Patients, families and carers are at the core of what we do at the CEC, and in health care more generally. Our consumer engagement program brings the voice, expertise and experience of patients, families and carers into every aspect of designing, delivering and evaluating our safety programs and initiatives.
How you can contribute
There are many ways to contribute to improving safety and quality in healthcare, even if you don't have any specialist medical or health care knowledge. You can:
- Attend meetings. Meetings are held to monitor, improve and strengthen the CEC programs. They may be monthly or less frequent. Consumers contribute their views, ensuring that programs reflect what matters to patients.
- Provide feedback on documents. It is important that documents, including patient information, produced by the CEC are clear, informative and easily understood by patients, their carers and families. Consumers can elect to be on a mailing list to review new documents and provide comment.
- Be part of a workshop or focus group. Consumer advisors can contribute to one-off groups which explore a range of topics. Recent examples include medication management, health literacy and hand hygiene.
- Tell a personal story at a meeting, workshop or on video. Patient stories are very powerful tools to promote and enable change. Consumers who tell their stories are helped to prepare and are supported through the process.
Our consumer advisors are a diverse range of people, who reflect our NSW community, with an interest in supporting and improving the public health care system. They are members of the public with recent personal experience using NSW public health services, whether as patients, carers or family members. They provide valuable insights and ideas about how to improve the patient experience and outcomes.
We welcome people who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, those from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds, people with disabilities, those of all ages and sexual orientations. Views from a diverse range of people strengthens our approach to safety and quality in health care.
The person centred care team will provide initial and ongoing support for consumer advisors. This support is both formal and informal. As valued members of the CEC team, we commit to providing training and support to consumer advisors so that they fulfil their role thoroughly and knowledgeably.
Some positions at the CEC will be time limited and others will not. This depends on the role and will be discussed when you apply.
The CEC commits to reimbursing any expenses reasonably incurred while carrying out your role as a consumer advisor, including travel and meals. There are currently no paid roles for consumer advisors in this organisation.
Examples of consumer engagement at the CEC
John attended a meeting with clinical staff and managers to discuss ways of improving communication and teamwork in hospitals.
Kelly talked about her health care experience at the Patient Experience Forum. She had many suggestions about ways to improve the system.
Brian, Helen and Mary reviewed a patient information flyer about a particular medication to ensure that it could be understood by a patient, their family and carer.