HCA’s Strategic Direction 2 is to lead systemic advocacy and policy to shape consumer-centred care. One of our strategies is to provide submissions and/or reports in response to a range of consultation papers. You can read our most recent submissions in 2018 below.
In February 2018, HCA working with a social work placement student from the University of South Australia, commenced a research project into the need for an individual advocacy service in South Australia. For many consumers in South Australia, advocacy support is provided at an individual level by family members or friends. However, consumers and carers have consistently identified there is a gap in providing independent professional support and advocacy to the individual consumer or carer. It is this service gap than an individual advocacy service can fill. Over the course of five months South Australian consumers were consulted with via focus groups, interviews and surveys. From these various methods, 223 consumers and sixteen healthcare professionals responded to HCA with feedback regarding the need for an individual advocacy service in South Australia. The feedback we received from consumers was overwhelmingly in favour of an individual advocacy service in South Australia. Of 153 people who responded to the question “Has there ever been a situation that you, your family or friends, have experienced that could have been improved with the support of a health advocate?” 77.78% responded with “Yes”.
You can read the full report below;
Consumer (patient) engagement has been considered critical to improving the quality of care provided by health care services. Consumer complaints provide a valuable source of insight into safety and quality related problems within healthcare organisations.
Consumers’ perspectives are unique given their firsthand experience, at every stage of the care pathway. Consumers are legitimately positioned, through this experience, to evaluate the care and services received in terms of whether their care goals, needs and expectations have been met, and their assessment of their outcomes of care.
Health consumers are sensitive to, and able to recognise, a range of problems in healthcare delivery, some of which are not identified by traditional systems of healthcare monitoring (eg incident reporting systems, retrospective case reviews) or observable by staff who do not view the service through a ‘service user’ perspective. Thus, consumer complaints can provide important and additional information to healthcare organisations on how to improve consumer safety and implement quality improvement. Furthermore, analysing data on negative consumer experiences strengthens the ability of healthcare organisations to detect systemic problems in care.
Read the full literature review below;