Why do health and community organisations involve consumers?
- to meet accreditation requirements
- to enhance the quality, safety and effectiveness of organisations
- to understand the community’s diverse cultures and particular needs
- to provide appropriate and responsive healthcare.
Consumers bring a unique perspective to organisations by representing the views of a particular organisation or of a particular population. Consumers can draw upon their own experience of many things:
- a health condition they are affected by
- their experience of using a health service
- their experience as a carer, family member or friend of a health service consumer
- their participation within their local community.
Consumers working on health service committees contribute to improving health outcomes for their entire community. Their work and leadership is all about bringing positive change to a health service.
The role of consumers on committees is to:
- present the consumer perspective (how consumers think and feel)
- contribute consumer experiences
- ensure consumer concerns are recognised and addressed
- provide feedback to the committee on issues affecting consumers
- ensure accountability to consumers
- report committee activities to consumers (if appropriate).