The Victorian Government is committed to involving people in decision making about health services. Participation in health is an essential principle of health development, clinical governance, community capacity building and the development of social capital.
Participation is valued because it is:
- an aid to improve health outcomes and the quality of healthcare
- an important democratic right
- a mechanism to ensure accountability.
Participation occurs when consumers, carers and community members are meaningfully involved in decision making about health policy and planning, care and treatment, and the wellbeing of themselves and the community. It is about having consumers having their say, thinking about why they believe in their views and listening to the views and ideas of others. In working together, health policy decisions will include a range of perspectives.
The Victorian Government developed the Doing it with us not for us policy, which put into practice the its commitment of encouraging and involving Victorians in decision making about public healthcare services.
The policy aimed for consumers, carers and community members to participate with their health services and the Department of Health and Human Services in improving health policy and planning, care and treatment, and the wellbeing of all Victorians.
A summative evaluation of the ‘Doing it with us not for us’ participation policy and strategic direction along with the Cultural responsiveness framework: Guidelines for Victorian health services was completed in 2014.
The summative evaluation includes four reports that look at the impact of these participation policies and activities across the Department of Health and Human Services.
Participation Advisory Committee
The Participation Advisory Committee demonstrates leadership and advises the Department of Health and Human Services on the implementation of the Doing it with us not for us policy.
The Participation Advisory Committee is made up of representatives from a number of organisations and is chaired by Rita Bloomfield. Members of the committee come from organisations including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Health Issues Centre, Peninsula Health, Bendigo Health and Carers Victoria.
- Participation Advisory Committee meeting minutes 23 February 2015
- Participation Advisory Committee minutes 27 October 2014
- Participation Advisory Committee minutes 25 August 2014
- Participation Advisory Committee minutes 2 June 2014
- Participation Advisory Committee minutes 28 April 2014
- Participation Advisory Committee minutes 22 February 2014
- Participation Advisory Committee minutes 26 August 2013
- Participation Advisory Committee minutes 17 June 2013
- Participation Advisory Committee minutes 29 April 2013
- Participation Advisory Committee minutes 25 February 2013
A discussion paper entitled Participation indicators – participation in your health service system was developed on performance indicators for participation to help Victorian public health services assess and report on their performance in involving consumers, carers and the community in healthcare delivery, planning, development and improving quality and safety.
The objectives of the discussion paper were to:
- provide broad information about the use of participation indicators including definitions, benefits and limitations
- propose an overall participation-monitoring framework
- develop participation indicators that can be used in acute and subacute health services in Victoria.
The discussion paper provides information on why and how participation indicators should be used, a monitoring framework, a minimum participation indicator set and implementation recommendations.
The participation indicators discussion paper is available in pdf format (320kb).
Equity in participation: Towards a new healthcare policy framework
The Department of Health and Human Services has commenced the development of a new equity and participation policy. The new policy addresses consumer, carer and community participation, diversity, and cultural responsiveness within a quality and safety framework.
The project plan incorporates three phases:
Phase 1: Key Issues Paper
Phase 2: Draft policy paper
Phase 3: Final policy
The department places a high value on partnerships, collaboration and facilitating meaningful consumer participation. It welcomes and encourages your active participation in the policy development
- How to develop a community participation plan shows how consumer, carer and community views will be integrated into a health service’s operations, planning and policy development.
- Community advisory committee guidelines for Victorian public health services are provided to assist public health services to develop effective community advisory committees that can advise on consumer, carer and community participation at all levels of the public health service.
- Doing it with us not for us: participation policy 2006–09
- Doing it with us not for us: strategic direction 2006–09
- Communicating with consumers and carers (part 1 – pilot report) produced by the Victorian Quality Council
- Communicating with consumers and carers (part 2 – guide) produced by the Victorian Quality Council
- Communicating with consumers: Good practice guide to providing information – July 2000
- Communicating with consumers series, volume 1, Well-written health information guide – July 2000