Health Consumers Council - Strategic Plan

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1 Health Consumers Council - Strategic Plan Vision: Western Australian health consumers achieve the best possible outcomes from WA s public and private health services. HCC works to support the health sector to achieve the best possible outcomes for health consumers. Mission: To maximise consumer partnership in decision-making about design, implementation, delivery and evaluation of health services HCC believes that consumers achieve the highest possible outcomes from health services when the consumers' perspective is valued, understood and integral to health service policy, management and delivery. Goals To achieve this mission, HCC will focus on three key goals. Goal 1. Empowered Health Consumers [This is core work and it is expected there will be an on-going need to provide services. HCC will maintain the current levels of service, but this area will be second priority area in terms of growth, and expected to be allocated 30% of resources.] HCC s overall aims for consumers are: All Western Australians have access to and knowledge of their rights as health consumers Consumers who require individual advocacy support to have their rights met will receive it. To identify and target any specific groups of health consumers that, for reasons of, language, cultural, socio-economic or other factors, may be more at risk of not receiving services to which they are entitled or may be overlooked by health system management or policy. Goal 2. An Effective Health System [In the current environment, this work area is expected to be able to achieve the highest impact on achievement of the overall Mission could be allocated up to 50% of resources, depending on need] HCC s aim is to ensure consumers are partners in decision-making; specifically the development, implementation, delivery and evaluation of health services.

2 Focus areas Core capabili es Target customers and services Goal 3. Effective Health Policy Development and Implementation. HCC s aim is to ensure that health policy decisions are made in partnership with health users. [This area is resource intensive, requires realistic expectations of the recognition of the HCC role in the current processes, and will be developed over the three year period of the plan. It is the 3 rd priority and expected to be allocated 20% of resources.] To achieve these goals, HCC will focus on strengthening its competencies in three key areas: Governance, Information and Leadership, and Communications. These goals and competencies are shown in the diagram below. Summary Strategy Map Mission: To maximise consumer partnership in decision-making about design, implementation, delivery and evaluation of health services Empowered Health Consumers Goals: Western Australians have access to and knowledge of their rights as health consumers Consumers who require individual advocacy support to have their rights met will receive it. Identify and support specific high needs groups of consumers An Effective Health System Goal: Consumers are partners in decision-making. Effective Health Policy Development & Implementation Goal: Health policy decisions are made in partnership with health users. Governance Information Management Communication Further develop effective governance structure that optimises HCC effectiveness and efficiency, and manages risk. Collect, store and use high quality information. Use modern, effective communications that optimise web capabilities. Strong Leadership Strong Membership Organisational Legitimacy 2

3 HCC s Strategy Goal 1: Empowered Health Consumers Target 1: All health consumers have access to knowledge of their rights and where they can obtain further information, if needed. To achieve this HCC will have: Information on the WA population s current levels of knowledge of their rights, and data that enables HCC to identify any specific population segments that may have a lower level of knowledge. Qualitative and quantitative performance measures to monitor changes in awareness levels. A clearly defined communications plan. This plan should aim to leverage other organisations access to, and communications with, specific population groups. Staff with suitable communications skills and experience Media materials, e.g. websites, videos for web distribution, publications and presentations. These will need to be in translated into other languages and meet the standards for people with disabilities. A budget to meet operational targets identified in the communication plan.. The Board believes that consumers who have an understanding of how to navigate the health system and knowledge of their individual health needs have better health outcomes. While this is an important area of work, HCC has a limited budget and the development and delivery of consumer education in these areas is a complex and resource intensive service to offer. As such, the priority for the period of this strategic plan will be to focus on raising awareness of consumer rights. However, HCC will provide links and references to information and resources produced by other organisations via its website and other communications channels, and individually through the consumer advocacy service. Target 2: Consumers who require individual advocacy receive an effective service. HCC will provide advocacy support to health consumers who are unable to advocate effectively for themselves and who are not able to receive advocacy service from the Health and Disability Services Complaints Office (HaDSCO) or other specialist advocacy services. HCC will not compete with or duplicate services provided by these organisations except where there is a clear unmet consumer need. To achieve this aim: a) Health consumers with advocacy needs must be aware of HCC services and be able to access them. This requires on-going communication to consumers. To be successful, HCC will 3

4 Ensure services are physically and culturally accessible. Understand the current level of awareness of HCC advocacy services, and identify any subgroups with lower than average awareness. Develop and implement a consumer awareness campaign, leveraging media and relationships with other organisations where possible to maximise effectiveness and penetration. b) HCC must provide an effective and efficient advocacy service HCC will: Develop a clear definition of service quality in the context of consumer advocacy/feedback management. Develop measures of efficiency of the service. Effectively manage each stage of the case from initial contact, through case investigation, through negotiation to resolution. Ensure it has suitable information and customer service systems for effective service management. Employ skilled and experienced advocacy and support staff, with up-to-date knowledge of the health system. HCC will provide on-going support and training. Ensure it maintains and develops strong, effective relationships with health service providers and a strong corporate image or reputation that will support advocates. In addition, HCC will collect information about advocacy demand and services so that it can be: Used as or to support feedback to health service providers Used to support the development of, or response to, health policy Linked to advocacy data collected by other services or organisations to form a greater body of data on consumers experience. (This will require the data to be collected and shared in a format consistent with that used by HaDSCO and national reporting bodies.) Target 3: Closing Gaps: Identify and support specific groups of health consumers that do not receive services to which they are entitled or may be overlooked by health system management or policy. At present, HCC is providing a service for Aboriginal health consumers through the Aboriginal Consumer Participation Program. Subject to need and resource constraints, HCC may also provide some services to other groups. HCC will provide specific, targeted support to sectors of our population that have particularly low levels of awareness of their consumer rights and/or require additional advocacy support to receive services or resolve problems. HCC will also provide targeted consumer representative and policy services to build stronger consumer engagement 4

5 opportunities with groups that are marginalised and/ or have been identified as having poorer health outcomes. To achieve this aim HCC will need to identify and prioritise needs through measures of the specific populations and determine which services it will provide itself and which can be facilitated through other service providers. Specifically, where HCC intends to provide service, it will Identify specific populations with emerging needs Identify other agencies and services that connect with specific population groups Prioritise which needs it will meet Develop and implement specialist programs Recruit suitable consumer representatives, and effectively engage with health service providers to influence consumer engagement Collect and consolidate information to support policy development and response. Goal 2: Effective Health Systems Aim: Consumers are partners in decision-making, development, implementation, delivery and evaluation of the health services To achieve this, HCC will target four key areas: a) Building on the demand for, and providing, high quality trained and effective consumer representatives for influential boards/committees/events. To achieve this, HCC will focus on: Collecting and consolidating information on boards/committees/events and have a process of ranking these for influence. Developing and managing relationships with key chair people or other organisations, government bodies, and individuals leading these groups. This may require use of a database. Collect on-going information about the effectiveness of the consumer representative program. HCC will also need to have a pool of suitable, high quality representatives. To do this, HCC will: Develop a simple, clear description of the required skills and experience of consumer representatives. 5

6 Develop a professional framework that identifies the specific attributes and experience required to be effective as a representative in different health system environments. Recruit and retain suitable, high quality representatives. HCC will improve its systems to attract, recruit, train and mentor new, emerging and experienced consumer representatives. Provide initial and on-going training. Provide services to representatives, including information, mentoring and collegiate environments for information sharing. b) Health System Governance: HCC aims to influence the design, architecture and policy development of health governance to ensure that it fully integrates consumers as partners in decision making. To do this, HCC will: Provide trained, informed and supported consumer representatives Build on existing strategic stakeholder partnerships Provide systemic advocacy to inform health governance b) Support continuous improvement and consistent quality of advice and information sharing from Consumer Advisory Councils and Medicare Locals. This will be achieved through providing training, mentoring, support and feedback to these bodies and modelling good practice consumer participation. To do this HCC will: Enhance and support existing relationships with the CACs and Medicare Locals Establish new relationships with these groups as they are established Provide effective training programs Provide evidence of good practice consumer participation Facilitate mentoring and support d) Advocate for change in systems practices. HCC will support the development of good practice initiatives, To do this, HCC will: Provide the evidence that identifies areas of need Work with stakeholders to develop initiatives such as the Patient First project Develop frameworks and policy (potentially with partners organisations) to address the need Assist with the implementation of these policies Monitor / evaluate their implementation and effectiveness and provide advice for continuous improvement. Goal 3: Supporting the Development of Effective Health Policy. It is recognised that this area of work involves considerable resources, access to policy makers and influence. The aim is to develop capability in policy over the three year period of this strategy. 6

7 Aim: To improve the effectiveness of policy through assisting with policy development, policy response and policy monitoring For all three policy activities, HCC will require: Robust, timely information about health consumer s service experiences. This will require access to primary information directly from consumers. To get this information, HCC must be able to quickly, effectively and efficiently reach a wide cross section of health consumers. HCC will use web-based systems to achieve this. HCC will also require secondary information in the form of reports and other publications pertaining to health consumer s needs, want and experiences. These will need to be effectively stored and easy to retrieve for research. Staff skilled in consolidation of information, identification of priorities and policy development and response. The ability to identify and focus on only two or three core long term campaigns (one to three years) and up to 5 additional campaign areas per year. The community leadership skills to garner support from members and other stakeholders around these campaign areas. Staff with good writing and communication skills, and media and PR skills. Skilled and effective policy development staff, with or able to build, strong networks and relationships with key individuals within the health sector and government. HCC s ability to advocate at the policy level will also be supported by evidence of strong community support. To achieve this, HCC will build a larger, more diverse membership base. To maximise the use of resources and build its legitimacy as a major participant in health sector policy. HCC will publish at least two reports on a topical issue per year including opportunities of partnering with leading research organisations, such as universities or research institutes to undertake this work. Focus areas To achieve the above outcomes, HCC will build strength in three focus areas: Leadership, Membership and Organisational Legitimacy Leadership HCC will recruit, retain and support an Executive Director with the required skills, experience, reputation and network of contacts to be able to deliver this strategy. The Executive Director will be supported by the board and given the authority to administer and lead the organisation. Membership To be the voice of consumers, and to be seen to be representative of WA health consumers, HCC must have sufficient members and/or access to health consumer information to build its credibility and consumer mandate. HCC board will propose altering the constitution to enable the development of a second type of member category (perhaps termed a Subscriber) who could sign-up on-line and 7

8 receive regular information or newsletters via , but would not be a voting member of the Council. In addition, HCC will: Define and implement a membership growth strategy, including targets by sector, the services to be provided and the actions, responsibilities and timing of actions to be undertaken. Develop the website to further facilitate on-line membership application, member communications and member feedback opportunities. Develop innovative strategies to work with member organisations. Organisational Legitimacy HCC will further build its reputation, and its provision of policy advocacy and response services through developing strong relationships/partnerships with leading health and medical research organisations. HCC will aim to undertake at least 2 collaborative research projects each year. Specifically, it will: Identify potential organisations with whom it will work collaboratively. Identify potential projects and possible funding sources. Present a short-list of potential collaboration projects to the Board for consideration and decision. Core capabilities To achieve its mission and aims, HCC will focus on developing capabilities in three specific areas: Governance, Communications and Information Management. Governance Aim: A highly effective governance structure that optimises HCC effectiveness and efficiency, and manages risk. To achieve this, HCC will: a) Recruit and develop a highly effective Board. HCC board will Consist of individuals with the necessary breadth and depth of technical and governance experience to oversee the implementation of the strategy, monitor outcomes and support the Executive Director. If required, Board members will be provided with training. Operate effectively as a team Have sufficient, timely information for decision making 8

9 Have robust effective governance systems, and actively monitor the implementation of strategy and review results. b) Review its organisational instruments. The constitution, rules, code of conduct and other organisational instruments will be reviewed to ensure that they accurately reflect the intended objectives of the organisation, enable enforcement of the member s code of conduct, and improve clarity of purpose and member roles to current and potential members. Communication Aim: To further develop a modern, effective communications capacity that will enable HCC to achieve its goals. The main communications requirements to achieve each goal are listed above. These and HCC s additional corporate communications objectives are summarised together to provide a complete picture. Goal 1: Empowered Health Consumers Mass market communications to raise awareness of consumer rights and where they can access further support. Specific targeted communications for high need, difficult to access or low awareness groups. Mass market communications to ensure consumers are awareness of individual advocacy services. Provision of health systems and services advice (prepared by others) on the website or publications. Goal 2: Supporting Effective Health Systems Communicate to current and potential clients of the consumer representative services. Communicate to recruit retain and support consumer representatives. Specialist communications to CACs and Medicare Locals. Specialist communications to those influencing the design and implementation of health service governance. Specialist communications to specific targets to achieve changes in health system practices. Goal 3: Supporting Effective Health Policy. Communication with information providers (members) to solicit information. Development and delivery of communications with media, policy makers, health executive and others. 9

10 Corporate Communications In addition to the above, HCC will develop and implement a corporate communications strategy that will: Further build the recognition and respect of the HCC brand and reinforce its mandate to represent the interests of health consumers. This will require definition of the values and image the HCC wishes to portray and ensures that all public communications and representations assist in building the brand. Define and plan the development of the website. This will include the use of the website to facilitate consumer interaction. Define and use PR and media Leverage the communications of other organisations (links on websites, contact details on printed materials etc.) Work with HCC member organisations to better define the relationship and opportunities which may be available. Provide information services to members (and/or subscribers) to both attract and retain members from diverse populations. Information Management Aim: To collect, store and use high quality information required to achieve HCC s goals. Information is a key resource required to achieve HCC goals, however, it can be difficult and costly to collect, store and process. The information requirements for each goal area are outlined above and summarised again below. Goal 1: Empowered Health Consumers Annual (at least) information: On consumers awareness of health rights, disaggregated to enable identification of particular populations that may require additional support. Detailed information on the needs of specific populations, such as aboriginal people, CaLD, regional or rural populations, or others. Up-to-date information on the health system to enable advocates to provide good services Information on the availability of publications on health issues and services by other bodies. Goal 2: Supporting Effective Health Systems Continuously updated information on The terms of reference and significance quality of service of committees/boards/events, and specific contact details for the chairperson or a member. Individual consumer representatives. 10

11 Health governance best practice CAC and Medicare local best practice initiatives The activities and outcomes of individual CACs and Medicare locals System practices Goal 3: Supporting Effective Health Policy. Continuously updated information on Health consumers needs, wants and opinions on health services. Secondary information (information from other sources) on health consumers needs, want and opinions of health services. Impending changes to or new health policy, and the content of policy. Media contact lists Key decision makers in executive and government roles. 11

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