At Mercy Health, we have a longstanding commitment to engaging with communities, patients, residents, clients, carers, friends and families. These people are known as ‘consumers’.
We partner with consumers to guide the planning, delivery and evaluation of the care and services we provide. This helps us create the best possible experience for each individual, ensures that we deliver safe, collaborative and responsive services and that we understand and meet the needs of the people we care for.
Who are our consumers, carers and the community?
Consumers can be defined as people who are interested in the development of accessible, effective and efficient health and aged care services that best meet their needs. It can include service users, carers, residents, patients, clients, community members and community groups.
How does Mercy Health engage with consumers and the community?
We partner with consumers through:
- appointing consumer advisors to our key committees (including our Board Quality Committee and Health Services Clinical Governance Committee)
- our Health Services Community Advisory Groups (CAGs), in which consumers and community members come together to advise our services on the priorities, expectations and needs of the local community
- our Community Advisory Committee (CAC), which is our overarching advisory committee made up of consumers and community members who guide Mercy Health’s engagement and partnership approach
- inviting users of our service to provide feedback on their experience through formal mechanisms (complaints, compliments and suggestions), by completing surveys, or sharing their stories
- developing information materials (posters, handouts, leaflets or reports) in collaboration with patients, residents, clients, carers and consumer advisors
- sharing information about our quality and safety performance
- seeking input from consumers and our community on projects, planning and changes that will impact those for whom we care.
What is a consumer advisor?
Mercy Health maintains a Consumer Advisor Register of people who partner with us in various ways.
Consumer advisors have either had direct or indirect experience of Mercy Health’s care or services, or they are part of our local community and want to make a difference to our health services, residential aged care or home and community care services. We welcome consumer advisors of all ages from diverse backgrounds, cultures and religions, people from the LGBTIQ communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and people with a variety of experiences.
Consumer advisors can choose how they participate, depending on their interests and the time they have available. Participation may be face-to-face, over the phone or online.
Consumer advisors provide a perspective from those on the receiving end of our care and services. As such, current Mercy Health staff are not eligible to apply.
What do consumer advisors do?
Consumer advisors are involved in many different ways at Mercy Health. Consumer advisors may:
- provide us with feedback on consumer information, such as leaflets, brochures and posters
- participate in a survey, workshop, focus group or community consultation
- join one of our Community Advisory Groups
- join our Community Advisory Committee
- become a member of a project or special interest working group or committee.
Consumer advisors participate on a voluntary basis, with the exception of those who work with our Mental Health Program. Mercy Health may also reimburse consumer advisors for costs associated with their participation (such as travel expenses or printing) depending on the arrangement.
How does the Consumer Advisor Register work?
The people on our Consumer Advisor Register receive invitations to participate in a range of activities with Mercy Health. Members can choose to decline or accept these opportunities.
Consumer advisors who have accepted a role on one of our committees make a commitment to attending the meetings at the relevant site and also reviewing committee papers before and after the meetings as required.
Personal details are held by the Consumer Participation and Engagement team that manages the register. Details are not shared with other staff or consumer advisors without permission.
To keep our consumer advisors up to date with what is happening at Mercy Health, we send regular communications such as copies of our newsletters and annual reports.
Consumer advisors can ask to be removed from the Consumer Advisor Register at any time by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 03 8416 7872.
For further information or to apply:
Contact our Consumer Participation and Experience team:
- by email: email@example.com
- by phone: 03 8416 7872
- by post: Level 2, 12 Shelley Street, Richmond Vic 3121.
You can also complete a Consumer Advisor Registration Form. Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to our Consumer Participation and Experience team at Level 2, 12 Shelley Street, Richmond Vic 3121.
Last reviewed June 13, 2018.