Remuneration and reimbursement for consumers in research
New HCNSW guidelines
As the peak body and voice for all health consumer representatives in our Statewide network, we have long advocated for remuneration and reimbursement of health consumers in representative roles.
We strongly recommend that consumers invited to engage or be involved with health services, research institutions, or other health entities should be remunerated for their contribution and reimbursed for expenses.
“Most of the people in our health consumer ‘rep’ network are driven by the wish to make health experiences better for all and are happy to share their wisdom and lived experience freely,” says Tara Lee, HCNSW Consumer Engagement Manager – Health Services. “But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be recognised and remunerated for the knowledge and skills they bring to the table. At the very least consumers should not be out of pocket for their involvement.”
“While there are existing pay rates for consumers involved in health services, there are none in NSW for consumers involved in health research,” adds Carrie Hayter, HCNSW Consumer Engagement Manager Health and Medical Research. “The guidelines were developed in partnership with Sydney Health Partners and in consultation with health consumers, researchers, and clinicians.”
Explicitly valuing the contribution of consumers to health and medical research through remuneration and reimbursement is good practice and reflects the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Consumers Health Forum (CHF) of Australia Statement on Consumer and Community Involvement in Health and Medical Research.
The guidelines recognise that there is a spectrum of involvement of consumers and the community in health and medical research, ranging from inform, consult, advise, to leading the research and provide practical examples of remuneration or reimbursement for consumers.