Partnering with patients, carers and families

It is the things that speak to people as human beings that have the greatest impact in healthcare – communicate clearly, treat others with respect and elevate the capacity to work together.

At the CEC we value the inclusion of diverse voices and perspectives in problem solving and decision making to continuously improve the safety and quality of the NSW healthcare system. Our aim is to build and strengthen connections and relationships between the people who use our health system and those who work within it and seek to understand what matters to all involved. Our People Partners have a 'PhD' in lived experience, equivalent to the best health professional judgement and can contribute their perspective and insights objectively, informed by their personal story and experiences of the health system.

Our CEC People Partners share many common attributes including:

  • A genuine commitment to contribute to safe, quality, person centred health care
  • Confidence to speak openly and honestly in a group, and an ability to listen with an open mind to different perspectives
  • Ability to consider issues strategically by drawing on personal health care experiences, and those of their families and friends
  • Ability to use personal healthcare experiences to explore, understand and problem-solve.

The CEC's Partnering with People Panel aims to provide a platform for the voices of patients, families and carers from diverse backgrounds with varying experiences of the health system. The Partnering with People for Safety and Quality Lead will assist CEC staff to engage consumers with the most appropriate attributes required and will facilitate the establishment of a working relationship with solid governance for all involved.

The benefit of collaborative partnerships

The delivery of safe, quality, person centred care is fundamentally grounded in human beings caring for other human beings. Healthcare was originally built as a transactional business of care delivered by providers to patients, but the importance of establishing and nurturing quality relationships was often undervalued and consigned to something nice to do when time allows. Health care providers now have a litany of evidence to support the idea that safety can no longer be managed through a transactional approach.

National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards

The NSQHS Standards describe the level of care that should be provided by health services organisations and the systems that are needed to deliver such care. Standard 2, Partnering with Consumers, aims to ensure that "consumers are partners in the design, delivery and evaluation of healthcare systems and services". Standards 3 to 8 have actions requiring partnering with consumers. The CEC is an organisation that goes beyond espousing Standard 2 to role modelling collaborative relationships as part of the culture of the organisation itself. We see ourselves and acknowledge those we serve as humans, as people, first.

Our history is one of partnership and collaboration. One of our core strategic priorities for 2018-2021 is to empower patients, families and carers by listening to and respecting their voice and expertise. Our aims include fostering a more consistent approach to seek, listen to and respect the voices of our people; exploring partnerships with patients, carers and families; and improving our capacity for co-design and collaboration in order to improve patient safety. Engaging with health care consumers brings a different and valuable perspective to our work.

ACI Resources

Explore ways to ensure consumers feel empowered as equal partners.