Providing health and community services to the Upper Murray area Acute care, medical clinic and other hospital services Working in the community, with the community Residential care, retirement village and hostel Proudly supporting the Upper Murray area

Upper Murray Health & Community Services

Consumer participation at UMHCS

 What is consumer participation?  It’s the process of involving health consumers ( people who use the health system) in decision making about their own health care, health service planning , policy development setting priorities and addressing quality issues in the delivery of health services.

In the current health climate, consumers are at the center of national policy making bodies and advisory committees, research, quality approaches and standards.  The main policy driver these days is the philosophy of  “doing it with us, not for us”. This seeks to put the responsibility to achieving good health to be a partnership between a client and service providers.

As an agency, UMHCS acknowledges client rights in a number of areas: access, safety, respect, communication, participation and privacy.  Clients have a right to their families and carers being involved in determining care and that clients have a right in the planning and delivery of services.  An example of this is the recent change in the hospital where clients are actively involved in what happens to them in hospital and then they determine how they want their discharge plan to run. 

Nurses are now doing bedside handover at the change of each shift, so that clients know who is managing their care, clients can engage in talking about progress and each day becomes a shared journey as the client with the help of everyone at UMHCS, works their way towards wellness.

Why are we doing things this new way?  Because we want to continually improve what we do and how we manage our clients.  Today there is increasing emphasis on accountability for the services we run, also making sure that our services are cost effective and responsive to consumer needs. We want to increase the health knowledge of our clients so they are better informed when they have to make decisions and we want to develop new models of care, that are better than ever.  All these changes should result in better health outcomes for our clients as we are reorienting services towards consumer’s aspirations, perspective and needs.