CHF has established Special Interest Groups (SIGs) as an additional way to involve our members and consumer representatives in shaping our policy and advocacy work. SIGs make it possible to bring in even more consumer insight and perspective.
SIGs are advisory to the CHF Secretariat, with decisions on final positions and statements remaining with the CHF Board. The SIGs do not meet face to face, and no sitting fees or reimbursement is offered to participants.
CHF has SIGs active in the following areas:
- Primary Health Care
- Research & Data
- Digital Health
- Safety & Quality in Healthcare
- Rural & Remote Health.
Primary Health Care
Strong primary health care is central to an efficient, equitable and effective health system. The Australian Government has committed to the development of a 10-Year Primary Health Care Plan which is an opportunity to develop a more coordinated, comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to primary health care in Australia. The Primary Health Care Special Interest Group will allow us to include your voice as consumers in our advocacy and policy work in primary health care, including involvement in developing the 10-Year Primary Health Care Plan.
The Primary Health Care SIG is currently at capacity but to indicate interest in filling any casual vacancies please contact Tammy Wolffs at T.Wolffs@chf.org.au.
Research & Data
How and why consumers can be involved in research is a growing area of interest for CHF. We are increasingly advocating on issues that intersect health research and policy and we are conducting more research projects of our own. We are interested in shaping the national policy discussion about how patient and public involvement in research is resourced, where it is placed, and improving the confidence and skills of the research community. We have a particular focus on exploring how to feature greater consumer involvement, and supporting consumers to become more involved in research. Consumers with any level of experience with research and data, from none at all to retired academic, are welcome to apply.
CHF’s interest in digital health issues is also growing. Following the establishment of the Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency) in July 2016, CHF has been working closely with the Agency on a range of digital health issues. The Agency has funded CHF to undertake a 12-month project to build consumer capacity to be involved in digital health policy development and implementation. As part of this project, we are now seeking expressions of interest from people/organisations who are interested in registering to be part of a Digital Health Special Interest Group (SIG). The group will focus on the future of digital health, with an initial focus on electronic prescribing.
Safety and Quality in Healthcare
Safety and Quality in healthcare is an important focus for CHF. Consumer participation in safety and quality will identify what matters to consumers, where improvement can be made and contribute to the cultural change. These identified concerns can be promoted to health professionals, health managers, health services, and the wider community as important for sustainable improvements in safety and quality in health care. The Safety and Quality Special Interest Group works with CHF and connects with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care for user testing of resources such as decision support tools, consumer factsheets and consumer tools. Other opportunities may arise that align with the areas of focus and will be promoted to the group.
Rural and Remote
This was established to ensure we include the voices of rural and remote consumers in all our policy and advocacy work and identify what matters to them. This SIG will help identify where improvements can be made and contribute to the cultural changes needed among health professionals, health managers, health services and the wider community for sustainable improvements in rural and remote health. We see this SIG as the first step towards establishing a Rural and Remote Health Forum, which is a longer-term goal for CHF.