PSW 2015 Patient Safety Card Poster v3About Partners in Care

The Commission leads and coordinates work to encourage the health and disability system to be patient-centred and focused on a co-design approach. The Partners in Care programme provides leadership and direction to the Commission’s consumer engagement-related strategies and activities.

The programme ensures the Commission has established networks and processes to understand how the health and disability system is working for consumers. Through our wide networks we bring consumer knowledge and expertise about how the overall system is functioning, how consumers are experiencing the health and disability system and how consumers can co-create this system and influence decisions about their health.

We believe consumers should be actively involved in decision-making about health and disability services at every level, including governance, planning and policy development. Consumers have a unique viewpoint and can provide valuable input on how services can be improved, where priorities should be set and where quality issues have arisen in the delivery of health services.  

Part of the Commission's strategy

Partners in Care is one of the Commission’s strategic programmes. It underpins all the Commission’s programmes and projects. During the term of the 2017–21 Statement of Intent, the Commission will focus on five overarching strategic themes:

  • advancing Māori health
  • improving consumer and whānau experience
  • achieving health equity for all
  • improving patient safety and reducing mortality
  • reducing unwarranted variations in patterns of care.

This reinforces the necessity of the Partners in Care programme to work Commission-wide, across both the intelligence and improvement hubs, and with the mortality review committees. The programme will continue to foster strategic partnerships with the health and disability, and community sectors, and across relevant agencies. These partnerships are primarily formed through the programme offering ‘a helping hand’ and responding to requests for guidance.

Our current priority areas are set out below. 

1. Responding to consumers
2. Promoting consumer-provider partnerships
3. Improving health literacy and building capability
We gather feedback from health consumers about their experiences (eg, from inpatient surveys) and use that to make improvements to services. We look for ways for consumers to be involved in designing and improving things in the health and disability sector (eg, through co-design approach). We want information for health consumers to be available in a way that is easy for everyone to understand. We also want clinicians to understand their important role in health literacy.
Examples of activities for 2019/20:
  • With the intelligence hub, refining and rolling out a quality and safety marker for consumer engagement. 
  • Support a community project for Māori health advancement working with the consumer network.
  • Produce resources to assist with improving patient experience (revisit Let's PLAN for better care, patient stories in disability and primary care settings)
  • Follow up on the interventions put in place by services to respond to the lower-scoring areas of the adult inpatient experience survey as well as promote interventions already developed.
  • Work with primary care to understand consumer representation across services, to contextualise primary care experience. 
  • Run a co-design programme with regional cancer services focusing on cancer equity.
  • Facilitate opportunities for Commission consumer representatives to meet and learn from one another. 
  • Plan an Open Forum for the following year.
  • Support the consumer advisory group to the board.
  • Support and develop the consumer network. 
  • Follow up on the adoption of the 'train-the-trainer' resources, developed to build the capability of consumers in the health and disability sector. 
  • Launch a resource to assist primary care to progress consumer engagement.
Examples of activities for 2018/19:
  • Developing a measurement for consumer engagement at the DHB level.
  • Understanding and responding to patient experience from an equity perspective.
  • Providing resources to assist with improving patient experience.
  • Continue to champion the involvement of consumers and the ‘Partners in Care’ approach including:
    • consumer representation at DHB-level
    • co-design with health service providers
    • liaising with Te Roopu Māori.
  • Building the capability of consumers to effectively work in partnership through a ‘train the trainers’ regional approach (with resources developed by the Commission).
  • Updating the ‘DHB guide’ to make it relevant for other health and disability providers as well.
Examples of activities for 2017/18:
  • Developing a measurement for consumer engagement at the DHB level (in progress).
  • Continuing to respond to the lower scoring areas of the adult inpatient surveys (eg, medication, family/whanāu involvement) by developing small-scale quality improvement initiatives such as:
    • ‘always knowing who to contact’ (Canterbury DHB)
    • enhanced listening events (Waitemata DHB)
    • patient-focused discharge summaries (Northland DHB)
    • home safe checklist (Waikato DHB)
    • follow-up medication phone calls (Nelson-Marlborough DHB).
  • Refining and implementing the 'always event toolkit which was piloted in 2016–17.
  • Promoting consumer representation at the DHB level.

  • Hosted a two-day national forum focussed on consumers in March 2018, with over 250 participants (read the post-forum summary).

  • Supporting co-design in DHBs through the co-design Partners in Care programme; this year’s programme included six co-design projects.

  • Supporting initiatives such as the development of consumer councils.
  • Looking at developing resources to help emerging programmes.

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Last updated 22/10/2020