Engaging with communities: AHPRA Community Reference Group

Engaging with communities: AHPRA Community Reference Group


The AHPRA CRG is the Community Reference Group, which is a collection of people who want to represent the views of the community in all the work that AHPRA’s doing, and make sure that there’s
community consultation around that work
that’s being done. The Community Reference Group is one of the ways that AHPRA
is able to get feedback and input on the
decisions that it makes, and how it delivers its service. Its function is fundamentally to provide advice on a range of matters that affect consumers in the community. So, the CRG brings together a range of different community expertise, so that we make sure that everything we do reflects what it is that
the community needs. I think what makes it work is very wise, experienced, and interested people sitting around the table. What it’s actually brought has been a heightened awareness of the impacts of regulation on consumers of
health services. That existed already, but this has improved it,
heightened it, and given it a real focus. We need to ensure that we’re
growing and developing so that our contribution is – as a system becomes
more complex, is more and more valued. We’re here to remind them
of what’s important, and not to forget the humans in any of the processes
that they’re working in. The community is at the heart
of everything that AHPRA does, and it’s really important
that we have strong, informed consumer input
into everything we do. We are the voice within AHPRA that consistently calls for the consumer perspective to be included in all
standards and policies. Without it, we are more exposed, and much more vulnerable in an already complicated
and difficult system. You know, if you don’t actually
ask the people about the service, then you don’t understand
why they might make complaints, what their understanding
of the process is, and you don’t know where you’re going wrong, so it’s part of good-quality improvement. Being able to relate those concerns of very vulnerable consumers, I think, is enormously important. I think the CRG’s got
a really exciting future, because it will continue
to grow and develop as a community
and consumer voice into all of our work, understanding what we’re about, and really helping
us to make sure that our work is
the best it can be, and best serves the needs
of the Australian community.

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