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Who will you be helping?

We want you to be able to assist when someone is in need. Thanks to people like you, we can. Your generosity helps us to assist others in times of despair by providing individual advocacy so that we are able to help people in the community understand their health rights and responsibilities.

Here’s how you can help;

The Health Consumers’ Council WA provide an individual advocacy service to West Australians.

In recent years, the demand for individual advocacy has increased significantly, with the introduction of the Mental Health Act (2014), as well as the past few years of living through a pandemic.  This resulted in 48% of HCC individual advocacy cases being for voluntary mental health patients.  The increase in demand for services has not been matched with an increase of funding, noting a standard individual advocacy case costs around $400 from commencement to the time of resolution.

The following list outline an example of some activities involved in resolving a case:
(note: some cases are far more complex and are far more detailed)

> Communicate with consumer
> Assess urgency of issues
> Share professional knowledge around navigating the health system
> Obtain medical records
> Correspond with service providers
> Investigate various options for consumers
> Develop a formal letter of complaint
> Provide information about health rights
> Offer a warm referral to appropriate organisation to assist with cases we cannot
> Research case notes
> Examine medical notes
> Attend medical appointments with consumers
> Attend SAT hearings with consumers

‘I’ve worked at Health Consumers Council since March 2011 and love working there.  We have a fantastic team of wonderful caring and considerate people.  The position of advocate is both rewarding and interesting.  Every day I learn more about healthcare and our health system.  Occasionally It can be stressful but overall it is highly rewarding, especially when people who been through difficult and horrendous experiences are empowered to address their own healthcare needs.
Another part I like about the position is the patterns we see emerge in relation to health. This enables us to offer deidentified information to the WA Health Department, government, hospitals and other healthcare services, so they can make improvements to their services for a better consumer/patient experience.
However, the greatest reward comes from helping people who have often been unwell and faced adversity, so they feel happier with better health and wellbeing.’ – Chrissy, Advocate

I supported a consumer at doctor’s appointment. We had agreed to meet before to discuss her issue. We ended up talking for so long, we almost missed the appointment! Unfortunately, we did not get the outcome we wanted. Afterwards the consumer turned to me and said ‘thank you, so much for spending time with me’. As an advocate, each relationship I form with consumers is unique. I feel a profound sense of privilege for them sharing their stories with me. Sometimes just being there to listen, without judgement is the best support of all. – Bronte, Advocate

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