Grampians Community Health is calling on community members to help strengthen their health services and programs.
This April, GCH will officially launch their Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) and are seeking expressions of interest from a range of community members to become involved.
The new committee will bring the voice and experience of GCH consumers into the formal planning and decision-making processes of the organisation. This will be an important link between members of the community and the GCH Board of Directors, who have full support of the initiative.
CEO, Greg Little explains that the establishment of the CAC came about because of a “need to know that what GCH is doing is right, of good quality and well known in the community. And if it’s not, why not, and how do we do better.”
“GCH are part of the community, we want the community to be part of GCH by engaging and empowering them to influence the direction and quality of care of GCH services”.
GCH is aiming to recruit a cross section of the community from different locations that can help GCH to achieve their vision of ‘healthy, resilient people and communities’ and their purpose ‘to lead the change toward improved health and wellbeing of people in our region’.
“GCH was founded on providing services that the community needs and keeps evolving as the community does. Our townships are not the same as they were in 1986 and neither is GCH, therefore we need to continually hear from local people, our service users, the other services and even the people who don’t use our services for different reasons”.
Ideally the group will include people with a disability, people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, LGBTQI people, and culturally and linguistically diverse people.
“Health and social services such as Aged Care, Family Violence and Mental Health have been in the news a lot lately since the Royal Commissions found system failings in these areas. It is very important now that while the government is looking to invest in these areas to fix the problems, GCH knows what the community needs locally so that we can be part of the solution”.
“For services such as alcohol and other drugs, gambling, and chronic disease management for instance, just because they aren’t in the news doesn’t mean to say they don’t have an impact in our community and if it is a priority locally then GCH can be advocates for change”.
The group will meet four times a year to discuss community needs and how GCH are meeting them. “It could be as simple as our documentation and brochures- do they make sense to people in the community, do they make you want to come to GCH if you need assistance.”
There are several vacancies to fill, including up to four GCH consumers or carers, up to four interested community members and two stakeholders or partners in service provision.