Safety and Quality > Our Work > Patients and Carers

Patients and carers have an important role to play in the safe delivery of health care

As a partner with health service organisations and their healthcare providers, patients and carers should

  • be involved in making decisions for service planning, developing models of care, measuring service and evaluating systems of care
  • participate in making decisions about their own health care and for this they will need to know and exercise their healthcare rights and be engaged in their health care and treatment decisions
  • be able to access information about options and agreed treatment plans.

Health care can be improved when patients and carers share – with their health care provider – issues that may impact on their compliance with treatment plans.

The Commission undertakes work in a number of areas to support patients and carers in receiving safe and quality care.

Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights

Everyone who is seeking or receiving care in the Australian Health system has certain rights regarding the nature of that care. These are described in the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights. The rights included in the Charter related to access, safety, respect, communication, participation, privacy and comment.

Australian Safety and Quality Framework for Health Care

The Australian Safety and Quality Framework for Health Care describes a vision for safe and high quality care for all Australians, and sets out the actions needed to achieve this vision. The Framework specifies three core principles for safe and high quality care. These are that care is consumer centred, driven by information, and organised for safety. The Framework applies in all part of the Australian health care system, and can be used by primary, community, and acute health care providers and managers, consumers, and other organisations and governments that improve, regulate, build evidence about, or advocate for safety and quality in health care.

National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards

The Commission developed the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards to drive the implementation and use of safety and quality systems and improve the quality of health service provision in Australia. The intention of  Standard 2 – Partnering with Consumer  is to create a health service that is responsive to patient, carer and consumer input and needs.

Patient and Consumer Centred Care

Patient or consumer centred care is health care that is respectful of, and responsive to, the preferences, needs and values of patients and consumers. The Commission provides a range of national resources, guides and tools, many of which focus on how patients and consumers can be supported, partnered and empowered to improve the safety and quality of health care.

Top tips for safe health care

The Top tips for safer health care describes nine tips that can help consumers, their families, carers and other support people to get the most out of their health care.