Co-Design and person-centred care involve health professionals shifting their thinking to actively engage with carers and consumers. But why is it so important to make this shift? Why engage carers and consumers in the process of refining and developing health services?

embeddingBy listening to the stories of consumers and carers, health professionals can deepen their understanding of their clients’ needs and work to improve their experience in meaningful ways.

“Sometimes what I’m talking about is just my real life. I’ve had doctors say to me ‘Wow that was amazing what you just said’, but I don’t even recall what it was. To me it’s just common sense; it’s not rocket science. For that [insight] to be acknowledged by professionals is quite rewarding, you feel like you’re telling them something really basic and yet they treat it like amazing information.” – Anne Funke, Carer’s Advocate

To ensure that consumers’ voices are heard it is important that clear structures are put in place to formalise this process. This makes a strong statement about the value placed on consumers’ involvement in decision-making and ensures consumer input is cemented into the development and delivery of health services in consistent and sustainable ways.