Voice of clients at heart of service design

Centacare has reaffirmed its commitment to putting its clients first, with the introduction of the Centacare consumer advisory committee (CCAC). 

The first meeting has been held with Committee members, who have been chosen to reflect the diverse communities that Centacare serves. This includes people with disability, older people, people who experience mental illness and people who have experienced domestic and family violence, as well as current or past clients and their family members or carers.

Centacare General Manager Practice Governance April O’Mara said community engagement helped ensure services delivered by the organisation were fit for purpose, delivered by qualified competent staff and relevant for the clients receiving them.  

“This will be a critical platform in ensuring operations, strategic planning, and direction are responsive to the needs of our clients and we are seeking nominations from people who will bring a range of perspectives on the way we provide services and engage with our community,” said Dr O’Mara. 

The CCAC will augment Centacare’s Voice of Customer program, which has received close to 20,000 pieces of feedback from clients over the three years that it’s been running. 

Surveys are sent to clients at different points throughout their experience and feedback is used to generate insights around client needs and preferences on the delivery of services as an input into continuous improvement activity.  

Customer Experience Program Manager Kate Webster said the program provided meaningful insights into client perceptions, with the goal of enhancing their lives and experiences. 

Each quarter Broadbeach Social and Life Skills Hub sends its clients a schedule that contains up to four different options for activities on any given day. 

Clients work through the schedule with their support worker or family member and select the activities that suit them. They make their decisions based on their schedule, budget, goals and areas of interest. 

“If there’s something that clients think we can do better, this survey also gives them the opportunity to request a phone call from one of our team members to discuss,” said Ms Webster. 

“It’s an important way for leadership to know what we’re doing well and where we can improve to make sure our clients get the care that they need and deserve. 

Client listening exercises have also been adopted locally throughout Centacare services, with hubs inviting input from clients via group meetings and open planning sessions 

(L-R) Melissa and Jacqui enjoy activities at Broadbeach Social and Life Skills Hub

Jacqui is a regular at the Broadbeach Hub. In line with her goals to develop her social skills and improve her daily living skills, Jacqui participates in the Hub’s weekly social group as well as the cooking and gardening groups. Jacqui also has a casual job and being able to make choices that align with her goals and fit around her every-changing work commitments is critical.  

Centacare Service Leader Sarah Hessels said the expression of interest format helped Centacare deliver on its promise to let clients call the shots.  

“At Centacare we say that our clients know more than anyone what’s important to them. It’s vital that their voice is at the centre of the decision-making process, particularly where the decisions affect them,” said Ms Hessels.  

If you have questions about the committee, would prefer information in an alternate format, or would like to speak to someone about this opportunity please email [email protected]