People have the right and duty to participate individually and collectively in the planning and implementation of their health care. Declaration of Alma-Ata, World Health Organisation, 1978
What is consumer engagement?
Consumer Engagement (sometimes called participation) is about involving consumers in decision-making. Be it decisions at an individual level – around people’s own health, treatments and illness-management (consumer centred care) or at health service level – around policy development, service design, delivery and evaluation.
Why is consumer engagement important?
- Ethics and democracy – participating in decisions that impact on people’s own health is an ethical and democratic right
- Improved health outcomes – engagement improves health outcomes for both individual and policy outcomes (CCE – Consumer and Community Engagement, provides policy makers with a users’ perspective)
- Improved service delivery – engagement ensures health services are delivered effectively and closely targeted to people’s needs
- Improved relationships – with health consumers, other services and the broader community
- Accreditation and Legal Requirements – such as the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards, Standard 2: Partnering with Consumers.