Carers’ Recognition Act 2005 (DHW 2021-22 Annual Report)

The SA Health Consumer, Carer and Community Engagement Strategic Framework 2021-2025 was released in March 2021 and reinforces our commitment to partnering with consumers, carers and the community in their own care as well as in planning, co-design, governance, measurement and evaluation of our health services.

The SA Health Consumer, Carer and Community Feedback and Complaints Management Strategic Framework 2021-2024, Guide and Resources were also released in March 2021. The Framework ensures mechanisms are in place to:

  • actively manage carer feedback and complaints.
  • better respond to carer feedback and concerns.
  • identify and rectify system issues.
  • develop and improve services for carers.

Consumer, carer and community engagement is an essential function and governance undertaken by the Local Health Networks (LHN).  As part of the LHN Service Agreement and National Safety and Quality Health Standards, the LHNs are required to provide an overview on “Partnering with Carers” and compliance with the Carers Recognition Act 2005, in their annual Safety and Quality Account Report.

In 2021/2022, the statewide implementation of the national Mental Health Carer Experience Survey (CES) continued with LHNs gathering carer experience. In total, more than 450 carers completed the survey in mental health care sites across the state. The survey provides an insight into the carers’ experience with the mental health service. In general, responses indicated mental health services have an opportunity to improve in providing relevant information to carers to accomplish their role, while carers report that services are doing well showing respect and valuing the individual needs of carers.

Local Health Networks are developing action plans based on the results of the survey and will focus on service improvements across their networks from the carer experience surveys, within this period, before the next collection of data.

Examples of service improvements will be reported in their individual annual reports.