Partnering with Consumers Standard

Healthcare services develop, implement and maintain systems to partner with consumers in their own health care.


Consumer outcome

I am a partner in my own health care and my opinion is valued in designing and delivering health care.

Intention of this standard

The Partnering with Consumers Standard recognises the importance of working with consumers in the planning and delivery of their own health care and providing clear communication to minimise risks of harm. This standard, together with the Clinical Governance Standard, form a comprehensive clinical governance framework.


Explanatory notes

Partnering with consumers

Delivering health care that is based on partnerships provides many benefits for patients, consumers, healthcare providers, healthcare services and the health system.

Effective partnerships exist when people are treated with dignity and respect, information is shared with them, and participation and collaboration in healthcare processes are encouraged and supported to the extent that people choose.1 Effective partnerships, a positive experience for service users, and high-quality health care and improved safety are linked.2,3,4

At the individual level, partnerships relate to the interaction between healthcare providers and patients when health care is provided. This involves providing health care that is respectful; sharing information in an ongoing way; working with patients, carers and families to make decisions and plan health care; and supporting and encouraging patients to actively participate in their own health care.2

At the healthcare service level, partnerships relate to the relationship with consumers that values and incorporates their views into the planning, design, monitoring and evaluation of services.2

The processes involved with these partnerships will vary according to the type and size of healthcare services delivered.

Clinical governance framework

A healthcare service’s clinical governance framework describes the safety and quality systems and processes that need to be in place to ensure the delivery of safe, high-quality health care. The existence of a robust clinical governance framework provides assurances to patients and the community of safe health care as well as driving improvements in services.

Healthcare services implementing the Partnering with Consumers Standard together with the Clinical Governance Standard will establish a clinical governance framework. This will provide a foundation to support the implementation of the third Clinical Safety Standard, which considers high-risk areas commonly encountered in primary and community healthcare services.

Charter of Rights

A healthcare service’s Charter of Rights describes the rights that consumers, or someone they care for, can expect when receiving health care. The healthcare service’s Charter of Rights should be consistent with the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights. In using a Charter of Rights, the healthcare service ensures the seven healthcare rights described in the charter are upheld in the planning and delivery of health care.


  1. Institute for Patient- and Family-Centred Care. Advancing the practice of patient- and family-centred care in primary care and other ambulatory settings: how to get started. Bethesda: IPFCC; 2008.
  2. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. Patient-centred Care: Improving quality and safety through partnerships with patients and consumers. Sydney: ACSQHC; 2011.
  3. Doyle C, Lennox L, Bell D. A systematic review of evidence on the links between patient experience and clinical safety and effectiveness. BMJ Open. 2013 Jan 3;3(1).
  4. Rathert C, Wyrwich MD, Boren SA. Patient-centered care and outcomes: a systematic review of the literature. Med Care Res Rev. 2013 Aug;70(4):351-379.