Health Consumers NSW recommends that consumers invited to engage with health services, research institutions, or other health entities should be remunerated for their contribution and reimbursed for expenses. At the very least consumers should not be out of pocket for their involvement.
Consumers in health services
The Health Consumers NSW recommended payment rates for health consumers in health services in NSW have been based on the Classification and Remuneration Framework for NSW Government Boards and Committees 2021. Health Consumers NSW has reviewed this rate, with reference to consumer remuneration and policies in other states and at the federal level.
Consumers should be remunerated for every hour and part thereof. The minimum hour of remuneration payable is one (1) hour.
Health Consumers NSW recommends these rates should be increased annually in accordance with the consumer price index Australia (CPI).
Health Consumers NSW recommends the following 2022-23 payment rates for remuneration of health consumer representatives in NSW engaging with health services:
|Level of consumer engagement||Activity||Payment rate|
|Control||Consumer representatives leading or chairing a committee||$60 per hour|
|Consumer involved in presenting training/education programs to health staff||$60 per hour|
|Partner||Consumer representatives on ongoing, regular committees, such as safety and quality committees, consumer advisory committees, councils or Boards or consumers participating in selection panels||$50 per hour|
|Consult||Consumers engaged in less formal ways e.g. focus groups, reviewing patient information brochures.||$40 per hour|
Consumers should also be reimbursed for any costs related to their engagement (such as):
- travel expenses
- printing costs
- respite care
More information, including examples of consumer engagement and good practice, can e found on our Remuneration and reimbursement of health consumers engaged in health services guideline.
Consumers in research
In October 2022, HCNSW released remuneration and reimbursement guidelines for researchers, consumers, and organisations supporting or undertaking research activity that involves consumers and the community in health and medical research in NSW. There are existing pay rates for consumers involved in health services, but none in NSW for health research. They were developed in partnership with Sydney Health Partners and in consultation with health consumers, researchers, and clinicians.
Please download the HCNSW Remuneration and reimbursement guidelines for consumer involvement in health and medical research HERE.
- Payment or reimbursement arrangements need to be in place and explained to consumers prior to the beginning of their participation. This information needs to include the name and contact details of the staff member allocated to this task.
- That all consumers are reimbursed at the same rate for the same tasks and contribution across a health service.
- Some consumers may prefer not to be paid or reimbursed; instead they may request a donation be made to a charity of their choice.
- It may be important for some consumers to receive their reimbursement for travel expenses prior to attending the meeting or activity, such as a cab-charge. It is best to discuss this with them in advance.
- Payment and reimbursement needs to be made promptly. They should not have to follow up with the organisation on their outstanding reimbursement and payment.