To represent the interests of consumers and bring an inpatient and ambulatory consumer and family perspective to development of Counties Manukau Health plans, policies, publications and operational decisions and to raise issues that are being identified in the community.
With regards to involving this group in your next project, programme or strategy, please click here [PDF, 324 KB] for guidance on working with the council.
Click here [PDF, 216 KB] for Terms of reference.
If you have any questions, please either email Debi Higson or phone 021 661 407.
The Consumer Council meets formally on a monthly basis,second Thursday of each month bu are available to provide guidance at other times upon mutual agreement.
We approached the Consumer Council to support us on the Improving End of Life Care Project in mid 2015. We felt it was important to have consumer input as this is a difficult time for patients and their whaanau, and we felt that they could ensure we were meeting everyone’s needs. After a warm reception at the Consumer Council meeting our invitation was extended to invite members to indicate their interest in joining either the Working Group or Project Board.
This process took a bit longer than we had hoped however it was worth waiting! We were informed that four members had put their names forward and we were provided with their background and contact details. After discussing their interest and experience with each of them, three were selected – one for the Project Board, and two for the Working Group. We had not expected two members to join the Working Group however as the project has been in a busy period and meeting more frequently, having two members has allowed one or both to attend as they are available.
The project had been operating for several months when the consumers joined us and we provided them with background information and pre reading to bring them up to speed. While this is a clinical project we were determined that it would not be a tick box exercise to have consumers on board and that we would invite full and active participation from them. The benefits of having consumer voices have been significant. Throughout our work together we have kept bringing ourselves back to the essence of the project which is that the patient and their family/whaanau’s perspective of their end of life care is the determinant of success. The consumer members have been very quickly able to tell us what will and won’t work and given us guidance along the way. It has been a good reminder in our clinical discussions to remember the patient, and that is the voice that the consumers provide us with.
“The Consumer council was extremely valuable in our agreement towards gaining approval from Health and Disability Ethics Committee (HDEC) for the deferred consent study protocol”- Clinical Nurse Specialist.“A Balanced spread of consumer perspective that would be challenging to manage through numerous channels”- Master Planner.“We consider equity and diversity when providing feedback to CM Health, normalising involving patient and whaanau experience into all projects from an early stage.” -Council Member.