Building consumer involvement from the ground up

The 2021 Consumer Health Forum Summit: Shifting Gears, brought together experts in the field of co-design and co-creation of healthcare in Australia.

CCI Coordinator Ben Horgan spoke at the event, representing the Consumer and Community Involvement Program (CCIProgram) and our work to collaborate and bring the voice of health consumers to the research planning table.

Together with Professor John Fitzgerald, Deputy Director of Operations for the enAble Institute at Curtin University, Ben discussed the importance of embedding consumer engagement, participation and co-ownership in the design of health and medical research from the ground up.

The enAble Institute provided great insight into the power of a well formed relationship between the community and the research team, which in the case of the Institute has informed the co-design process ensuring the Institute’s business model and governance structure truly includes the community they wish to serve.

CHF Summit enAble Institute presentation thumbnail

Curtin’s enAble Institute’s strategic mission is to focus Curtin research strengths as a community focussed research institute. It will bring together 4 broad domains of research: wellbeing and independent living; neurodiversity, maternity and child health; dementia; and mental health; while also engaging with other areas of the University to ensure the solutions that arise are practical and fit for purpose.

The collaboration with community started in the very early stages of the programs development, utilising many forms of consultation via the CCIProgram, including a Community Conversation with current consumer representatives working with Curtin researchers.

The result is a mandated commitment to support persons of all levels of ability to stay in their communities and live personally meaningful and enriching lives regardless of age, through research driven by their self-determined priorities.

Read more about the success of the CHF Summit here.