Get involved at the system level for better consumer-centred care

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Get involved at the system level for better consumer-centred care

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Are you motivated to make a difference to health care at a regional or state level? Maybe you already have some experience in giving feedback to a health service or advocating for better management of a specific condition and would like to do more to improve health care.

There are opportunities for health consumers to get involved at ‘the system level’ (beyond single facilities) to provide the consumer voice in health service design, policy development and other health decision making.

These opportunities may involve participating in one or more events or applying for and taking up an ongoing role (for example as a consumer on a committee).

How to find health consumer roles that are making a difference to health care at a system level

Join HCNSW and indicate your interest in becoming a consumer representative

By joining Health Consumers NSW as an individual member you will be able stay up to date with a range of resources and opportunities including:

  • Hearing about and volunteering for health consumer roles across NSW as they arise
  • Learning more about health consumer work through seminars, face-to-face training and webinars
  • Staying informed via email alerts and newsletters
  • Sharing your views directly through conversations or activities hosted by Health Consumers NSW.

Contact the health networks in your area about opportunities to make a difference

Wherever you live in Australia there are two main health networks that operate in your region to coordinate health care services.

  • Primary Health Networks or PHNs are funded by the Commonwealth Government and they work across all areas of health to improve health outcomes for patients, as well as improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the system. Ten Primary Health Networks were established across NSW on 1 July 2015 to take over from Medicare Locals. Every PHN is required to form a Community Advisory Committee to bring the community perspective to the organisation’s decision making. At this early stage we recommend that you contact the Primary Health Network in your area to register your interest in being a consumer representative. As these networks develop their engagement strategies we hope to be able to provide more information here in the future.
  • Local Health Districts or LHDs are hospital networks that are funded by state governments. There are 15 Local Health Districts in NSW and these operate public hospitals, clinics and community health services. Every LHD is required to involve health consumers in decision making in various ways.
Map of NSW

Community Engagement within LHDs

Every LHD has a dedicated Community Engagement Manager (or equivalent) who is responsible for engaging consumers and working with them to help shape processes and policies.

If you wish to register your interest in being involved as a consumer representative within your closest LHD or to find out more about the way they engage with consumers, HCNSW has prepared a list of Local Health Districts below to help you get directly in touch with the Consumer Engagement contact. Also included in this list are contacts for other specific networks such as Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network.

Refer below this list for information from the Consumer’s Forum of Australia (CHF) on how to become a consumers representative.

Click on the LHD name to be directed to their Community Engagement webpage (or equivalent) for more information about the LHD.

LHD Community Engagement Contacts

Northern Sydney LHD

Lauren McGrath  – Community Engagement Facilitator
Lauren.McGrath@health.nsw.gov.au
02 9462 9487

Ralph Forbes – Manager, Consumer Community Participation
Ralph.Forbes@health.nsw.gov.au
02 9462 9778 / 0476 836 699

Franca Coniglio – Engagement Manager – Mental Health Drug & Alcohol
Francesca.Coniglio@health.nsw.gov.au
02 9887 5692

Western Sydney LHD

Coralie Wales – Manager, Community and Consumer Engagement
Coralie.Wales@health.nsw.gov.au
02 8838 6378 / 0418 186 829

South Eastern Sydney LHD

Amanda Justice – Community Partnerships Coordinator
Amanda.Justice@health.nsw.gov.au
02 9332 9725 / 0427 110 487

South Western Sydney LHD

Lynda Johnston – Manager, Consumer and Community Participation Unit
lynda.johnston@sswahs.nsw.gov.au
02 9828 5783 / 0408 969 127

Sydney LHD

Jessica Crause – Manager, Community and Consumer Participation
jessica.crause@sswahs.nsw.gov.au
02 9515 9622 / 0467 762 203

Nepean Blue Mountains LHD

Joel Penson – Consumer Engagement & Safety Officer
joel.penson@health.nsw.gov.au
02 4734 2488

Central Coast LHD

Rhonda Power – Acting Complaints Manager
rhonda.power@health.nsw.gov.au
02 4320 3920

Northern NSW LHD

Murray Spriggs – Manager, Community and Clinical Engagement
murray.spriggs@ncahs.healh.nsw.gov.au
0438 882 817

Mid North Coast LHD

Helen Byrnes – Program Manager, Patient and Family Centred Care
MNCLHDCommunityEngagement@ncahs.health.nsw.gov.au

Hunter New England LHD

Frances Holz – Strategic Relations & Communication (Consumer Engagement)
frances.holz@hnehealth.nsw.gov.au
02 4921 4924 / 0407 547 579

Western NSW

Illona Dunn – Manager, Community Engagement
Illona.Dunn@health.nsw.gov.au
02 6378 6274

Far West LHD

Darriea Turley – Manager, Community Engagement
darriea.turley@health.nsw.gov.au
08 8080 1511 / 0429 848 480

Murrumbidgee LHD

Setchen Brimson – Marketing & Community Engagement Manager
Setchen.Brimson@gsahs.health.nsw.gov.au
02 6933 9176 / 0477 359 764

Southern NSW LHD

Renata Sheehan – Manager, Community Engagement
renata.sheehan@gsahs.health.nsw.gov.au
0477 322 107

Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD

Community Relations Officer
ISLHDCommunications@sesiahs.health.gov.au
02 4221 6860 / 0477 743 298

Other Networks

Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network

Laura Griffin – Network Manager, Consumer Engagement
laura.griffin@health.nsw.gov.au
02 9845 3442

Bianca Pratt – Consumer Engagement & Carer Support Officer
bianca.pratt@health.nsw.gov.au
02 9845 3442

St Vincent’s Health Network

Christine Choy – Consumer Participation Coordinator – St Vincent’s Hospital
christine.choy@svha.org.au
02 8382 2548

Connect to the national body Consumers Health Forum of Australia

The Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) is the national organisation representing the interests of Australian health consumers. CHF advertises consumer representative roles that require nomination by a consumer organisation. These roles often have a national focus and relate to contributing to policy setting across all areas of health. It is also possible to become an individual member of CHF (with a small annual fee).

Here is what The Consumers Health Forum of Australia says about becoming a consumer representative.