Vision for care
Established in 2004, GV Health’s CACs are designed to acknowledge the difference consumers make to how Health Services provide care to the community.
The CAC is part of GV Health’s Community Engagement Plan (CEP). While staff are experts in their field of knowledge, the community are experts about the importance of services and the best ways they can be applied on their behalf. The plan asks health care consumers to give feedback at all stages of their health care journey to allow GV Health to ensure the community is receiving excellent and reliable service at all times.
“The plan sets us up for the next couple of years,” said Josh Freeman, Executive Director of Community Care. “At the end of the day our whole objective as an organisation is about healthy communities.”
Mr Freeman oversees a range of portfolios which interface directly with the community.
“I’ve always been a believer that you can only do things through and with the people who use the service,” he said. “The significant component of that is how we work and engage with our community and partner organisations to improve things. It’s something I’m really mindful of.”
The CEP’s vision statement is to partner with the community to help improve health outcomes in the region. The CAC is one of the mechanisms via which GV Health receives feedback from the community. Another aim is to engage the service’s regional partners, and providers like GPs to ensure a patient’s transition of care - stepping in or out of care back into the community – is as seamless as possible.
The current redevelopment will also increase GV Health’s capacity and ability to provide health care to the region.
Carmel Johnston, Director of the GV Health Foundation, says the strategy is also about staff engagement.
“We are ensuring that, as ambassadors for GV Health, all of our staff are out there looking at how we can improve our communication with patients and external stakeholders on a day to day basis,” she said. “That’s something that’s very important to us.”
Mr Freeman says the CEP has been focused on the study of community health literacy, looking at how patients are connected to and empowered by access to the variety of services they require.
“GV Health is just one touch point in patients’ health journey,” he said. “We need to make sure people are able to find services that can keep them out of hospital and in the community living healthy lives.”
The CAC has ten representations, who have been selected to provide GV Health with an insight into their expertise in the delivery of health services.
The committee meets with senior members of the GV Health team monthly, offering senior executives and members of the board insights into the health services in the region. This often involves a presentation from a subject matter expert, with feedback into improving services from a patient and community perspective encouraged.
“It’s important to make sure, in all facets of our governance structure we’re actually working to improve the patient’s journey,” said Ms Johnston. “Partnering with the community means we can all achieve far better outcomes than we could alone.”