Maternity Consumers Representative Training Program

What is a consumer representative?

 

A consumer representative is a member of a government, professional body, industry or non-governmental organisation committee who voices consumer perspectives and takes part in the decision-making process on behalf of consumers. The person is nominated by, and is accountable to, an organisation of consumers.

They provide a consumer perspective that is often different to a bureaucratic, service provider, industry, academic or professional perspective.

Taken from Consumers Health Forum (www.chf.org.au)

Resources for consumer representatives 

A one-stop shop of useful on-line resources for consumer representatives (and even health professionals wanting to improve maternity services or wanting more information about how to facilitate effective consumer representation) has been developed as part of this project.

You’ll find advice on how to track down the latest evidence, key research, links to key Queensland Health units and work areas, and meeting tips and strategies as well as other resources

What was the training program about?

The demand for maternity consumer representatives is increasing everyday and yet most consumer representatives have never had the opportunity to get formal training to help with their role.

To address this gap, Queensland Centre for Mothers & Babies (QCMB) partnered with Health Consumers QLD (HCQ), and Maternity Coalition (MC) to develop, implement and evaluate a pilot training program specifically for consumer representatives of maternity services.

The development, implementation and evaluation of this pilot training program aimed to support consumers to be actively involved in policy, service planning and evaluation in a decision-making role about maternity services in Queensland. The pilot targeted areas with maternity facilities planning significant maternity model of care changes.

The training and support for the participants of the project ended on 30 June 2012. A report on the project will soon be finalised and will be added to this webpage.

You can read more about the project here:

  • Articles from QLD Centre for Mothers and Babies e-newsletters: A media release from 2011: Be a voice for birthing women

Future directions

Although the funding for this project has ended, it’s clear that consumer representation is an area that will continue to grow. Consumer advocates and health professionals alike will continue to seek information, training and support to facilitate effective consumer representation.

If you are interested in training consumer advocates contact the Queensland Centre for Mothers and Babies to see how this training program could be used. Contact us on 07 3346 8797 or 1800 704 539 or email info@qcmb.org.au

Health professionals may want to contact our project partner, Health Consumers Qld, for advice and support to help build a positive relationship with consumer representatives and local maternity consumer organisations. PH: 1800 613 251 or 07 3234 0611

If you’d like to become a consumer representative or you’d like to know about vacant consumer representative positions contact Maternity Coalition via email qldpresident@maternitycoalition.org.au.