Community Participation

Community participation in health ensures that individual, families and communities have input into decisions that will affect their health and wellbeing. HealthWest recognises the rights of consumers and communities to be included in the decisions which impact on their health. We value community members as partners in improving the local health system.

 

Community Participation in Melbourne’s West

HealthWest identified community participation as a key priority in our Strategic Plan 2013-17.  We successfully worked at a systems level to increase participation of individuals and communities in decision making at an individual, program and organisational level, with a focus on health literacy and community participation.

  • Health Literacy and Community Partnership Program Report 2013-17: Read about HealthWest’s activities and outcomes in our program report.
  • Consumer Participation Mapping Survey: HealthWest explored how health and community organisations facilitated consumer input into organisational planning and decision making in Melbourne’s west. Read the key findings and recommendation in the full report and summary report.

 

Community Participation Resources from HealthWest

HealthWest developed a number of resources to support community participation within our organisation. They were developed according to the needs of HealthWest and our community participants, and draw on good practice examples from our partners and broader literature. We are sharing them in the hopes that they are useful to others.

  • Stories of Participation: Partnering With the Community to Improve Health and Wellbeing: Community participants discuss what it’s like to partner with an organisation and give advice to community members and organisations alike. This video was developed with our partners and community participants.
  • Community Participation Policy Template: This policy template is based on HealthWest Partnership’s Community Participation Policy and on the lessons learned during development and review of the policy. It has been created as a practical example for health and community organisations who do prevention and project work.
    • Download the Community Participation Policy template (Word or PDF document).
  • Community Participant Role Description: A clear role description will help both community participants and staff understand the role, and is important for recruitment and for ongoing work.
  • Community Orientation Manual and Process: An effective orientation will provide a community participant with the information they need to partner with your organisation. HealthWest developed a community orientation process through consultation with our commnity participants.
  • Checklist for Written Information: Communication with community members should be straightforward, appropriate and easy-to-understand. This checklist provides information on how staff can do this and acts as a visual reminder.
  • Community Participation in Staff Recruitment: Working with community is a key part of many staff roles in the health and community sectors. Including community members on interview panels is one way to seek community input in hiring decisions, however this is not always possible or appropriate. HealthWest trialed a new process to enable effective and relevant input by community members into our recruitment process.
    • Visit the HealthWest blog post about the process for a short case study and supporting resources.

 

Organisations are welcome to use these resources directly or to inform development of their own resources. We simply ask that you acknowledge HealthWest Partnership.

HealthWest would like to acknowledge the contributions of our partner organisations and community members to the development of these resources.

 

Contact

If you would like more information about any of these resources, please contact:

Mindy Allott, Access & Inclusion Project Manager
(03) 9248 9658
mindy.allott@healthwest.org.au