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Clinical Governance Framework: Partnering with consumers

Roles and responsibilities for this component of the Clinical Governance Framework relate to the way in which patients and consumers are involved in partnerships in their own care, and in organisational design and governance.

Patients and consumers

  • Are involved in planning and sharing decisions about individual health care
  • Ask for more information, information in different formats or a translator, if required
  • Let the workforce know who should be involved in sharing decisions about their care
  • Provide feedback to the health service organisation or clinician about care experiences
  • Consider being involved in the governance of the organisation, when opportunities exist
  • Consider being involved in the development and review of health information for consumers, when opportunities exist


  • Understand the evidence on consumer engagement, and its contribution to the safety and quality of health care
  • Understand how health literacy might affect the way a consumer gains access to, understands and uses health information
  • Support patients to have access to, and use, high-quality, easy-to-understand information about health care
  • Support patients to share decision-making about their own health care, to the extent that they choose
  • Work with consumer representative groups to ensure that systems of care are designed to encourage consumer engagement in decision-making
  • Assist consumer access to their own health information, and complaints and feedback systems
  • Implement and fully take part in the organisation’s open disclosure policy

Managers (including clinical managers)

  • Understand the barriers for patients and consumers to understand and use health services, and develop strategies to improve the health literacy environment of the health service organisation
  • Ensure that patients and consumers have access to high-quality, easy-to-understand information about health care
  • Set up organisational systems to enable consumers to fully engage in
    • planning and sharing decisions about their own health care
    • planning, designing, reviewing and evaluating clinical systems, and safety and quality of care
  • Collect and review patient experience information as part of quality improvement processes
  • Create opportunities for consumer involvement in relevant operational committees
  • When appropriate, set up specific consumer advisory committees

Governing bodies

  • Show leadership and commitment to partnerships with consumers
  • Set up high-level policies and procedures that support partnerships with consumers
  • Ensure that the organisation has effective systems for consumer complaints and open disclosure, and monitor performance of these systems
  • Ensure consumer input to decisions of the governing body
  • Create opportunities for consumer involvement in subcommittees of the governing body
  • Ensure that organisational systems support consumer engagement in decision-making
  • When appropriate, set up a specific consumer advisory committee to the board
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