On Wednesday 9 November a group of around 50 consumers, Waikato DHB employees and board members, and NGO representatives gathered at the Link Community Centre in Hamilton for a workshop on designing a Consumer Council for Waikato DHB.
The workshop result was positive identifying a real need for a Consumer Council to have an effective voice for the community on health service improving, planning and development.
Listening and learning from consumers in this way is important for the regions healthcare quality and service delivery said Waikato DHB’s director of quality and patient safety Mo Neville.
“It was great to be sitting around the table with a variety of consumers and organisations” Mo stated.
“We need to design a Consumer Council that is right for the Waikato and will help us to deliver on our new strategic priorities for healthy people and excellent healthcare.
“Based on the workshop feedback, our next steps are to meet with consumers in our rural communities and firm up the Terms of Reference with the aim to have the Consumer Council operating in 2017.”
The workshop was led by Chris Walsh from the Health Quality & Safety Commission and speakers included Graeme Norton, Chair of Hawkes Bay Consumer Council.
Consumer Councils are in place with other DHBs where they are finding success through direct feedback on priority issues and consumer-led service improvements.