ReGen Innovation Seminar puts consumers at the centre (05/05/16)

Melbourne, VIC, 5th May 2016 – UnitingCare ReGen’s annual Innovation in Action seminar is on next week (May 11) at the agency’s Coburg site. Under the theme, ‘Encouraging Innovation in Consumer Participation Practice’, this year’s seminar will be run in partnership with the Association of Participating Service Users and will highlight a wide range of experiences by people who use ReGen’s services, affected family members and service providers.

Highlighting the importance of Consumer Participation for quality services and positive outcomes for people who use alcohol and other drug services, the seminar will feature:

  • Keynote address by Prof Carla Treloar (Deputy Director, Centre for Social Research in Health at UNSW);
  • Presentations by consumers and service providers from ReGen, APSU at SHARC, Neami and living positive victoria; &
  • A panel discussion on ways forward for the AOD sector.

ReGen CEO Laurence Alvis said:

Consumer Participation is a critical factor in improving the accessibility, transparency and (most importantly) effectiveness of alcohol and other drug treatment services. It can be challenging for service providers to consider doing things differently and recognising the expertise of the people who use their services, but the benefits for all parties are clear.

In our most recent external quality review, our reviewers identified the significant contribution our work on building sustainable Consumer Participation systems has made to ensuring that ReGen continues to provide high quality services. It was especially pleasing for our approach to be recognised as a model of leading practice in confirming consumer rights.

As in any field of practice within our sector, there’s still much for us to do and much to learn from the experience and expertise of others. We encourage anyone with an interest in alcohol and other drug services or Consumer Participation in general to join us for what promises to be a frank and challenging discussion of current Consumer Participation practice in Victoria, the barriers to change and what service providers need to do to encourage greater involvement by the people who use their services in in program planning, implementation and review.

We recognise that some people with a strong interest in this topic will be unable to attend on the day. In an effort to ensure that as people have ample opportunities to contribute their own ideas to this discussion, we will be providing live video of the event and a variety of opportunities for online participation.

See ReGen’s website for more details about seminar speakers (and their presentations), to book a place or find out about other opportunities to participate in the discussion.