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  • Principles & Best

    Practice Strategies

    for Consumer

    Engagement in the

    Alcohol and Other

    Drugs Sector in

    Western Australia Summary of findings from Consumer and Other

    Key Stakeholder Consultations in 2016

    Consultations were facilitated by a consumer consultant that was engaged by

    the Alcohol and Other Drugs Consumer Engagement Advisory Group (AOD AG).

    The Health Consumers Council established the AOD AG to develop Principles

    and Best Practice Strategies for engaging AOD consumers in W.A. through

    funding received by the Mental Health Commission in 2015.

    2016

    Health Consumers Council Western Australia

    Alcohol and Other Drugs Consumer Engagement Advisory Group

    12/31/2016

  • Page 2 of 44

    Contents

    1. Acknowledgements ..................................................................................................................... 3

    1.1. Participants of the Advisory Group ......................................................................................... 3

    2. Glossary (Definitions and Acronyms) .......................................................................................... 4

    3. Introduction: ............................................................................................................................... 5

    3.1. Background .................................................................................................................................. 5

    3.2. Consumer Consultant .................................................................................................................. 6

    3.3. Consumer Engagement: ............................................................................................................... 6

    3.4. Benefits of Consumer Engagement: ............................................................................................ 7

    3.5. Levels of Consumer Engagement: ................................................................................................ 8

    3.7. Standards and Rationale for Consumer Engagement: ................................................................. 9

    4. Consultation Process: ................................................................................................................ 11

    4.1. AOD AG: ................................................................................................................................ 11

    4.2. Principles: .............................................................................................................................. 11

    4.3. Consumer Consultations: ...................................................................................................... 11

    4.4. Questions for Focus Group Participants ............................................................................... 12

    5. Principles and Strategies for Consumer Engagement ............................................................... 13

    6. Consumer Consultation Findings .............................................................................................. 15

    6.1. Consumers Consulted: .......................................................................................................... 15

    6.2. Principles: .............................................................................................................................. 16

    6.3. Summary of Response to Questions: .................................................................................... 16

    7. Using the Principles: A practical example ................................................................................. 22

    7.1. Consumer Consultations: ...................................................................................................... 22

    7.2. Consumer Consultation Process: .......................................................................................... 24

    7.3. AOD AG: ................................................................................................................................ 24

    8. Summary/Discussion ................................................................................................................. 26

    9. References: ............................................................................................................................... 28

    Appendix 1: Consumer Consultation Handout ................................................................................. 31

    Appendix 2: Consumer Consultation Handout ................................................................................. 33

    Appendix 3: Consumer Consultation Handout ................................................................................. 34

    Appendix 4: Consumer Consultation Handout ................................................................................. 35

    Appendix 5: Consumer Consultation Feedback ................................................................................ 36

  • Page 3 of 44

    1. Acknowledgements

    The Health Consumers Council Western Australia wishes to thank all of those involved in the

    development of the Principles and Best Practice Strategies for Consumer Engagement in the Alcohol

    & Other Drugs Sector in Western Australia, for their time, effort and expertise. We would particularly

    like to acknowledge the expert advice and input from the Alcohol and Other Drugs Consumer

    Engagement Advisory Group

    1.1. Participants of the Advisory Group

    Rhianwen Beresford: Consumers of Mental Health WA

    Pip Brennan: Executive Director, Health Consumers Council WA

    Rochelle Brown: Consumer Representative

    Angela Corry: CEO, Western Australian Substance Users Association

    Rene Dingo: Consumer Representative

    Shannon Dixon: Consumer Representative

    Shauna Gaebler: CEO Consumers of Mental Health WA

    Louise Grant: Consumer Representative

    Taryn Harvey: CEO, Developmental Disability WA

    Renae Hodgson: Mental Health Commission

    Pete Hollings: Consumer Representative

    Juanita Koeijers: Consumer Representative

    Julia Knapton: Mental Health Commission

    Jill Rundle: CEO, WANADA

    David Shakespeare: Consumer Representative

    Ric Walne: Consumer Representative Family/Significant Other

  • Page 4 of 44

    2. Glossary (Definitions and Acronyms)

    Definitions: (Definitions are for the purpose of this document)

    Consumer: Consumers are people who use or are potential users of Alcohol & Other Drug Services

    including their family and significant others or self-identify as a consumer

    Family/Significant Other: Refers to a family member &/or significant who is impacted by an

    individuals use of AOD

    Consumer Participation/Engagement: Participation and engagement are used interchangeably

    throughout this document. Consumer engagement or participation refers to any activity that

    incorporates consumer aspirations and needs into decision making at an individual, service, sector

    and systems level or Participation occurs when consumers, carers and community members are

    meaningfully involved in decision-making about health policy and planning, care and treatment, and

    the well-being of themselves and the community (cited in Consumer participation in the Australian

    alcohol and other drug sector; ANCD page 13)

    Acronyms:

    AADS: Aboriginal Alcohol and Drug Service

    AOD: Alcohol and other drugs

    AOD AG: Alcohol and Other Drugs Consumer Engagement Advisory Group

    ATSI: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

    COMHWA: Consumers of Mental Health WA

    DAO: Drug and Alcohol Office

    HCC: Health Consumers Council

    MHC: Mental Health Commission

    NSP: Needle Syringe Program

    NSEP: Needle Syringe Exchange Program

    WANADA: Western Australian Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies

    WASUA: Western Australian Substance Users Association

  • Page 5 of 44

    3. Introduction:

    3.1. Background

    In 2014 the Drug and Alcohol Office (now known as the Mental Health Commission) contracted a

    consultant to research consumer involvement in the Western Australian Alcohol and Other Drug

    Service sector. The research aimed to look at:

    Current levels of consumer involvement

    Barriers to consumer participation

    How consumer participation activities could be improved

    The research found that consumers mostly participated in lower levels of consumer engagement

    activities such as surveys and feedback forms and there were a number of barriers identified by both

    consumers and treatment service providers.

    Following the research the Drug and Alcohol Office (DAO) in partnership with the Western Australian

    Substance Users Association (WASUA) and Western Australian Network of Alcohol and Other Drug

    Agencies (WANADA), held a forum in November 2014 of 70 consumers to discuss ways to improve

    consumer involvement in the alcohol and other drug (AOD) sector. The forum aimed to confirm

    previous research findings and determine priorities for implementing future consumer engagement

    strategies.

    The forum supported the previous research findings:

    Consumers wanted more opportunities to participate in a range of activities including

    individual treatment, AOD service delivery, policy development and planning

    Support for consumers through training and peer support

    Barriers need to be addressed so consumers can provide m