Wimmera Health Care Group’s Community Advisory Committee approved a series of new brochures and posters outlining key health issues in plain English at its June meeting.

Wimmera Health Care Group’s Quality Manager and Consumer Advocate, Leanne Seipolt, said the Community Advisory Committee was an important way to engage with the community.

“Currently we have five community members who advise us on how to best communicate with people out in the community. That could be telling us if the language we have used in a brochure is too technical, or how best to let people know about changes to the health care system.

“The Committee gets involved with activities across the Health Care Group. Some examples include suggesting actions to deal with complaints about patient experiences, and putting up signs to let visitors know where the bike racks are located.

“Another important Committee activity is telling us when we are using too much jargon or technical language in brochures and publications. As health care professionals, we get used to using all the technical terms, and we need to make sure that patients can find information that is easy to understand and written in plain English.

“One of our Committee members recently did a survey and spoke to people at Horsham Plaza to gather information on how they find out about our services. His report has been useful in letting us know information we might need to make a bit clearer, and that people still prefer to call or visit the front desk rather than find information on our website,” she said.

Ms Seipolt said that recent changes to health regulations, funding and service delivery were important to communicate. The Community Advisory Committee agreed that community information sessions to be held in August on large-scale changes such as Aged Care Reform or advanced care plans would provide an opportunity for consumers to hear first-hand about the changes and ask questions about their impact.

Community members interested in joining the Committee can call Leanne on 5381 9331.

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