The function of the Consumer Representatives Program is to nominate, support, train and coordinate consumer representatives for national committees to ensure that the views and interests of health consumers are represented at the national level. CHF supports consumer representatives by providing resources in a number of ways.
- Website (providing easy access to nomination forms, meeting report forms, fact sheets, guidelines, CHF publications, submissions, position and policy statements and information on committees and committee vacancies)
- healthUPdate newsletter
- Members' discussion forum
- Support and networking
- Telephone support
- Further information or assistance
The Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) website provides opportunities for CHF to share information with its members and consumer representatives and to engage in dialogue with them about consumer issues. The website contains an area specifically dedicated to the Consumer Representatives Program. Website Resources for Consumer Representatives contains the following information:
- CHF Guidelines for Consumer Representatives – published by CHF and containing guidance on handling a range of common situations.
- Self Assessment for Consumer Representatives – a tool designed in consultation with consumer representatives to support self assessment and skill development.
- Meeting Report Form – pro forma to assist consumer representatives to report their committee activities
- Other Resources – articles, policy principles and statements which may be of use to consumer representatives.
- Current Committee Vacancies – including information on how to nominate.
The CHF e-newsletter healthUPdate is an important communication and information resource for consumer representatives and member groups. It provides information on key work that CHF is undertaking, updates on current projects, and consumer representative news including committee vacancies, reports from consumer representatives and new appointments. healthUPdate is published monthly and back editions may be found in the Members' Area of the website.
The Members' discussion forum available on in the Members' area of the CHF website allows consumer representatives to network, consult and share their views across the CHF network of health consumers. It also provides important input into CHF policy work from members and consumer representatives. The discussion forum features a section for consumer representatives to share tips and issues related to their role, and an opportunity to view and provide further comment on issues raised in consumer representative reports.
Support and networking
Information about work in CHF priority areas through CHF projects, including the Consumer Representatives Recruitment, Training and Support Project is available in the CHF Projects section of the website. Information about the project, current activities, key documents and internet links can be found in this area.
The Consumer Relationships Manager provides telephone or email support to consumer representatives as necessary. Support includes:
- Assisting consumers who wish to nominate for representative positions
- Responding to requests for information about specific issues in CHF priority areas
- Advice on the use of the CHF website
- Liaison with Committee Secretariats
Further information or assistance
The CHF website contains a comprehensive list of Internet Links to other websites. These are categorised under the headings of national and state government, e-health, regulatory sites, safety and quality, research and evidence, consumer participation, consumer health information, Australian health professional sites, medicines and pharmaceuticals, other useful sites, CHF voting member websites and CHF organisational associate member websites.
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