We are a platform of the Western Australian (WA) Health Translation Network. We were initially established in 1998 at The University of Western Australia’s School of Population and Global Health and Telethon Kids Institute (founding partners). Three-year funding provided by WA’s Lotterywest in July 2016 supported us to expand our Program of Work across WA’s five universities, seven research institutes, tertiary health services, private hospitals and the WA Department of Health.
We are recognised nationally and internationally as a best practice model for consumer and community involvement.
About the Consumer and Community Health Research Network
We currently have consumer advocates providing on the ground support to nine partner organisations of the WA Heath Translation Network; Telethon Kids Institute, the University of Western Australia, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, Perth Children’s Hospital, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, University of Notre Dame, Fiona Stanley Hospital, Murdoch University
Since 1998 we have developed a range of strategies, systems and methods to successfully involve consumers and community members in research projects. Research areas include laboratory, epidemiology, clinical and data linkage. Research ranges from student and individual projects to large multi-million dollar programs.
Our structure and Program of Work
Our structure includes: a Development Team which provides back of house support to the consumer advocates and management of the website, data bases, events and training workshops; and a Delivery Team of consumer advocates to provide on-the-ground support to researchers in the partner organisations.
We support consumers, community members and researchers through the implementation of our Program of Work which has six components: advocacy and advice; building the evidence; community interaction, methods of involvement; governance and services; and teaching and training. The four key deliverables of this Program of Work are: community links; advocacy; education; and leadership.
The Program of Work is underpinned by the National Health and Medical Research Council’s statement and framework:
- Statement on Consumer and Community Involvement in Health and Medical Research (2016)
- Model Framework for Consumer and Community Participation in Health and Medical Research’ (2004)
- Consumer and Community Health Research Network Strategic Framework 2016 to 2019
- An advisory and support service to researchers and students at the WA Health Translation Network on the how and why of implementing consumer and community involvement
- Expertise on involving consumers and community members in setting research priorities
- A consultancy service to external agencies as requested
- A suite of training courses and workshops for researchers, consumers and community members
- Access to state and national consumer and community networks
- Expertise and guidance on:
- Establishing involvement programs and activities
- Governance models
- Stakeholder relationship building
- Engagement strategies
- Facilitation and event organisation