Who we care for…
At SALHN we provide healthcare for more than 350,000 people who mainly live in southern Adelaide. We also care for people from regional South Australia, the Northern Territory and New South Wales.
We have six clinical divisions:
- Medicine, Cardiac and Critical Care
- Surgery and Perioperative Medicine
- Rehabilitation, Aged Care and Palliative Care
- Mental Health, and
- Women’s and Children’s.
The sixth division is Allied Health, Intermediate Care and Aboriginal Health, which provides clinical services across the divisions as well as a number of ambulatory, community and primary-health services.
Clinical divisions are supported to deliver care by key network services such as:
- Corporate Governance and Risk
- Clinical Governance
We also partner with several private providers across multiple sites to deliver services and have home-based services.
Our core health services include medical, surgical, rehabilitation, aged care, palliative care, mental health, allied health, Aboriginal health and women’s and children’s services, ranging from acute to primary health services.
Our state-wide services include liver transplant and adult cochlear implant services, eye bank, adult eating disorder service, gambling therapy, veterans mental health, older persons mental health, obstetric trauma and Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia.
Our affiliated services include Flinders Private Hospital, the Metropolitan Referral Unit, the Artificial Limb Scheme, Flinders Reproductive Medicine and McLaren Vale and Districts War Memorial Hospital.
We are a leading research and teaching organisation providing a clinical environment for medical, nursing and midwifery and allied health research.
What is community engagement?
There is no universal definition of community engagement. For us, community engagement means involving people in issues affecting them and deepening relationships to work collaboratively with groups or individuals who have a common interest in health and wellbeing. Here we explain some terms we use in this document that relate to community engagement.
What does community engagement involve, for us?
For SALHN community engagement involves connecting with the community to build long-term relationships, share information, plan, and build capacity to shape our healthcare system for the benefit of our community.
Why is community engagement important, for us?
Developing health systems and services in partnership with patients, families, carers, and the community is known to improve clinical and individual health, and the quality and safety of health services.
What do we mean by community?
Community is made up of the people who live, work, and visit a place, or have a common interest. There are communities of place and communities of interest.
Communities of place are where people identify with a defined geographical area, e.g. a hospital.
Communities of interest are where people share a particular experience, or characteristic such as gender identity, sexual orientation, young people, faith groups, older people, people living with a disability and migrant groups.
What is a consumer?
Consumers are patients, users or potential users of health services. Consumers can also be advocates, families and carers.
What is a stakeholder?
Any person or group who provides, receives, manages, has an interest or concern in our healthcare are stakeholders.
Our commitment to engaging with our community
When engaging with our community we commit to the following engagement principles:
We know why we are engaging
We are clear about what we are asking the community to consider and how much they can influence the decision or outcome to avoid unrealistic expectations. We clearly articulate timeframes, processes and how we communicate decisions.
We know the history
We determine what we already know and research background information. Where possible, we build on previous engagement activities and identify opportunities to coordinate current engagement activities. If a new process is required, we explain why.
We know who to engage
We identify stakeholders using a transparent process to make sure we promote trust in the engagement process. We ensure the community have various opportunities to contribute their opinions and expertise, including diverse voices, and in various ways.
We start together
Meaningful engagement takes time and continued effort. We start together to build a sense of ownership and to save time and resources down the track. Community engagement is a consideration at the beginning of decision-making and change processes.
We are genuine
We are honest about our intent and clear about the purpose and level of engagement. Our commitment to communication and engagement is reflected within our plans and actions.
We listen to understand. We close the feedback loop and let people know how they contributed to and influenced outcomes and how their voice has been heard.
We are relevant and engaging
We put our community at the centre of the engagement process and make it relevant, accessible, and interesting. We are creative, innovative, and responsive in the various ways we engage.
How we will engage with our community
Engagement can occur within different groupings such as;
Individuals – consumers, patients, their families, carers (paid and unpaid), and advocates as partners in their own healthcare and treatment.
Services – partnerships connected to how programs, services or facilities are designed, structured, evaluated and improved at a local level.
Networks – regional engagement across service providers enabling input into broader plans across health
Systems – policy, reform, strategies, and legislative influence across the health system.
Engagement options: Inform, consult, involve, collaborate, empower/community led (developed by the International Association for Public Participation).
Responsibility for our community engagement is held by different individuals, teams and groups within SALHN.
Preparing and planning for community engagement will involve:
- Setting the agenda: developing objectives, expectations and measures of success
- Informing: providing information and data to support engagement
- Involvement and collaboration: improving structures, processes and support for consultation/ debate
- Empowerment: investing in skills, capabilities, and opportunities to lead change and feedback.
From any point of care, to the Board, and back, SALHN will ensure community participation occurs from the Board and Executive level, through to the program, ward and unit level, as well as through our established, matured consumer advisory groups. This approach ensures the community can partner with SALHN at all levels.
How we will continuously improve our community engagement
Asking our community for feedback
We will regularly ask for feedback from the community. This feedback will form a continuous feedback loop.
We will close the loop - “you said, we did”
Through this feedback we will regularly monitor our community and relationship activities, evaluate the impact of these partnerships, and consider how these actions could be improved.
We will embed community engagement into the way we work
Including in our organisational culture, policy and governance, as well as in service design and provision.
Reviewing and reporting
We will formally report on our community engagement achievements against our developed measures of success in our annual report on the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network.