Community-minded people are being asked to help shape healthcare services as a new Bay of Plenty Health Consumer Council is established.
The council, being set up by the Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB), will look to members of the public to inform healthcare throughout the district and candidates are now being sought.
Tauranga resident Florence Trout, who worked in community health for over 40 years, welcomes the move.
“The BOPDHB is reaching out for more community involvement and that should be applauded. You need people outside of the system who have an objective eye. Consumers can fill that role and have a powerful impact on how health systems operate. Consumers tend to cut through bureaucracy more and bring a pragmatic view of the world with them.
“They will be able to say ‘yes this works' or ‘no it doesn't' and suggest alternatives,” adds Florence, who has been a member of a BOPDHB Patient Advisory Panel for two years.
She said applicants needed to be open-minded and be able to see the breadth of issues and how they impact across the health system.
“We need good people who can see things from both sides of the fence.”
BOPDHB Quality & Patient Safety programme manager Averil Boon says the council will ensure patient and community perspectives are a core ingredient of how services are developed.
“Members will cover areas including: Maori health, women's health, child health, long-term conditions, mental health and disability. Although appointed to a particular area of interest, an individual member will not be regarded as a representative of any specific organisation or community, nor as an ‘expert'.
“If this sounds like something you would like to be involved with, we would love to hear from you.”
Potential council members need to:
• Be passionate about people accessing the best possible care
• Consider issues from a ‘big picture' perspective
• Have a good understanding of the health system
• Have strong networks and communication skills
Applicants should apply by 5pm Friday March 2.