National mental health report 2013

Other local arrangements for consumer and carer participation

Page last updated: 2013

States and territories have expressed concern in previous years that exclusive reliance on the 'formal committees' approach to the assessment of consumer participation – the basis of Figure 40 – does not adequately describe the range of initiatives that can be taken to enable participation within mental health service structures and processes. Consumers and carers themselves have articulated similar views.

Commencing in 1998‑99, the annual state and territory data collection was modified to explore a fuller range of options being pursued by local services, and requested that each mental health service organisation indicate whether such arrangements were in place. The options assessed in the survey are summarised in Table 7.

Figure 41 considers the extent to which mental health service organisations have implemented the last four of these strategies (the first strategy is considered separately below). Taken at face value, the data suggest considerable innovation by service providers in the approaches to building a consumer and carer oriented culture, although the extent to which organisations have established particular initiatives varies. As noted in previous reports, mechanisms for carer participation have been less developed than those for consumer participation, but the gap is closing.

Table 7: Additional consumer and carer participation strategies assessed in annual state and territory reporting

Additional consumer and carer participation strategies:
  1. Consumer/ carer consultants are employed on a paid basis to represent the interests of primary consumers/ carers and advocate for their needs.
  2. The organisation holds regular discussion groups to seek the views of primary consumers/ carers about the mental health services.
  3. The organisation has developed a formal (documented) policy on participation by primary consumers/carers.
  4. The organisation periodically conducts consumer/ carer satisfaction surveys.
  5. The organisation has a formal internal complaints mechanism in which complaints made by primary consumers/ carers are regularly reviewed by a committee that includes primary consumers/ carers. Top of page

Figure 41: Other participation arrangements for consumers and carers, 1998-99 to 2010-11

Consumers

Refer to the following table for a text equivalent of Figure 41: Other participation arrangements for consumers, 1998-99 to 2010-11

Text version of figure 41 - consumers

1998-99
Start 2nd plan
%
2002-03
End 2nd plan
%
2007-08
End 3rd plan
%
2010-11
Mid 4th plan
%
Consumer discussion groups
60
73
78
81
Consumer participation policy
39
54
79
75
Consumer satisfaction surveys
63
74
82
89
Consumer reviews of complains
42
63
76
72
Top of page

Carers

Refer to the following table for a text equivalent of Figure 41: Other participation arrangements for carers, 1998-99 to 2010-11

Text version of figure 41 - carers

1998-99
Start 2nd plan
%
2002-03
End 2nd plan
%
2007-08
End 3rd plan
%
2010-11
Mid 4th plan
%
Carer discussion groups
55
65
71
73
Carer participation policy
32
48
72
75
Carer satisfaction surveys
43
56
60
69
Carer reviews of complains
31
51
71
73