work across all areas of health to improve health outcomes for patients, as well as improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the system. Ten Primary Health Networks were established across NSW on 1 July 2015 to take over from Medicare Locals. Every PHN is required to form a Community Advisory Committee to bring the community perspective to the organisation’s decision making. At this early stage we recommend that you contact the Primary Health Network in your area to register your interest in being a consumer representative. As these networks develop their engagement strategies we hope to be able to provide more information here in the future.
- Local Health Districts or LHDs are hospital networks that are funded by state governments. There are 15 Local Health Districts in NSW and these operate public hospitals, clinics and community health services. Every LHD is required to involve health consumers in decision making in various ways.
Community Engagement within LHDs
Every LHD has a dedicated Community Engagement Manager (or equivalent) who is responsible for engaging consumers and working with them to help shape processes and policies.
If you wish to register your interest in being involved as a consumer representative within your closest LHD or to find out more about the way they engage with consumers, HCNSW has prepared a list of Local Health Districts below to help you get directly in touch with the Consumer Engagement contact. Also included in this list are contacts for other specific networks such as Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network.
Click on the LHD name to be directed to their Community Engagement webpage (or equivalent) for more information about the LHD.
Refer below this list for information from the Consumer’s Forum of Australia (CHF) on how to become a consumers representative, plus a link to the next section of our Consumers Toolkit: “Working together to change the system“.
LHD Community Engagement Contacts
Ralph Forbes – Manager, Consumer Community Participation Ralph.Forbes@health.nsw.gov.au 02 9462 9778 / 0476 836 699
Franca Coniglio – Engagement Manager – Mental Health Drug & Alcohol Francesca.Coniglio@health.nsw.gov.au 02 9887 5692
Coralie Wales – Manager, Community and Consumer Engagement Coralie.Wales@health.nsw.gov.au 02 8838 6378 / 0418 186 829
Amanda Justice – Community Partnerships Coordinator Amanda.Justice@health.nsw.gov.au 02 9332 9725 / 0427 110 487
Lynda Johnston – Manager, Consumer and Community Participation Unit firstname.lastname@example.org 02 9828 5783 / 0408 969 127
Jessica Crause – Manager, Community and Consumer Participation email@example.com 02 9515 9622 / 0467 762 203
Joel Penson – Consumer Engagement & Safety Officer firstname.lastname@example.org 02 4734 2488
Rhonda Power – Acting Complaints Manager email@example.com 02 4320 3920
Murray Spriggs – Manager, Community and Clinical Engagement firstname.lastname@example.org 0438 882 817
Helen Byrnes – Program Manager, Patient and Family Centred Care MNCLHDCommunityEngagement@ncahs.health.nsw.gov.au
Frances Holz – Strategic Relations & Communication (Consumer Engagement) email@example.com 02 4921 4924 / 0407 547 579
Illona Dunn – Manager, Community Engagement Illona.Dunn@health.nsw.gov.au 02 6378 6274
Darriea Turley – Manager, Community Engagement firstname.lastname@example.org 08 8080 1511 / 0429 848 480
Setchen Brimson – Marketing & Community Engagement Manager Setchen.Brimson@gsahs.health.nsw.gov.au 02 6933 9176 / 0477 359 764
Renata Sheehan – Manager, Community Engagement email@example.com 0477 322 107
Community Relations Officer ISLHDCommunications@sesiahs.health.gov.au 02 4221 6860 / 0477 743 298
Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network
Lauren McGrath – Network Manager, Consumer Engagement Lauren.McGrath@health.nsw.gov.au 02 9845 3442
Bianca Pratt – Consumer Engagement & Carer Support Officer firstname.lastname@example.org 02 9845 3442
Christine Choy – Consumer Participation Coordinator – St Vincent’s Hospital email@example.com 02 8382 2548
Connect to the national body Consumers Health Forum of Australia
The Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) is the national organisation representing the interests of Australian health consumers. CHF advertises consumer representative roles that require nomination by a consumer organisation. These roles often have a national focus and relate to contributing to policy setting across all areas of health. It is also possible to become an individual member of CHF (with a small annual fee).
Here is what The Consumers Health Forum of Australia says about becoming a consumer representative.
Next: Working together to change the system
or jump to: Becoming a consumer representative