The Victorian Government has a policy on consumer, carer and community participation in the Victorian healthcare system.
Consumer, carer and community participation
The Department of Health & Human Services supports a range of initiatives that promote and support consumer involvement in:
- Decision making about their own treatment and care
- service development and quality improvement
- health policy developments.
The department has developed the Doing it with us not for us policy. This includes a number of participation performance standards and indicators for health services accommodating a range of measurement tools and reporting mechanisms.
- Doing it with us not for us: Strategic direction 2010-13 is the Victorian Government’s policy on consumer, carer and community participation in the healthcare system. Since the policy’s launch in 2006, its success has been well documented in health services’ quality of care reports to their communities. Participation remains highly valued as: an aid to improve health outcomes and the quality of healthcare; an important democratic right; and an accountability mechanism.
- A of the Doing it with us not for us: Strategic direction 2010-13 along with the Cultural responsiveness framework: Guidelines for Victorian health services was completed in 2014. This includes four reports that look at the impact of these participation policies and activities across the Department of Health and Human Services.
- The Background report on participation standards and indicators provides recommended consumer, carer and community participation standards and associated indicators. A number of sub-measures are included to guide health services in achieving the relevant standard. The Health Issues Centre developed this suite of standards in collaboration with a project reference group.
Consumer participation and information program
There are also a number of independent organisations that play a part in forging partnerships between health services and health consumers. These include the following.
The was set up in 1983 to be the consumer voice in health for Victorians and fosters meaningful partnerships between consumers of health services and the Victorian health sector. The centre provides training and support to health services and health-related organisations. It seeks to influence government health policy by providing a health consumer perspective for improvements to the health system.
is a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers and people interested in health. Its contributors and groups are based all around the world and the majority of its work is carried out online. Cochrane’s vision is a world of improved health where decisions about health and healthcare are informed by high-quality, relevant and up-to-date synthesised research evidence.
Where to find consumers carers and community members
- : A guide to sourcing consumer, carer and community members for collaborative health service improvement. The purpose of this guide is to assist health services to involve consumers to participate in collaborative quality and safety activities for health service improvement. The guide is essentially a listing of consumer organisations that are interested in working with health services to improve the quality and safety of healthcare.
Consumer participation in the department
Consumers, carers and community members considering joining a Department of Health & Human Services committee or participating in a consultation should read and consider the information provided in the frequently asked questions (FAQ) sheet.
Department of Health & Human Services staff use the Consumer request form to request a consumer, carer or community member from the Health Issues Centre’s Consumers Step Up Program to join a departmental committee or to participate in a consultation.
Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights
The Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights in Victoria describes the rights of patients, consumers and other people using the Australian healthcare system. These rights are essential to make sure that, wherever and whenever healthcare is provided, it is of high quality and is safe.
The Victorian Government has developed a participation policy called Doing it with us not for us to involve consumers, carers and community members in health policy and planning for the state’s public health services. The Participation Advisory Committee was established to assist this process and ad...
The department is engaged in multiple health literacy and information initiatives to reduce barriers and to improve the health outcomes of all Victorians and specific population groups who experience health inequalities.
How to make a complaint about a health service provider
Complaints about health service providers can be made on the basis of failing to provide satisfactory care, lack of information, negligence or other issues. Approach the health provider first to discuss any concerns. The HealthComplaints Commissioner is available when issues cannot be resolved at ...
Victorian quality account
The annual quality account ensures accountability of health services, promotes system changes and continuous improvement, and provides consumers with information. There are guidelines for presentation and content of the report. Quality performance indicators on each of the minimum reporting requirem...
Reviewed 08 September 2015