Consumer, carer and community engagement

SA Health is committed to engaging and partnering with consumers, carers and the community and values the positive contributions they make in improving health care service quality, equity and management.

Effective consumer engagement begins with health services working with consumers, carers and the community, as equal partners in their own care, to deliver better health outcomes. Partnering with consumers, carers and community and using their knowledge and experience guarantees a better consumer experience, a more cost effective co-designed service, and a service delivery which meets the needs of the community, resulting in improved population health.

Consumer engagement is essential for health service culture, quality and safety and patient-centred care.

Consumer, Carer and Community Engagement Strategic Framework and Guide

The Statewide Consumer, Carer and Community Engagement Strategic Framework (PDF 2.5MB) (the Framework) provides direction for the Department for Health and Wellbeing (DHW), Local Health Network (LHN) Governing Boards and SA Ambulance (SAAS) to effectively and meaningfully partner with consumers, carers and the community to improve the quality of health care services and to better meet patient needs and preferences.

How to get involved

To find out how to get involved in a consumer group in your area, please contact your local Consumer, Carer and Community Engagement Leads (PDF 100KB).

Engaging with Aboriginal people

The Guide to Engaging with Aboriginal People (PDF 531KB) assists staff to conduct Aboriginal stakeholder and community engagement. It is designed to be useful preparatory reading before Aboriginal engagement is organised and commenced.

The Guide provides information about possible ways to engage with Aboriginal people in a range of contexts in a culturally respectful and effective manner.

For more resources please visit the Aboriginal Health page. If you have any comments or suggestions relating to this guide please contact the Aboriginal Health team at

Partnering with carers

The Partnering with Carers Policy Directive (PDF 464KB) was developed in consultation with carers to reflect the priorities and needs of carers and establish principles and standards by which SA Health can demonstrate its commitment to carers. Visit the Partnering with carers page for more information.

Sitting fees and reimbursement

Sitting fees recognise the significant contributions made by external individuals who bring knowledge, skills and experience that is not generally obtainable from SA Health employees. Reimbursement ensures that external individuals are not out of pocket as a result of their participation.

SA Health has reviewed the Sitting fees and reimbursement for external individuals policy and consumer reimbursement claim form.

Consumers claiming sitting fees and reimbursements

All consumer claims for sitting fees and reimbursement must be made using the:

First time claimants no longer need to complete the ‘Vendor Creation Form’ if the ‘Consumer Sitting fee and Reimbursement Claim form’ is completed in full (providing name, address and bank details).

Contact the Consumer engagement contact in your Local Health Network for assistance or for further information.

Taxation and Centrelink

Taxation and Centrelink arrangements need to be considered on a case by case basis and in consultation with the relevant Australian Government agency.

Sitting fees may be considered a form of reportable income by Centrelink and Services Australia. The Australian Government Services Australia income reporting page provides further information. There may be different tax treatments for sitting fees and reimbursement payments.

Taxation fact sheets are available on the Oracle Assist intranet as a general guide and only for the purposes of SA Health in relation to: