Have you met the members of our Maternity Consumer Reference Group (Maternity CRG)?
Mackay Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive and Maternity CRG Chair Lisa Davies Jones would like to introduce you to the people who are using their experience to help guide maternity services in our community.
“Since establishing our first consumer group five years ago, the Consumer Advisory Partners, it is an honour to be able to partner with families to enhance maternity services for our communities,” she said.
“With more than 1,600 babies born in our facilities last year, members play an important part in representing all parents’ rights as mothers, fathers and consumers across Mackay, Isaac and the Whitsundays.”
Hear from some of members on why they joined the group below.
Jelena Van Beek
Jelena is passionate about helping women and families birthing in the Mackay HHS. She applied for the group after feeling there was no avenue for maternity consumers to have a voice.
“It was important for me to feel like I could be involved proactively rather than reactively, to keep lines of communication open to achieve the best outcomes for the women of Mackay,” she said.
The mother-of-four enjoys collaborating with a group of like-minded, driven consumers who have women’s well-being at the forefront of their thinking.
“Consumers have lived experience and can bring a point of view or perspective not always considered by clinical staff,” she said.
“They also have connections with the greater community that can help to inform decision making within the health service.”
For women and families not on the group but still wanting to have their voice heard, Jelena encourages them to find an avenue, whether through a reference group member, a community group, or directly through the hospital’s feedback pathway.
Samantha applied for a position on the Maternity CRG because she wanted to be a voice for young mums. She was lucky enough to receive incredible care in all three of her births and wants others to have the same experience.
“I understand how much your pregnancy and birth journey really help shape your experience of motherhood and I wanted to make sure this group of maternity consumers were being seen,” she said.
“I want other people to see their story is important, their opinion is valuable, and you don’t have to have a medical background to be involved in something like this.”
Samantha believes all maternity consumers have a different background and experience that can help provide a unique perspective to health service conversations.
“Talking with the other people in the group and listening to their stories about what led them to apply for the group has been my favourite,” she said.
“The conversations and processes surrounding decision-making have also been interesting.
“I am happy to be contacted if any maternity consumers in the community have a concern they may want raised in a future meeting.”