Workshop helps build capacity of consumers 

In April, Brisbane North PHN and Metro North Hospital and Health Service facilitated a joint consumer-led training workshop. The 24 participants were from the organisations’ consumer networks and included a mix of new and experienced consumers with wide-ranging experiences across the health sector.

The workshop consisted of facilitated discussions on: 

  • participating effectively as a consumer
  • sharing your story and the stories from your network
  • influencing decisions, including at a strategic level
  • taking care of yourself while being involved as a consumer representative.

Experienced consumers were able to share their experiences and learnings with the newer consumer representatives. A representative from Health Consumers Queensland was also there to provide support to the discussions. 

Executives from both the PHN and Metro North Hospital and Health Service were on hand to speak to the importance of consumer engagement within their organisations. The PHN believes that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision making process and that consumer involvement in all stages of the commissioning cycle (the planning, design, delivery and evaluation), not only improves healthcare services but also outcomes for consumers. 

Reflecting on the workshop, participants told us they found it useful to learn from other consumers, especially the more experienced consumers who have been able to witness the evolution and impact of consumer involvement in healthcare.  Participants also appreciated the opportunity to find support from a diverse group of consumers with similar motivations.