Patient and Consumer Experience Community Advisory Committee

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This Community Advisory Committee (CAC) helps ensure the diverse views and cultures of women and their families are considered in our hospital’s decision-making processes.

Committee members also have the opportunity to provide advice to hospital leadership on new initiatives and programs. 

In 2023, the Women's called for applications from people interested in joining the Committee. Applications closed on 12 June 2023. 

About the Committee

The Committee is appointed by, and reports to, the Board of Directors.

The Patient and Consumer Experience steering Committee (“PCX”) models a partnership approach and invites frontline staff to participate in the Community Advisory Committee.

The Community Advisory Committee:

  • Promotes improved outcomes for patients and the broader community through effective patient and consumer partnering and participation in the hospital.
  • Ensures the diverse views and cultures of women and their families are taken into account in the hospital’s decision making processes.
  • Advocates to the Board and Management for effective consumer partnering in key strategic areas identified in the annual statement of priorities and The Women’s Strategic Plan 2022-2025.
  • Monitors and provides advice related to the implementation and effectiveness of initiatives associated with the Women’s Strategic Priority to “partner to create exceptional experiences every day”.
  • Provides regular updates to the Board, Management and the Department of Health (as required).
  • Provides leadership and advice to the Board and Management, on new initiatives to deal with current or emerging women’s health issues.
  • Provides advice on the development and implementation of new and revised consumer partnering requirements for the hospital and for the hospital accreditation process.
  • Promotes the work of the Women’s across our local networks and communities.

The Community Advisory Committee considers governance and strategic issues, and is established under section 65ZA and 65ZB of the Health Services Act 1988 (Vic.) as a formal subcommittee of the Board.

Terms of appointment
  • Each member is appointed for an initial period of one year.
  • After one year, the Committee Chair will undertake a review with new members to determine whether they will be offered a following two year period of appointment.
  • Committee members have the option of re-applying for a second term of three years with the Board and Committee Chair’s approval.
  • It is a condition of appointment that members are required to attend at least three meetings a year. Where a member cannot meet this level of commitment, the Chair will review that member’s ability to contribute to the committee. A leave of absence can be requested for consideration by the Chair. Members who fail to attend two consecutive meetings without providing an apology will be asked to resign from the Committee.
  • A leave of absence can be requested for consideration by the Chair.
  • The Committee meets four times a year, usually on a Thursday afternoon. The time commitment is two hours from 4.30 pm-6.30pm.
  • The members of the Committee have the option of meeting via teleconferencing and/or ‘in camera’ for at least part of each meeting if required.
  • Papers are provided at least a week in advance of each meeting and it is expected that committee members will have read the papers prior to the meeting.
  • The Women’s provides:     
    • an executive sponsor
    • secretariat support to meetings
    • appropriate funds to members to defray reasonable costs of attending meetings. The sitting fee is $50 for attendance at Community Advisory Committee
    • meetings, plus travel and other costs are reimbursed
    • taxi vouchers or car park exit passes are also provided to Committee members.
Skills and experience required
  • strong commitment to improving patient and consumer experience and partnerships
  • lived experience as a patient, family member or carer at the Women's is highly valued, but not essential
  • able to use your strong community networks and good understanding of local issues to inform your participation on the Committee, and bring the voices of your community/communities into the work of the Committee
  • willing to promote the work of the Women's across your local networks and communities
  • willing to participate thoughtfully and collaboratively as a member of the Committee
  • time to attend four meetings per year (two hour meetings)
  • time to read committee papers prior to meeting (one-two hours per meeting)
  • in line with the Health Services Act 1988 (Vic.) Guidelines for Community Advisory Committees, patients, consumers, carers and community members should be emphasised for this role. The selection process "give(s) preference to those people who are not a registered (health) provider, and not currently nor recently employed in the provision of health."
  • no mandatory qualifications or professional registration requirements. 
Support provided

The hospital recognises that encouraging consumers to step up to such forums and enabling them to contribute requires ongoing support and training. The hospital commits to providing consumers with:

  • Orientation (briefing on the hospital and work of the committee, outline of the Women's values and confidentiality requirements, discussion of support expectations, and Introduction to key persons).
  • A dedicated staff member to be a regular point of contact.
  • Pre-meeting opportunity to ask questions about agenda items, or other information required, and a post-meeting debrief.
  • Regular opportunities to meet with the consumer advisors on other Board committees and attend training offered to consumers.
  • If you live with a disability, we will provide the necessary support for your participation.