Background to the Health Engagement Network
A Community of Practice (CoP) is: “A group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and a desire to learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.”
The idea for this community of practice was born after discussions between Health Consumers’ Council, WA Primary Health Alliance and Aha! Consulting based on their observations and feedback from their work with health service staff and consumer/carer representatives across the health system in WA.
With funding from WA Primary Health Alliance Health Consumers’ Council started a project (working with Aha! Consulting) to explore the level of interest for this community of practice among staff and consumer/carer representatives.
A survey of staff and consumer representatives across the WA health system in March 2018 received over 130 responses. There was overwhelming support from respondents for the idea of a community of practice for consumer engagement. You can read about the responses in more detail in the survey report. A number of workshops were held in April where staff and consumer/carer reps discussed what they’d like from a community and how it might work. The survey results and notes from the workshop are online here.
Based on these discussions, the community of practice will provide spaces, real and virtual, where staff and consumer/carer representatives can share information, resources and their experiences around consumer, carer and community engagement.
Phase 1 of the project (January – June 2018) was to scope the needs and functionality of such a group and work with user groups to design and be part of contributing content for the platform.
People with examples of quality consumer engagement in the health system that they would like to share, either in WA or elsewhere, are encouraged to send these to firstname.lastname@example.org (epic failures / learning opportunities are also welcome). This includes primary, community and hospital services.
People involved in the Network will organise face to face and online events, as well as keep in touch through an online platform. The Network’s second event is scheduled for September - watch this space for further details.
You can request to join the Health Engagement Network here
The Network includes discussion topics, links to existing frameworks on consumer and carer engagement in the health sector in WA, and links to articles, short videos and other resources of interest.
This online space is moderated by a group of staff and consumer/carer representatives who volunteer their time.
If you're active in consumer or community engagement space and keen to promote best practice and build capability in consumer/carer engagement across the health sector in WA, we would love to have you on board. Click on the link above to join the Health Engagement Network.