Wentworth Healthcare has always valued the views of our community, and we have incorporated nationally-recognised community engagement projects into our strategic planning for over five years.
The people involved in our regional Community Advisory Committee (CAC) as well as those who participate in our LGA-based consumer groups represent a broad cross-section of our local community.
They also champion the opinion and experience of the patient, by graciously sharing their own health journeys and providing tangible feedback that we can use to make improvements to our local healthcare system.
Many of them are a part of their own community-based health networks, which enables us to receive input from multiple areas as well as providing additional opportunities for us to disseminate relevant health information.
One example is John Ruttle, who is a member of our Penrith health consumer working group, and has COPD – or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD is a condition which makes it hard to breathe, thereby making physical activity a challenge. COPD affects 1 in 7 Australians (1). John is also the President of the Nepean Puffers and Wheezers support group.
Since 2015, John has contributed to our consumer engagement work, and last year he also began assisting our COPD Collaborative – a project we run that works closely with 15 general practices to improve the diagnosis and management of COPD.
John has shared his personal story with us, and I’m honoured to be able to share it with you:
Learning from our local community to shape our future health is an essential part of the work we do every day.
We are currently looking for new people to join our consumer advisory groups. If you are interested in lending your voice, I encourage you to register your interest.
1. Toelle B, Xuan W, Bird T, Abramson M, Atkinson D, Burton D, James A, Jenkins C, Johns D, Maquire G, Musk A, Walters E, Wood-Baker R, Hunter M, Graham B, Southwell P, Vollmer W, Buist A, Marks G. Respiratory symptoms and illness in older Australians: The Burden of Obstructive Lung Disease (BOLD) study. Med J Aust 2013; 198 (3): 144-148