Consumer Advisory Body
It is the responsibility of all approved Home Care Package providers to invite consumers to form a Consumer Advisory Body, by 1 December 2023.
The Strengthening Governance reforms 2022, identified the need for aged care consumers to have input into the quality and safety of services provided to them.
The Consumer Advisory Body members should represent the diverse experiences of aged care consumers within Longreach.
Membership is for a period of one year, with the option of a three year extension.
The role of the Consumer Advisory Body is to provide feedback to the governing Board of Longreach Home and Community Care about ways to improve our delivery of care and services. Members’ views must be representative of all consumers’ experiences and/or suggestions.
The Consumer Advisory Body is designed to deal with individual issues, concerns or grievances. We have other processes to deal with these issues. Personal issues will not be discussed at the Consumer Advisory Body meetings.
By having a range of views in the Consumer Advisory Body we will have a better understanding of the opinions of our consumers. The Consumer Advisory Board will provide a report to the HACC Board. Feedback on how this information was used will be shared with all consumers – especially where there are outcomes that may interest or affect them in some way.
Outcomes of meetings will be published on this website.
What is a Consumer Advisory Body
The Longreach Home and Community Care (HACC) Consumer Advisory Body is a group of individuals who represent the interests and views of aged care consumers in Longreach. The Longreach HACC Consumer Advisory Body serves as a liaison between HACC’s governing body and the consumers we serve, providing a platform for consumers to express their opinions, concerns, and feedback about the services and care they receive.
The Consumer Advisory Body will consist of a diverse group of individuals, their family members, carers, and representatives from community organisations. The members are appointed by Longreach HACC Board members and will serve on a voluntary basis.
The role of the Consumer Advisory Body is to provide advice and recommendations to the Board on how to improve our services and care. Members play a critical role in monitoring and evaluating the quality of care provided by Longreach HACC and ensuring that the needs of our consumers are met.
Some of the key responsibilities of the Consumer Advisory Body include:
- Providing feedback and recommendations on the quality of care and services provided
- Assisting with the development and implementation of policies and procedures
- Promoting consumer participation and involvement in decision-making processes
- Providing advice on the design and delivery of services to meet the needs of diverse residents
In summary, the Consumer Advisory Body will be an important part of our organisation to make sure the opinions of consumers are heard, and their needs are addressed. By working in partnership with us, the Consumer Advisory Body can help to improve the quality of care provided and ensure all consumers receive the best possible support and care.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can be involved in the Consumer Advisory Body meetings?
Anyone can join 😊
Our Consumer Advisory Body meetings are open for an Expression of Interest from any of our consumers, though we may need to cap the total number of participants for the meetings. We are planning to have some other ways for our consumers to contribute their valuable feedback, so we expect there will be opportunities for everyone to be involved, in one way or another.
We also want to have a number of family members or representatives involved so we have balanced views and perspectives on the range of issues we discuss.
Why should I consider joining the Consumer Advisory Body?
We recognise that all consumers using our aged care services have their own unique lifetime of experiences, knowledge and skills. We want to celebrate this by asking you to share your knowledge as a representative of our broader consumer group by joining our Consumer Advisory Body. We hope members will feel valued, involved, respected and challenged as they learn more about the aged care sector and how our organisation functions within the sector. We also hope our members will enjoy the company and camaraderie of being part of a group of like-minded people who are keen to work together and create positive changes in our organisation.
How will you use the information?
We will conduct our Consumer Advisory Body in line with the expectations of the Aged Care Quality & Safety Commission.
Additionally, as a group, we will review the Terms of Reference every now and then, to make sure the meetings reflect what you all agreed to initially. If not, then it might be time to review the Terms or change the way our meetings function, depending on the preference of the group and our organisation’s expectations of the feedback we hope to receive.
Will I be paid (or compensated) for attending the meetings?
We value your time and are very grateful for your participation, however participation in the Consumer Advisory Body is voluntary and members will not be paid for their time. If you are unwilling or unable to participate without some assistance, we will support you as much as possible. Please get in touch to discuss your need
What information will be shared with me?
To make the most of your participation, we will provide you with information about the topics for discussion so you can have time to think about the details and what they mean to you. We may also send some information for pre-reading if it is available and useful for you to have in advance.
We will not share any personal or confidential details with the group.
Can I contribute to the Consumer Advisory Body meeting Agenda?
The consumer advisory groups are all about you and your consumer peers. Having input into the types of things that will be discussed is really important and will help you to feel more ownership of the process. We will allocate some time during each meeting for a discussion about potential topics and issues you’d like to raise for consideration in future meetings.
Over time, we believe our consumer participants will become more informed and more engaged in what’s happening in the aged care sector more broadly, so we imagine there will be increasingly more input into setting the agenda for our meetings as time goes on.
In saying that, our Terms of Reference describe some things that are not generally appropriate for discussion in this type of forum. Check our Terms of Reference for more information about why some topics are in and other topics are off the agenda for this group.
Can my grievances be resolved by the Consumer Advisory Body?
No, this is not a forum for grievances or complaints.
We have a process for receiving and managing complaints which we hope will support all our consumers to resolve any concerns they may have. The purpose of our Consumer Advisory Body is to gather feedback about a range of important topics and issues that are important to our consumers and families in general, as well as topics that relate to the running of our organisation. Our expectation is that individual concerns will continue to be managed through our complaints processes, and that will ensure our time in the Consumer Advisory Body meetings is dedicated to discussing issues that may be applicable to our consumer group.
If you have outstanding issues or concerns that have not been resolved, we warmly invite you to re-commence the complaints process by contacting us for a confidential discussion.
How will you ensure the meeting is fair and equitable in hearing everyone’s voice?
We value and encourage diverse views and welcome any person to express their interest in joining our Consumer Advisory Body. We will have an agenda that outlines the topics that we would like to discuss in each meeting and we want to hear from all participants, so fairness, respectful behaviour, and turn-taking will be a high priority.
We will keep the meetings purposeful and structured enough to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to speak and learn from each other’s perspectives.
Whose views will I be representing?
For every consumer that attends our Consumer Advisory Body meetings, there are many other consumers that are not there. We ask that you think about your role in terms of representing yourself, as well as acting as a representative for those who are not able to be present.
What if I can no longer attend the meetings?
If, for any reason, you are finding it difficult to participate or continue your role, please reach out to us and let us know how we can assist you. We will support you to take some time away from the group if you need to, or make some adjustments if you need more help to stay involved.
How will you evaluate how things are going?
We will regularly check-in with everyone involved in the Consumer Advisory Body meetings to make sure you are happy with the format, topics and feedback processes. If you have any questions or feedback along the way, we encourage you to speak to the meeting facilitator to let them know your thoughts.
How can I stay up-to-date about aged care sector issues?
We are excited about sharing information about our organisation and the aged care sector more broadly during our meetings, but there are other ways you can learn more!
If you’re interested in registering to receive email updates about the changes and reforms in the aged care sector, please ask us which publications we would recommend for you.
I am nervous about joining the group
Consumer Advisory groups can be very rewarding and interesting, and we hope you will enjoy the opportunity. You will no doubt learn a lot about the aged care sector reforms and know that your voice is valued and powerful in shaping the way we operate on a day-to-day basis. Hearing different perspectives and alternate views may be challenging at times, but it can also be a reminder of the diversity that exists within our communities, which is something to embrace and celebrate.
Code of Conduct
The Consumer Advisory Body Code of Conduct outlines the expectations and responsibilities of Consumer Advisory Body members to ensure that they represent the interests of aged care consumers in a professional and ethical manner.
Here are some key elements of the Code of Conduct members are expected to adhere to:
- Confidentiality: Consumer Advisory Body members must maintain the confidentiality of all discussions, feedback, and information shared during Consumer Advisory Body meetings and other activities.
- Respect: Consumer Advisory Body members must treat other members, aged care consumers, and aged care provider staff with respect and dignity, and refrain from any discriminatory or derogatory language or behaviour.
- Conflict of interest: Consumer Advisory Body members must declare any conflicts of interest that may arise in relation to their role on the Consumer Advisory Body and refrain from making decisions that may benefit them personally.
- Attendance and participation: Consumer Advisory Body members are expected to attend and actively participate in all Consumer Advisory Body meetings and activities, and to come prepared with relevant information and feedback.
- Representing the interests of aged care consumers: Consumer Advisory Body members must represent the interests and views of aged care consumers and provide honest and constructive feedback to the aged care provider.
- Professionalism: Consumer Advisory Body members must conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner at all times and adhere to the principles of transparency, accountability, and integrity.
- Compliance with policies and procedures: Consumer Advisory Body members must be observant of the policies and procedures of the aged care provider and any relevant legislation or regulations.
By adhering to the Code of Conduct, Consumer Advisory Body members effectively represent the interests of aged care consumers and contribute to the continuous improvement of aged care services and care.
Terms of Reference
The Consumer Advisory Body is established to provide advice from consumers on service operations, service quality, potential improvements and future strategies to enhance their experience of the service.
The role of members of the Consumer Advisory Body members is to:
- Represent and advocate for all HACC service consumers
- Engage with other consumers (and their carers or family members) to understand their needs
- Advise the governing body and HACC Coordinator on consumer (and carer) views on service development, planning and quality improvement.
Advisory Body members are responsible for:
- Contributing their knowledge and expertise by providing consumer (carer and community perspectives) whether through lived, personal or professional experience
- Using their good understanding of issues to inform planning
- Reflecting on and presenting consumers’ issues (not focusing on personal concerns or individual issues).
Role in organisational governance
The Consumer Advisory Body can provide feedback and make recommendations to the governing body and the organisation’s leadership. This can include:
- Providing recommendations to the governing body and Coordinator to inform consumer engagement strategies and approaches to engage consumers more broadly
- Supporting broad engagement with consumers and consumer representative bodies to ensure their views are reflected in discussions and recommendations
- Identifying and advising the governing body and leadership on key areas requiring consumer input
- Identifying gaps in consumer understanding and awareness and advise on ways to improve knowledge
- Constructively contribute ideas
- Review written material and resources that are for consumers.
Consumer Advisory Body members have no liability for the organisation. Advice and information provided is as advisory body members. Advisory Body members do not have any capacity or responsibility for decision-making.
The Consumer Advisory Body can have up to 6 members. The majority of members need to be consumers or those representing the interests of consumers.
Chairperson may be a Board member, an independent representative, a consumer or member of staff. This person needs to have the skills and capacity to chair a meeting, and the resources and time available for this role.
Staff / Board representative who can discuss things from the organisation’s perspective with good knowledge, and is across what is happening in the organisation and the aged care sector.
Consumers who can use their knowledge and experience with Longreach HACC to review and discuss material provided and raise issues of relevance to their fellow consumers. The consumer members need to be representative of the consumers who use the service.
Community members who represent the community that HACC supports.
Depending on the issues that arise additional members may be appointed.
Secretariate supports the smooth operation of the Advisory Body by making sure all material is prepared and made available to the Advisory Body in advance of the meeting. This role would generally be undertaken by a staff member of Longreach HACC.
Employees of the service and members of the governing body may be invited to attend meetings. Specialist advisors may be invited to attend meetings.
Term of appointment
Members are appointed for an initial one-year period; with the option to extend membership for up to three years.
Members will be supported by transport to attend meetings, if required.
Members are required to sign the organisation’s Code of Conduct and to adhere to the organisation’s privacy and confidentiality protocols.
All members will participate in training on privacy and confidentiality.
Members are required to consider and declare any conflict of interest before or during a meeting.
All intellectual property, or contribution to the improvement of intellectual property, discussed with or contributed to by the Consumer Advisory Body remains with the organisation.
A Consumer Advisory Body meeting requires 50% of consumer representatives present to form a quorum.
The Consumer Advisory Body will meet three (3) times annually; and can meet more frequently as needed.
Meetings will be pre-scheduled.
Meeting duration will be up to 60 minutes.
Reporting to Governing Body
The Chairperson will develop a written report for the governing body on the discussions of the Consumer Advisory Body. This will also be circulated to Consumer Advisory Body members.
Review of Consumer Advisory Body
The Consumer Advisory Body will participate in the organisation’s governance process for reviewing effectiveness of its structures and functions. This review will be at least annually.