Community engagement at SALHN

At SALHN we provide health care for more than 350,000 people who mainly live in southern Adelaide. We also care for people from regional South Australia, the Northern Territory and New South Wales.

We believe in the power and value of community, and our mission is to build a thriving community by consistently delivering reliable and respectful healthcare for, and with, all members of our community.

What do we mean by community?

Community is made up of the people who live, work, and visit a place, or have a common interest. There are communities of place and communities of interest.

Communities of place are where people identify with a defined geographical area, such as a local council area, a housing precinct or a neighbourhood.

Communities of interest are where people share a particular experience, or characteristic such as young people, religious groups, older people, people with disability, people from a culturally and linguistically diverse background or sporting groups.

Who is our community?

Our community consists of:

  • health consumers including patients, families and carers
  • community groups and organisations
  • our workforce including staff, students and volunteers
  • our partners
  • our established Consumer and Community Advisory Groups and Councils

What is community engagement?

Community engagement means involving people in issues affecting them, and deepening relationships to work collaboratively with groups or individuals who have a common interest in the health care system and services.

Community engagement involves connecting with the community to build long term relationships, share information, plan and build capacity to shape our health care system for the benefit of our community.

Why is community engagement important for us?

Developing health-care systems and services in partnership with patients, families, carers and the community is known to improve clinical and individual health, as well as the quality and safety of health services.

Our vision for community engagement

Our aim is to support our community over the next three years to:

  • better understand communities’ health care needs
  • ensure the health system supports communities through health education
  • participate in activities that help shape health care now and into the future
  • embrace new technologies and ways of receiving health care to improve health outcomes for everyone in the community.

How will we do this?

Community engagement is about relationship development, informed decisions, and capacity building. They are not mutually exclusive, and they can work hand in hand. Each is an essential goal, which will help us achieve our vision.

Refer to our Community Engagement Strategy 2021-2024 for more information.

Our commitment to engaging with our community

We know we are ‘better together’.

When engaging with our community we commit to the following engagement principles:

  • we know why we are engaging
  • we know the history
  • we know who to engage
  • we start together
  • we are genuine
  • we are relevant and engaging.

How we will engage with our community

Engagement can occur within different groupings such as:

  • Individuals (consumers, patients, their families, carers - paid and unpaid, and advocates as partners in their own health care and treatment
  • Services (partnerships connected to how programs, services, or facilities are designed, structured, evaluated and improved at a local level)
  • Networks (regional engagement across service providers enabling input into broader plans across health)
  • Systems (policy, reform, strategies, and legislative influence across the health system).

SALHN has adopted the International Associate for Public Participation (IAP2) model of engagement to inform, consult, involve, collaborate, empower/community led.

Our accountability

We want to engage communities to be a part of the way our health service operates. We will enable communities to actively participate in our governance, and influence service planning, design, delivery and evaluation.

Preparing and planning for community engagement will involve:

  • Setting the agenda: Developing objectives, expectations and measures of success
  • Informing: Providing information and data to support engagement
  • Involving and collaborating: Improving structures, processes and support for consultation
  • Empowering: Investing in skills, capabilities and opportunities to lead change and feedback.

We will ensure community participation occurs from the Board and Executive level, through to divisions, wards and unit levels, as well as through our established Consumer and Community Advisory Groups and Councils.

This approach ensures the community can partner with SALHN across all levels.

How we will continuously improve our community engagement

We will regularly ask for feedback from the community. This feedback will form a continuous feedback loop.

We will close the loop - “you said, we did”
Through this feedback we will regularly monitor our community and relationship activities, evaluate the impact of these partnerships and consider how these actions could be improved.

Reviewing and reporting
We will report on our community engagement achievements against our developed measures of success in SALHN’s annual report.

Visit our Community Engagement Hub to learn how you can get involved, get informed and have your say on the future of our healthcare.

Contact us

For more information, contact: