Expert Panel - Review of Elective Surgery and Emergency Access Targets under the National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services: Supplementary Annexure
3.1 Our Approach to Consultation
From the outset, we endeavoured to consult as widely as possible within the short timeframe we had to operate. The key issues we wished to learn from our consultation process included stakeholder and consumer views on:
- the targets as they stood in the original National Partnership Agreement;
- the perceived effectiveness of the targets in driving service delivery improvements;
- practicalities of implementing the targets;
- safety and quality issues that need to be taken into account with implementation;
- communication, clinical engagement and other enablers for change and implementation;
- supports/controls/conditions required to ensure that changes are real and sustainable; and
- adjustments to timeframes or other aspects of implementation required to enable targets to be introduced in a manner which is mindful of the practical and other issues raised.
Ipsos-Eureka was commissioned by the Australian Government to facilitate the consultation process. Their approach consisted of three components:
- consultation forums with stakeholders in each of the eight states and territories, and a forum of peak bodies in Canberra;
- 18 qualitative group discussions with consumers across five states; and
- a review of 70 written submissions received from interested stakeholders.
Each jurisdictional consultation forum was attended by the Chair of the Expert Panel, Professor Chris Baggoley, and various members of the Expert Panel. Stakeholders included state and territory departmental officials, clinicians, nurses, hospital and health service managers and administrators, and consumer representatives. The number of sessions, and their participants, varied across jurisdictions. Tele- and video-conferencing facilities were used in some jurisdictions to facilitate contributions from stakeholders outside the capital cities.
Ipsos-Eureka conducted 18 qualitative group discussions across five states to explore the views of consumers in relation to the targets. Each discussion ran for between 1.5 and two hours, consisted of seven to ten people, and covered attitudes to both elective surgery and emergency access targets.
The written submission process was through an open submission call on yourhealth.gov.au, and a targeted invitation process to key stakeholders and peak bodies. Of the 70 submissions received, there was:
- one from each state and territory;
- 27 from organisations, including five from specialist colleges; and
- 35 from individuals.
The details of the attendees of consultation forums conducted in each jurisdiction, the 18 consumer engagement forums, and public submissions were provided at Appendix A and B to our First Report. A full list of submissions is included at Appendix B to this Annexure.
The analysis of views presented in this section of the Annexure is based on all three components of the consultation process.