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Consumer participation

  • Patients, families, and members of the community play an important role in improving the quality of care provided by The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH). Feedback and involvement from our consumers and the community is of great value. There are many different ways you can contribute to high-quality health care at the RCH.

    Who is a healthcare consumer?

    All of us are consumers of the Victorian healthcare system at some point in our lives, either directly or indirectly.

    The term ‘consumer’ is defined in the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards as 'Patients and potential patients, carers, and organisations representing consumers' interests'.

    Why it’s important to involve consumers in healthcare

    By involving consumers we:

    • gain advice and input from the people who use, or could use our service
    • hear about their experiences and expectations
    • draw on the expertise and advice from other sectors on ways of improving the service we provide
    • improve accountability.

    Getting involved

    You can become involved at any time by:

    • providing ongoing feedback about whether the service is meeting your needs, through consumer feedback systems
    • being involved in the development and review of patient brochures and information handouts
    • becoming part of hospital committees, including clinical care, risk management, and quality improvement
    • telling us your stories and experiences to contribute to our understanding of the care we provide.

    You may be a current inpatient, outpatient or parent, carer or family member of a patient. Even if you've never been a patient, parent or carer of a patient, your input, ideas, and feedback are valuable to us.

    Complete an Online feedback form

    Complete a Get involved form

    Groups you may be interested in joining

    Community Advisory Committee

    Established in 2000, the RCH Community Advisory Committee is a sub-Board committee. 

    The Committee advises the RCH Board in relation to two critical areas:

    1. Establishing and maintaining effective systems to facilitate and monitor consumer, carer and community perspectives.
    2. The integration of consumer, carer and community perspectives into all levels of the RCH's decision making. This includes but is not limited to operations, planning, policy development, quality activities and major initiatives to improve outcomes for patients and the community in accord with the RCH strategic directions.

    Representing the consumer, carer and community voice and advising on key areas of improvement and growth is at the core of being an RCH Community Advisory Committee member. Members are a voice that represent the diverse community we serve – a voice for patients, families, guardians and carers.

    Community Advisory Committee members are appointed in an advisory capacity to the RCH Board, as a legislated advisory committee (although with no executive authority).

    Family Advisory Council

    Established in 2008, the Family Advisory Council is a mixed membership group comprised of consumer representatives and RCH staff.

    The group is passionate about ensuring children, young people and families and carers have a voice in hospital operations and the decision making process. The group seeks to embed family-centred care at the heart of all that the hospital does.

    Members do this by:

    • identifying areas of improvements, based on what they hear and see as consumers, community leaders and people with lived experience of the RCH
    • being a voice for children, young people, families and carers
    • creating a valued and trusted connection between consumers and the RCH

    “As Family Advisory Council members, through our lived experience, we can represent those that can’t represent themselves. We can be their advocates and ensure it is better next time.”  – Family Advisory Council consumer representative member

    Children's Cancer Centre Carers Network

    The RCH Children's Cancer Centre Carers Network brings the parents, families, carers, cancer and haematological disease survivors and RCH staff together to work on the shared goal of achieving the best outcomes and experiences for children and young people receiving care. 

    Children and young people receiving care face many challenges in having their voice heard during their care experience. The network of parents, families and carers who surround them are uniquely placed to support, articulate and amplify children and young people’s needs whilst they receive expert care from the RCH’s world leading paediatric team.  

    The RCH Children's Cancer Centre Carers Network is led by a diverse representation of parents, families, carers and cancer and haematological disease survivors. The group also includes RCH staff representatives who provide information, support and momentum for the group’s goals. 

    Virtual Consumer Panel

    The RCH Virtual Consumer Panel has been established as a way for patients, families, carers and the broader community to have a say and provide ideas that will improve the way we do things. Panel members can choose what they want to get involved in, without needing to commit to regular meetings or participate in in-person consultations. As a panel member you may be asked to complete a survey, support the development of strategies or contribute ideas to new or existing projects and improvement initiatives.

    If you are interested in becoming a member of the RCH Virtual Consumer Panel please complete our Get involved form