Newly formed Northland Health Consumer Council boosts partnership

17 Dec 2014 | Partners in Care

Communication between Northland District Health Board (DHB) and the public is about to run smoother courtesy of the region’s first Northland Health Consumer Council.

The newly-formed council was created as part of the Northland Health Services Plan Patient and Family Centred Care project. It comprises ten voluntary consumer representatives with a range of community and health interests and held its first meeting last night.

Patient and Family Centred Care project clinical leader Dr Alan Davis, who is the interim chair of the consumer council, says the meeting was a resounding success.

“Northland DHB has taken a massive step towards genuine partnership with its consumers. We know that when consumers are fully involved with their own health care, outcomes are better and everyone has a better experience. This council will be pivotal in guiding health services to improve the experience for patients and their families.”

The inaugural Northland Health Consumer Council (NHCC) was established to work collaboratively with the Northland DHB to develop effective partnerships and communication pathways between consumers and the DHB. Through its partnership, NHCC provides a strong and viable voice for the community and consumers so that they can engage in health service planning and delivery. The council seeks to enhance consumer experience and service integration across the sector, promote equity and ensure that services are organised around the needs of people.

The functions of the council are to:

  • Ensure and enable appropriate consumer participation across the Northland urban and rural districts and national health sectors;
  • Identify and advise on issues requiring consumer and community participation, including input into the development of health service priorities and strategic direction, the elimination of inequities, and the enhancement of safety and quality of services to patients and whanau;
  • Review and advise on reports, developments and initiatives relating to health service delivery and the availability and/or dissemination of health related information;
  • Ensure regular communication and networking with the community and relevant consumer groups;
  • Link with special interest groups, as required for specific issues and problem solving.

For the avoidance of confusion, the NHCC will not:

  • Provide clinical evaluation of health services or individual patient care plans;
  • Discuss or review issues that are (or should be) processed as formal complaints, for which full and robust processes already exist;
  • Be involved in the Northland DHB contracting processes.

A volunteer consumer representative is a person who has used, been affected by or is entitled to use the Northland health services.

The council members have diverse backgrounds, contacts, knowledge and skills, and are passionate about consumers being able to access the best possible services and care from the Northland health sector. In selecting members, a range of health areas were covered, such as: Maori health, women’s health, child health, long-term conditions, mental health and disability.

Dr Davis says similar councils in other regions have proved a success. He is hoping NHCC will bring a new way of working for the DHB and a better experience for our consumers.

NHCC members:

Name Nominated by
Mrs Marilyn Edwards Parkinsons New Zealand
Mr Hikurangi Cherrington Hokianga Health 
Ms Liz Cassidy-Nelson Manaia PHO 
Mr Kevin Salmon Alzheimers Society Northland 
Ms Debbie Walker Diabetes New Zealand 
Ms Kathy Diamond Ngati Hine Health Trust 
Ms Tania Moriarty Ringa Atawhai Trust 
Mrs Kathryn Sadgrove Northland Down Syndrome Support Group 
Mr Brian Vickers Northland DHB Mental Health Consumer Advisor 
Ms Chelsea Edmonds Northern Lactation Consultant

Last updated 24/02/2015