Local residents are being asked to consider becoming a health consumer representative to contribute to healthcare planning, delivery and review of services at Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service.
WBHHS Chair Peta Jamieson and Chief Executive Debbie Carroll said having consumers help with health service planning and decision-making resulted in better health care services for everyone.
“Consumer involvement helps to balance the views of our healthcare professionals, which enables us to provide health services that truly reflect the needs of our community,” Ms Jamieson and Ms Carroll said.
“It allows members of the community who have that broader community perspective to step into the health system and suggest important changes across a multitude of areas.
“We want and need to see beyond the clinical view to make sure that people in the community have a better experience each and every time they present to our facilities for care.
“We encourage community members to actively engage with our health service or become a consumer representative as it’s an opportunity to assist us in delivering the best possible care to our communities.”
WBHHS Manager Consumer and Community Engagement Moya Zunker said there were multiple consumer representative opportunities with WBHHS.
“We have a Consumer Partnership Group that consists of consumers that have direct and indirect experience with our health service as a patient, client, carer, family member or friend,” Ms Zunker said.
“We also have 11 Community Reference Groups made up of consumers that represent the interests of our Gayndah, Mundubbera, Monto, Biggenden, Mount Perry, Eidsvold, Childers, Discovery Coast, Bundaberg, Fraser Coast and Gin Gin communities.
“We’re eager to hear from community members of all ages and backgrounds, especially former patients, carers and those who are, or have been, active in the health sector.
“We ask that people have a collaborative attitude and an ability to articulate a diverse consumer perspective and think outside the box.
“We’re looking for people who are able to meet monthly or every two months, attend meetings virtually using your computer or mobile phone, volunteer an hour or two of your time to give feedback and provide an objective patient/consumer view on hospital and health matters.
“Some roles are also formal health consumer representative positions, which means you will go through an application and selection process and if successful, be offered the ability to claim reasonable out of pocket expenses and a formal committee participation fee while in the role.”
WBHHS consumer representative an educational role
WBHHS Consumer Partnership Group member, Wendy Davies, who also forms part of our Gin Gin Consumer Reference Group (CRG) said joining as a consumer had been interesting and educational.
“I was initially invited to be a guest at a Gin Gin CRG meeting, where local residents and WBHHS staff discussed ideas on how to best serve our community,” Ms Davies said.
“The meeting was informative, so I joined, eventually becoming a member of two consumer groups which together require a few hours of my time each month.
“During these meetings with WBHHS staff, I’ve learned a great deal about the service and how we, as consumers, can provide relevant and worthwhile input into the decisions and direction of our health
“As Wide Bay residents, we are all stakeholders in our health system so, if you have a little time to spare each month, please consider joining us.
“Together we can continue to have input into this vital service.”
To speak to someone about becoming a WBHHS consumer representative or simply find out how you can provide feedback from time to time, contact our Consumer and Community Engagement team on 4303 8858 or email WBHHS.Consumer@health.qld.gov.au.
For more information visit www.health.qld.gov.au/widebay/contact-us/consumer-engagement.
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