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Questions to ponder in 2019 from Partners in Care

Partners in Care
07 December 2019

The Health Quality & Safety Commission’s Partners in Care team has had a steady stream of requests to provide advice on consumer engagement this year.

The requests have come from professional bodies, colleges and societies, primary health organisations and non-governmental organisations, and ask us to advise on involving consumers, patients, family and whānau, carers and communities at all levels of decision-making about health and disability support services.

It's clear that consumer engagement is an increasing priority across the wider health and disability system.

Alongside this, nearly all district health boards (DHBs) now have a consumer council. In our conversations with DHBs, a number of themes have emerged. Here are five key questions to consider as these councils continue to develop:

  1. Does your consumer council have a strategic plan? Does the council have input into other DHB plans? (eg, annual planning.)
  2. How is your council linked to other parts of your service?
  3. How does your council communicate with senior leaders?
  4. How often do you meet? Have you considered four longer meetings per year in contrast to shorter two-hour monthly meetings?
  5. How do you measure your influence and impact on the system overall?

We love to hear about your consumer engagement work, plans and progress. Our team is also happy to come to your service and listen to issues, share ideas and support your plans.

You can contact our Partners in Care team at or call us on 04 901 6040.