Partnering with Consumers

Partnering with ConsumersIllawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) works with our community to plan and improve the services we provide.

By partnering with us you can have your say about how health care in the area is planned, delivered and accessed. 

Read below for more information and details on how you can get involved.

Blue button with the words Expression of Interest - ISLHD Consumer and Community Advisory Council - Find out more

What is a health consumer?

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A health consumer is a person who has used, or may potentially use, health services, or is a carer for a patient using health services.

What is a consumer or community representative?

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A consumer representative is a consumer who is working with us by providing their personal feedback and insight into the health service. This may be through sharing stories or details of experience accessing services, advocating for the interests of health service users or providing input into planning and decision-making processes. 

A consumer representative may also be asked to represent not just their own perspective, but the perspective and experience of the community. Community Representatives can sit on committees, councils, in meetings and in many other forums to present this point of view.

Our consumer representatives are a diverse range of people and we welcome people who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, those from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds, people with disabilities, those of all ages and sexual orientations.

What is partnering with consumers?

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Partnering with consumers is how the Local Health District, a hospital or service works with consumers in planning, delivering and improving services. It’s about giving consumers a say and learning from first hand feedback and insight from the people who use and access our services.

This is really important because consumers will often provide a different perspective to our staff and we want to ensure we’re making decisions using as much quality information as possible. 

How does being a consumer representative help?

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When consumers and health staff work together to improve health services:

  • The Local Health District learns how consumers think and feel about certain issues
  • Staff members have a better understanding of the needs of their consumers and can work collaboratively to make health services better
  • Community members gain a better understanding of how the health system works and the services we provide
  • The information and materials we share with the community are easier to understand
  • The quality and safety of health services improve as changes are made in response to feedback
  • Health services become easier for people to access and are more likely to meet the health care needs of people from all cultural or social backgrounds.

How can I get involved?

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There are all sorts of ways that you can work with us and different opportunities will suit different consumers.

If you’d like to get involved, start by having a think about your past experiences, what you’re passionate about or what areas of health interest you. This will help us match you to projects where you will have the most impact and personal satisfaction.

If you’re not sure what areas you’re interested in – don’t worry – we can talk to you about various opportunities and work together to find something that suits.

To start the process of becoming a consumer representative send us an email to: with your name, contact details and information on why you’d like to become a consumer representative and any interest areas.