Resources and Links

  1. Consumer engagement in Central Victoria. A literature review for health and community Services. (2015) Lavery S. Central Victorian Primary Care Partnership. Castlemaine

A rapid literature review undertaken by the Central Victorian Primary Care Partnership to assist health and social services in rural Victoria to analyse methods and models of participation and develop strategies to engage consumers in the planning and implementation of local service.

The report acknowledges the lack of rigorous evaluation compounding the challenge for those that are seeking evidence based practice, and that organisations are struggling to translate the ideals of consumer engagement into practice in a sustainable, meaningful way. This report offers a comprehensive overview of literature including

  • Community and Consumer engagement – the different terms, processes and aims
  • Models of consumer and community engagement
  • Why we need consumer engagement
  • Australian Context
  • Barriers
  • Factors facilitating community engagement.


  1. North East PCP Community, Consumer & Carer Participation Mapping Report 2015

The Committed Organisations Checklist was used to facilitate discussion and reflections on participation work with interested agencies within the NEPCP. It covers the following criteria:

1. Governance

2. Cultural engagement

3. Clear objectives

4. Resources & support

5. Education & training

6. Facilitation

7. Research, data & evaluation


Summary of results

Energy around consumer participation was generally high but there were frank observations into the challenges of the work. Discussions suggest that while agencies have done much to set up structures to support consumer participation, this has not guaranteed commitment across the whole organisation. It might take radical and innovative ideas to achieve a transformational change in the workforce. Some agencies are doing exciting work that ticks all the boxes in terms of the governance, resources, co-design and evaluation, but they would concede it is early days. Others have long established programs of consumer and carer involvement, but believe more could be done to adequately support and prepare both the workforce and the consumer and carer participants.

For all agencies, the recruitment and retention of participants that reflect the diversity of their population is an issue. Overlying this is an acute awareness of the potential burden a commitment to consumer participation may mean for those with lived experience of complexity and/or poor health. Most agencies are keen to use the experience and knowledge of other agencies (and share their own) to improve their work in consumer participation, but would concede they have little time or resources. Action to support this work needs to have proven effectiveness and a sense of innovation in order to engage and sustain interest and commitment.


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