Consumer Partnership Program
Consumer Partners at Ballarat Health Services are people who want to engage and are interested in thinking about how to improve our systems, processes, programs and services from a consumer perspective. The term Consumer refers to current, past or future patients, residents, participants, clients, carers/family and/or young person of Ballarat Health Services and members of the Ballarat and broader Grampians regional community.
Consumer Partners provide input into our services and facilities by bringing different perspectives from their life experiences and stories from the community.
Ballarat Health Services is committed to consumer participation in the planning, design, delivery and evaluation of the health services we provide.
Why is Consumer Partnership important?
The Ballarat Health Services Strategic Plan 2017–2022 identifies our commitment to partnering with consumers. We want to understand what matters to our consumers and work with them to co-design our services. We also seek to engage with our community and to influence health outcomes and improve the health literacy of our community.
Consumer participation in decision-making improves health outcomes. Active consumer participation leads to more accessible, innovative and effective health care. Active involvement of consumers at all levels of the development, implementation and evaluation of health strategies and programs is integral to their success.
The Consumer Partnership Program provides opportunities to have a say in the development, delivery, planning and evaluation of our health services. Consumers bring valuable experience and unique insight to our services and provide an important balance to the views of healthcare professional by participating and contributing.
BHS Consumer Partners:
- Participate in forums or focus groups
- Participate on a range of committees
- Review and advise on information designed for consumers
- Have input into policy and strategic plans
- Help collect and review consumer feedback
- Participate in our quality improvement and redesign projects
- Participate in training our staff
- Participating in interview panels and recruitment
Who are Ballarat Health Services Consumer Partners?
They are members of our community who have an interest in healthcare and a desire to improve Ballarat Health Services. Consumers come from many different backgrounds, have had various life experiences, and are looking for an exciting and rewarding way to give their feedback.
Consumer Partners may have had personal experiences as a patient or they may be a family member, carer or friend who is using or has used Ballarat Health Services.
Consumer Partners might like to:
- Improve facilities and information for consumers
- Help our community know more about their health
- Ensure people are involved in decision making about their health to the extent they wish
- Represent diverse groups in the community
Applying to become a Consumer Partner
Recruitment, support and supervision processes for Consumer Partners are similar to processes for Ballarat Health Services’ volunteers and employees. To be a Consumer Partner, you will need to undergo an interview and police check, and participate in orientation and ongoing training. We will follow the process used by our People and Culture Department where there might be a group interview or a one on one interview depending on what would be appropriate. There will also be an initial probationary period to ensure the role is a good fit for both the consumer partner and BHS. Our Consumer Partnership Team will help match your interests with suitable opportunities to ensure your experience is a rewarding and mutually beneficial experience. Most roles are not paid positions, however, there are payments for some Consumer Partner roles and activities, especially relating to Mental Health Services.
As a BHS Consumer Partner you will:
- Receive invitations to provide feedback
- Receive relevant newsletters and publications
- Receive information about opportunities to participate on committees, focus groups or consultations
- Have the opportunity to identify and raise issues from a consumer perspective
- Have opportunities to meet with other Consumer Partners
- Participate in training and workshops
- Receive support form the Consumer Partnership Team
To apply to become a Consumer Partner please complete this application form and return to:
Consumer Partnership Team
Centre for Safety and Innovation
Ballarat Health Services
PO Box 577, Ballarat VIC 3353 or
When your application is received, we will make contact with you to arrange an interview.
To be eligible to become a Consumer Partner at Ballarat Health Services, you must:
- Be over 14 years of age (anyone under 18 must have permission from a parent or guardian)
- Undergo a National Volunteer Police Check (paid for by Ballarat Health Services)
- Complete a Working with Children Check (over 18)
- For Mental Health Consumer Representatives relevant experience in Mental Health Services is required or supporting someone who is/has accessed a Mental Health Service
- Commit to a minimum of six months services
- Complete relevant orientation and training
- Attend ongoing information and education sessions
- Sign and agree to our Statement of Privacy and Confidentiality agreement
- Keep us updated with any changes in availability or contact details
People who are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, people who are LGBTIQ, people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, and people with disabilities are welcome and are encouraged to apply to participate in the Consumer Partnership Program at Ballarat Health Services.
Consumer Partnership Program
PO Box 577
Ballarat VIC 3350
Have something to tell us? We welcome all feedback from patients, family members or carers. Tell us more.