To be eligible to participate in the Health Consumers Queensland (HCQ) Consumer Representatives Program, HCQ requires consumers and agencies to work within these conditions, which include nine principles underpinning the Program.
Participating in the HCQ Consumer Representative Program, a commitment is made to support the mission, guiding principle and aspirations of HCQ, as well as the nine principles underpinning the HCQ Consumer Representatives Program.
HCQ supports the voices of Queensland consumers to achieve better health outcomes.
HCQ is committed to the consumer perspective in the development and delivery of health services.
The following responsibilities are considered part of the roles and responsibilities of an agency and the Consumer Representative who is appointed to an agency committee via the HCQ Consumer Representative Program:
In engaging a Consumer Representative, HCQ encourages agencies to demonstrate a commitment to:
Recruitment and Selection:
HCQ and the agency will work collaboratively in the selection process for a Consumer Representative. HCQ will undertake the recruitment and selection of consumer/s in an endeavour to meet the needs of the agency and will provide a recommendation/s for appointment.
The Consumer Representative and agency will provide relevant information to HCQ to assist and support the recruitment and selection of the most appropriate Consumer Representatives and agencies for the relevant committee.
While HCQ will use its best endeavours to select an appropriate Consumer Representative and agency, Queensland Health and HCQ do not warrant that the Consumer Representative and agency are suitable.
Orientation, mentorship and training:
HCQ encourages agencies to provide structured orientation to Consumer Representatives which includes background reading, the opportunity to meet relevant key people eg. Chairperson, and information about the committee’s aims and work.
HCQ encourages agencies to:
HCQ encourages agencies to provide assistance with the administrative needs of Consumer Representatives as required, for example, if they require hard copies of documents posted to them.
Consumer Representatives who have been appointed to an agency committee do not represent the views of Queensland Health/HCQ, but rather their views as a health consumer.
Consumer Representatives are not agents or employees of Queensland Health/HCQ.
No agreement or legal relationship exists between Queensland Health/HCQ, the agency or the Consumer Representative.
As a HCQ Consumer Representative, the following responsibilities are considered part of the role of Consumer Representatives:
HCQ expects that Consumer Representatives attend meetings, to participate, question and contribute as per letter of invitation. However, HCQ understands that there will be times when Consumer Representatives are unavailable to meet their commitments. Consumer Representatives are required to notify the agency if they are unable to make a meeting.
If a Consumer Representative needs to miss meetings regularly they need to contact the agency and HCQ Secretariat and provide them with this information. HCQ's Secretariat will work with the agency to explore alternative options to ensure consistent consumer input.
Consumer Representatives may be required to sign a confidentiality agreement with their committee/agency or undertake to keep some aspects of their work confidential. Consumer Representatives are bound by the same level of confidentiality as other members in relation to committee matters.
Consumer Representatives can raise any issues with the HCQ Secretariat that may arise in the course of undertaking their role.
Conflict of Interest
Consumer Representatives have the right and responsibility to raise any conflicts of interests that arise, or a potential or perceived conflict of interest as part of their engagement in committees to the HCQ Secretariat and the organisation. Consumer Representatives must also be prepared to remove themselves from the decision-making process if asked.
Consumer Representatives should not make public statements which are made or purport to be made on behalf of the committee, the agency or the HCQ/Queensland Health.
Consumer Representatives are to follow the relevant complaints process within the referring organisation.
Should a Consumer Representative have a grievance or difficulty with their committee, they should raise this with the Chair of the committee in the first instance and if not resolved direct the concerns/grievance to the relevant complaints mechanism within the organisations.
Should a Consumer Representative want further assistance they can contact the HCQ Secretariat.
Consumer Representatives can resign at any time, and should notify both the HCQ Secretariat and their committee in writing, and where possible, provide sufficient notice.
Queensland Health/HCQ can remove the Consumer Representative or agency from the HCQ Consumer Representative Program at anytime on giving sufficient notice.
The agency can terminate the Consumer Representative’s services on giving sufficient notice.
All personal information will be kept in hard copy on file in regards to application, expression of interests, etc and will be kept in secure storage and only the HCQ Secretariat will have access to this information (unless required or authorised by law to disclose it).
In making a selection in relation to particular agency requests, HCQ’s Secretariat may share some of the application details with a selection panel which is convened for that purpose.
HCQ Secretariat at times, may forward information to a referring agency in the selection process. HCQ will request the referring agency returns any information for an unsuccessful applicant to HCQ.
Applicants for committee vacancies consent to their personal details being provided in their expression of interest and CV to be used and disclosed as outlined above.
Queensland Health/HCQ is not liable for the actions or omissions of Consumer Representatives or agencies and no indemnity is provided in that regard. It is a matter for the Consumer Representative and agency to make their own indemnity arrangements.