Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide
Consumer Engagement - Consumer Information (Questions and Answers)

Consumer and Community Engagement

Consumer Information (Questions and Answers)

What is the role of the Director, Consumer and Community Engagement?

The Director, Consumer and Community Engagement position was established to develop and implement the Women's and Children's Health Network's 2015 – 2018 Community and Consumer strategy. An integral part of the Director's role is to work towards achieving excellence against the Australian Council on Health Care Standards, specifically PDF iconStandard 2 – Partnering with Consumers (PDF - 1mb). The intention of the standard is to create a health service that is responsive to consumer input and needs. The standard provides the framework for active partnership between consumers and the health organisation. It is also the director's responsibility to ensure that consumers are appropriately supported and resourced to maximise opportunities for meaningful participation. This may involve organising interpreter services, assistance with transport, and reimbursement of expenses (where relevant) or meeting preparation.

How can I contact the Director, Consumer and Community Engagement?

If you would like to contact the Director, Consumer and Community Engagement, please call 8161 6935 or email.

What is a consumer representative?

Consumer representatives have a formal role within the Women's and Children's Health Network to provide expert opinion and advice from the perspective of having lived experience as a consumer or carer. Consumer representatives are selected by interview and the WCHN recognise their role through reimbursement in accordance with relevant SA Health policies for consumer engagement. Consumer representatives help identify areas that need further work, help initiate this work and act as conduits for receiving and sharing health information.

Do I need experience to be a Consumer Representative?

Consumer Representative work values the power, knowledge and position that originates from having lived experience partnering with the Women's and Children's Health Service.

How old to I need to be?

Any person young or old can be a Consumer Representative. There are many ways that a Consumer Representative can be involved and the unit ensures that ways of engaging are developmentally appropriate.

Do I get paid?

Payment is made in the form of sitting fees for attending committee meetings. Reimbursement is available for certain other expenses such as travel and parking.

For more information see SA Health Sitting Fees Policy for Non-Employees (PDF - 149kb). And visit the Consumer and community engagement page on the SA Health website.

Where an individual is already receiving a salary or funds and the committee/workgroup activity is consistent with their employment then no offer of sitting fees/reimbursement would be made. Sitting Fees/reimbursement is appropriate for situations where an individual is making a significant contribution outside of their employment role or sponsored activities on behalf of an agency. Sitting fees/reimbursement is generally for significant contributions. Significant contribution usually involves an ongoing involvement, however short term contributions that provide knowledge, expertise and access to stakeholders not generally available to SA Health staff needs to be considered.

What are my rights and responsibilities as a consumer?

It is important that you are fully informed about any care you receive through the WCHN. To find out more, cgo to our page on 'Consumer Rights':

WCH page link iconConsumer Rights

How do I find information about quality of care for patients or consumers of the WCHN?

By clicking on this link you will find information about quality of care initiatives:

WCH page link iconQuality Health Care

What is health literacy?

To be 'informed' means patients and consumers need to be able to understand what doctors, nurses and allied health professionals are saying.

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care separates health literacy into two components: individual health literacy and the health literacy environment. The Commission defines these two health literacy components as follows:

  1. Individual health literacy is the skills, knowledge, motivation and capacity of a person to access, understand, appraise and apply information to make effective decisions about health and health care and take appropriate action.
  2. Health literacy environment is the infrastructure, policies, processes, materials, people and relationships that make up the health system and have an impact on the way that people access, understand, appraise and apply health related information and services.

Consumers have the right to have all medical information exchanged or communicated to them, so they understand.

What if I want to learn what is happening at the SA Health Level?

Click the following link to find out more about consumer engagement in SA Health and other Local Health Networks:

Link iconPartnering with consumers and the community (SA Health site)

last modified: 08 Feb 2021