Views on health system sought

Looking for advice . . . Hoping to see more people get involved in the Community Health Council are (from left) Southern District Health Board executive director of Maori health Pania Coote, consultant general surgeon Mike Hunter, Community Health Council chairwoman Sarah Derrett, consumer adviser Colin Lind, Community Health Council facilitator Charlotte Adank, chief nursing and midwifery officer Jane Wilson and quality improvement facilitator Bridget Thompson. PHOTO: EMMA PERRY

People with an interest in the health system are encouraged to become advisers for the Community Health Council.

Last week the health council campaigned for patients and families who have had experience in the health system to come forward and provide guidance on what can be done to improve healthcare.

A number of community, family and patient advisers had been recruited and were already working on various projects with the Community Health Council.

Community Health Council chairwoman Sarah Derrett said the council was established in 2017 after it was realised patients and family using services could contribute ideas on the way things were running.

“I’d encourage those in the community who have any contact with the health system to know that they have enough expertise to be an adviser.

“There are no prerequisites.

“The idea of advisers is to give patients and whanau a stronger voice in improving or changing services and health care delivery at the Southern District Health Board.

“They provide input from the patient or family perspective that people in the health system may not always think about.”

SDHB consultant general surgeon Mike Hunter is taking part in an acute surgery review with the Community Health Council.

“Often patients are waiting up to five days for urgent surgery so we’re looking to improve that process for them.

“We’ve got consumers in the room listening and bringing the different perspective to what we’re doing.

“It’s hard to see the full picture when you’re inside the frame.”

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