Standard 2

Partnering with Consumers

NSQHS Standards Standard 2 - Partnering with Consumers


This page contains information about the first edition of the NSQHS standards. This edition has been superseded by the second edition that was endorsed by the Health Ministers in June 2017 and released in November 2017.

This latest edition addresses the gaps that were identified in the first edition, including mental health and cognitive impairment, health literacy, end-of-life care, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

Health service organisations will be assessed to the second edition from January 2019.

To find information and resources for the second edition, visit the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care's new NSQHS Standards microsite.

Key messages

  1. Partnering with consumers aims to provide safe, high quality care which is responsive to patient and carer input, needs and priorities.
  2. Partnering with consumers provides benefits to patients and carers, clinicians and the health service.
  3. Partnering with consumers with its core principles of participation and collaboration is an integral component of person and family centred care.
  4. All staff have a role to play in partnering with consumers.


There is growing evidence about the importance of partnerships between health service organisations, health professionals, patients, families, carers and consumers.

Patient-centred care is recognised as an element of high quality healthcare in its own right, and there is strong evidence that it can lead to improvements in health care quality and outcomes by increasing safety, cost effectiveness and patient, family and staff satisfaction.

Studies have demonstrated significant benefits from such partnerships in clinical quality and outcomes, the experience of care, and the business and operations of delivering care.

The clinical benefits associated with better patient experience and patient-centred care include:

  • decreased mortality
  • decreased readmission rates
  • decreased rates of healthcare acquired infections
  • reduced length of stay
  • improved adherence to treatment regimens
  • improved functional status

What is consumer-centred care?

Consumer or patient-centred care is healthcare that is respectful of, and responsive to, the preferences, needs and values of patients and consumers.

Operational benefits include lower costs per case, improved liability claims experiences and increased staff satisfaction and retention rates.

The importance of health services partnering with patients, families, carers and consumers is recognised at a national and international level.

Patients need to be placed at the centre of their own care and the health care system more generally.

In Australia, consumer-centred care is one of the three dimensions in the Australian Safety and Quality Framework for Health Care. Partnerships with patients and consumers also form the basis of a range of national and state and territory health policies and programs.

The Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights summarises the basic rights that patients and consumers are entitled to receive when accessing health care services throughout Australia. These rights are Access, Safety, Respect, Communication, Participation, Privacy and Comment.

Information above is taken directly from the Safety and Quality Improvement Guide Standard 2: Partnering with Consumers, October 2012 document published in the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care website.

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Responsibilities under Standard 2 include:

  • respect patient and carer preferences when planning and delivering care
  • involve and support patients and carers in informed decision making
  • view all patients, carers and colleagues as part of the team and treat them with dignity and respect
  • provide complete and accessible information to patients and carers
  • encourage and support patients and carers to voice concerns about the care they receive
  • invite and enable patients and carers to participate at a level they feel comfortable with
  • involve patients and carers in your own quality improvement projects
  • provide copies of your health service’s quality of care reports for consumers and carers to read
  • seek and use consumer feedback to update and improve your practice
  • consider possible projects to improve aspects of your service and engage consumers right from the start
  • engage consumers in staff education programs, to get a unique insight into how clinical practice can effect patient experience.

Other eLearning resources

Cairns and Hinterland HHS

Darling Downs HHS

Metro South HHS

Queensland Health iLearn

South Australia Digital media eLearning

Available only to South Australia Health employees

CSDS courses

The Brief Interventions for a Healthy Lifestyle: General Population course, formerly known as Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs - General, introduces the concepts of brief inte... More info
6.5 hour/s
The Brief Interventions for a Healthy Lifestyle: Maternity and Child Health course, formerly known as Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs - Maternity and Child Health, introduces... More info
7.5 hour/s

Further information

Below is a full copy of the Partnering with Consumers contained in the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards. It includes the criteria, items and actions required for health services to meet this Standard and is available on the Commission’s website at

  • Download Safety and Quality Improvement Guide Standard 2: Partnering with Consumers, October 2012