Consumer involvement

At Canberra Health Services we are committed to working in partnership with you, our consumers, to ensure you receive the best possible care. Consumer involvement is an important aspect in helping improve our health system for everyone.

It’s important to ask questions about your care and treatment options. You should also ensure you receive all the information you need to make informed decisions.

The following tips can help you become more actively involved in your healthcare.

  • speak up if you have any questions or concerns
  • learn more about your condition or treatments by asking your doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional, or seek other information sources
  • keep a list of all the medicines you are taking and make sure you understand what you are taking
  • make sure you get the results of any tests or procedures
  • talk to your doctor or other healthcare professionals about your options
  • make sure you know what is involved if you need surgery or a procedure
  • make sure you agree with your doctor and surgeon on exactly what occurs during the operation or procedure
  • ask your doctor or other health professional to explain the treatment plan for home before you leave hospital

You can help us improve our services by giving feedback about the services you receive. This lets us know what we are doing well and where we can improve.

Please see Consumer Feedback for more information.

Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare developed the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights for all people receiving, seeking or delivering health care in all settings in Australia.

The Charter summarises the basic rights all patients and consumers are entitled to receive when accessing health care services. They are:

  • Access
  • Safety
  • Respect
  • Partnership
  • Information
  • Privacy
  • Give feedback

As a health care consumer at Canberra Health Services, you have the right to:

  • access a range of hospital services based on your clinical needs
  • receive high quality care and be cared for in an environment that makes you feel safe
  • be treated with dignity and respect
  • have your culture, identity, beliefs and choices recognised and respected
  • ask questions and be involved in open and honest communication about your health care needs
  • make decisions with your health care provider, to the extent that you can choose and are able to make these decisions
  • clear information about your condition and the possible benefits and risks of different tests and treatments
  • be given assistance, when you need it, to help you understand and use health information
  • access your health information
  • be told if something has gone wrong during your health care, how it happened, how it may affect you and what is being done to make your care safe
  • have your personal privacy respected and have your health information kept secure and confidential
  • give feedback and make complaints without it affecting the way you are treated
  • have your concerns addressed in a transparent and timely way
  • share your experience and participate to improve the quality of care and the health services.

As a health care consumer at Canberra Health Services, you have the responsibility to:

  • treat health care workers and other patients politely and with respect
  • respect the rights and privacy of health care workers and other people using the service
  • give treating staff complete information about your condition, previous treatment, allergies, medications you have taken and other information relevant to your treatment
  • acknowledge that the hospital must give priority to those patients most in need of care
  • ask questions until you feel fully informed about your illness and any treatment that is recommended
  • make an informed choice about treatment
  • advise your treating staff if you stop treatment or stop taking prescribed medication
  • advise treating staff if your condition worsens or doesn’t seem to be improving with treatment
  • keep appointments or notify the service providers if you are unable to attend.


A shared understanding of these rights between consumers and those working in health care contributes to the provision of safe and high-quality care.

Please see the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights for more information.

Advance Care Planning

Advance care planning is a series of steps you can take to help plan for your future healthcare.

The Advance Care Planning program helps healthcare professionals understand your wishes about future treatment. This information can be helpful for your family and friends if you become seriously ill and are unable to make decisions for yourself.

Consumer Representatives

Consumer, carer and community representatives give balance to the views of healthcare professionals, service providers and industry. This helps create a health system that better reflects the needs of all stakeholders.

Most of our consumer representatives are recruited, trained and supported through the following organisations:

Please contact the Canberra Health Services Consumer, Feedback and Engagement Team on (02) 5124 5932 during business hours or at healthfeedback@act.gov.au

Clinical Ethics Committee

The Clinical Ethics Committee can assist patients, relatives and advocates resolve concerns about ethical aspects of clinical practice.

Community consultation

Community consultation helps us make informed policy decisions about issues that may affect the community. You can get involved by visiting Your Say.

Flu Trackers

We regularly look for Flu Trackers to help protect the community from influenza. Flu Tracking is a national online health surveillance system that monitors seasonal flu activity. There are currently 400 trackers in the ACT.

Flu Tracking involves responding to a weekly email about the symptoms you and your household members experienced the previous week. This helps us find ways to detect when the flu season begins so we can provide better protection from epidemics.

Participation is voluntary and all information is kept confidential. Please see Flu Tracking for more information or to sign up.

Research

We are involved in a variety of national and international research projects within the ACT and the surrounding region.

Page last updated on: 21 Oct 2019