In the South Australian health system, it is now more widely accepted that consumers should have a central role as the users and beneficiaries of health care and, ultimately are the ones who pay for it. While once the consumer voice was heard only at the margins of the health system, now HCA helps facilitate the appointment of consumer representatives on more than 20 health-related committees.
Advocacy can bring about change or it may maintain the status quo, but it is always directed towards a specific goal or end.
SA Ambulance Service (SAAS) provides front line emergency care for people, often in the very worst of circumstances, and so is one of the most visible parts of the SA Health service. While this gives them a strong community relationship, it also means the service is exposed to the pressures and problems that affect health care delivery.
SAAS want to give South Australians a greater stake and role in shaping their ambulance service and leading quality service improvements.
SAAS are inviting nominations for consumers and carers with lived experience of using the service within the last 12-18 months, to join their Partnering with Consumers Group and Governance committees, starting in March 2020.
SA Ambulance provides a vital service that contributes to improving the health of the South Australian community, delivering high quality pre-hospital emergency health care and response.
SAAS are uniquely placed as the statewide emergency health responder, in engaging and partnering with people and communities, to respond to the emergency health needs of SA’s diverse population.
Changes such as the ageing of the population; population growth around the metropolitan fringe and regional areas; demographic changes in many rural communities; increasing community expectations of health services more broadly and growing complexity of health and social issues including substance misuse and family violence, mean that the ambulance service needs to change and adapt to continue to meet the needs of the community.
Today, SAAS have more than 1500 operational staff of highly skilled frontline health professionals who, together with more than 1500 community volunteers are playing a vital role in providing emergency health care and response, and contributing towards improving patients outcomes for South Australians in need. They also provide a major emergency and disaster management response in partnership with other key emergency and health services.
It is important for SAAS, to not only to capture people’s experiences, but also to learn and act upon them. Effective and meaningful engagement will helps them to be responsive to the needs of people who use the services, their families, carers and our staff and stakeholders. SAAS want to be a listening organization, and make positive changes to the service from people’s feedback and views.
SAAS believe that Consumer and Community engagement will help to make the service more sustainable; will contribute to cost effective healthcare; and strengthen partnerships with service users.
There are 10 positions available in total. Of these, five positions are allocated to the Partnering with Consumers Group (official name TBC) and the other five positions involve a dual role, sitting on the above committee and also on one of our Governance committees, as listed below. Consumers will be allocated a committee based upon skills, knowledge and experience. Full Consumer Advocate training will be provided by HCASA, and an induction with SA Ambulance service. Please note that sitting fees and travel costs will be met by SAAS.