Community of Practice
Connect and share to improve the practice of engaging consumers and carers in health in Western Australia
The Health Engagement Network is an emerging community of practice for staff and consumer and carer representatives who are involved in consumer and carer engagement across the health system in WA. The aim of the Network is to promote best practice and build capability in consumer/carer engagement and participation across the health sector in WA.
The Network is free to join and is open to everyone – including staff and consumer and carer representatives – with an interest in the practice of consumer and carer engagement in the health system in WA. We have over 200 members so far and it’s growing all the time!
The Network has been set up with initial support from the Health Consumers’ Council and the WA Primary Health Alliance. See the Network’s statement of aims.
People involved in the Network plan to organise face to face and online events, as well as staying in touch through an online platform.
Attend the free events – or organise your own!
The Network has hosted two events – in July and September. If you have an idea for a future event, contact Clare Mullen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Join the Network online – read, connect, discuss
Members of the Health Engagement Network connect via an online platform. The Health Engagement Network online platform is free to join and supported by the Health Consumers’ Council and the WA Primary Health Alliance. You can request to join the Network here.
The Network online platform includes discussion forums, links to existing frameworks on consumer and carer engagement in the health sector in WA, and links to articles, short videos and other resources of interest.
The online space is moderated by a group of staff and consumer/carer representatives who volunteer their time.
Background to the Health Engagement Network
A Community of Practice (CoP) is: “A group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and a desire to learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.”
This community of practice was initiated after discussions between the Health Consumers’ Council, the WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) and Aha! Consulting based on their observations and feedback from their work with health service staff and consumer/carer representatives across the health system in WA.
With funding from WAPHA, the Health Consumers’ Council started a project (working with Aha! Consulting) to explore the level of interest for this community of practice amongst staff and consumer/carer representatives.
A survey of staff and consumer representatives across the WA health system in March 2018 received over 130 responses. There was overwhelming support from respondents for the idea of a community of practice for consumer engagement. A number of workshops were held in April where staff and consumer/carer reps discussed what they’d like from a community and how it might work. The survey results and notes from the workshop are below:
Based on these discussions, the community of practice will provide spaces, real and virtual, where staff and consumer/carer representatives can share information, resources and their experiences around consumer, carer and community engagement.
Phase 1 of the project (January – June 2018) was to scope the needs and functionality of such a group and work with user groups to design and be part of contributing content for the platform.
People with examples of quality consumer engagement in the health system that they would like to share, either in WA or elsewhere, are encouraged to join the Health Engagement Network and share them there (epic failures/learning opportunities are also welcome). This includes primary, community and hospital services.