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Consumer and Community Participation

Austin Health has a long-standing practice and commitment to consumer and community participation.

We endeavour to embed genuine consumer and community participation in order to:

  • Respect consumer's right to participate in decision-making processes
  • Improve the safety and quality of provided healthcare services
  • Improve patients' healthcare outcomes and
  • Provide equitable care and access to services that are responsive to the needs of our community

We are committed to improving and extending consumer and community participation opportunities in service planning, development, implementation and evaluation across all sites and multiple service-delivery areas.

Consumer and community participation is an integral part of the core business of Austin Health.
It is not an optional extra and is not a separate program.
It is the responsibility of every clinical and non-clinical staff member. 

Austin 2025 Clinical Services Plan

Austin Health is currently planning our clinical health services for the nexxt ten years. The plan will recommend the future service mix and service delivery options to best meet the needs of Austin Health's catchement population.

Please let us know what you think. Read the attached paper to learn about the issues confronting Austin Hhealth and send us your responses to the questions in the paper.

We look forward to hearing form you.


Consumer is a general term that refers to the users or potential users of services, and in the health sector includes patients, clients, residents, carers, relatives and community advocates.

Consumer participation/engagement is the process of involving health consumers and the community in decision-making about their own health care, health service planning, policy development, setting priorities and quality issues in the delivery of services.

Community refers to people who may not be consumers of health services, but have an interest in health services or the health system as taxpayers and citizens.

Carers are those who have an active role in caring for the consumer of a health service, and may or may not include family members.

Community Advisory Committee

Austin Health supports Community Advisory Committee (CAC), which operates under the Victorian public health services community advisory committee guidelines.

The Austin Health CAC is an advisory committee to the hospital board and has critical roles in:

  • Assisting the health service to appropriately integrate consumer and community views at all levels of its operations, planning and evaluation, and
  • Advocating to the Board on behalf of the community.

You can find out more about the Community Advisory Committee here.

At Austin Health Consumer participation is embedded in the:

The Consumer Engagement Plan 2013-2017 outlines consumer participation activities for the next three years.

For information about consumer and community participation at Austin Health, and how to get involved please contact Bernadette Vandenberg, Centre for Patient Experience 9496 3566 or via e-mail: bernadette.vandenberg@austin.org.au