SHAPING THE FUTURE: Members of the new Mater Patient and Family Advisory Council are Karen Millican, Holly Hibbert, Tracy Kollmann, Ian Parker, hospital director Fritha Mackay, Santiago Ayala and Neil Tommerup.
SHAPING THE FUTURE: Members of the new Mater Patient and Family Advisory Council are Karen Millican, Holly Hibbert, Tracy Kollmann, Ian Parker, hospital director Fritha Mackay, Santiago Ayala and Neil Tommerup. Ashleigh Howarth

Steering us to good health

SPRINGFIELD residents with an interest in helping to shape the future of the Mater Private Hospital Springfield have been chosen to sit on a newly created patient and family advisory council.

This council will play a key role in helping Mater to shape its services, utilising consumer experience and knowledge to improve the patient experience.

Close to 70 people applied to sit on the council but only seven were selected on the panel for a two year term.

The representatives are from a diverse range of backgrounds, with experience ranging across security, immigration, health and science, aviation, customer service, full time carers and parents.

These council representatives will gather for quarterly meetings and focus on future service planning, the review of information provided to patients, quality risks and safety outcomes, employee education and feedback.

In the council's first meeting they were offered the opportunity to participate in upcoming clinical training.

Tracy Kollmann was one of the new council members.

Ms Kollmann said it was important for the community to help shape the future of the hospital.

"The group is all made up of local residents with a real sense of community, so it's not just big businesses or corporations deciding on what goes on at the hospital," Ms Kollmann said.

Holly Hibbert, who comes from a nursing background herself, was also selected to be part of the council.

The reason why she wanted to be part of the council was for her children's future.

"I have two young children who are going to be growing up here in this community and I want everything that is growing here to be beneficial for them," Ms Hibbert said.

Mater Private Hospital Springfield director Fritha Mackay said it was important to have input from community representatives to support the successful integration of health, education and research for a healthy community.

"We continue to strengthen partnerships with consumers across Mater Private Hospital Springfield to allow the perspectives of our patients, their families and carers to contribute directly into the planning, delivery and evaluation of exceptional care," Ms Mackay said.

"Our hope is that our positive and passionate consumer representatives will be a conduit between the community and the hospital.

"We will call on the council for feedback in regards to some issues.

"For example, if we want to change the way we deliver food to the patients, we will ask the patients for their feedback and opinion."

The hospital opened in October last year and has already treated approximately 3500 patients.

While there are plans to develop the site in the future to incorporate more facilities, Ms Mackay said no definite timeline had been released yet.

"We have still got a master plan for growing the hospital but we have only been open for a few months so there is nothing more definitive at this time," she said.


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