Partnerships in action: National Prescribing Service and Consumers’ Health Forum of Australia
Overview: Since the commencement of the Community QUM Program in 2003, NPS and CHF have worked in collaboration to deliver a consumer-focussed program to improve the awareness, skills, knowledge of consumers to better manage their medicines. A range of strategies have been undertaken including peer education, community engagements and participation, a national awareness campaign, curriculum development for English as a Second Language students, and development of resource materials.
Harris et al define strategies to build partnerships as having shared goals, good relationships, planning and implementation, and evaluation 1. This paper will draw on the best practice literature and the results of an independent qualitative evaluation study to understand the quality, value and success of the partnership approach to enhance the implementation of the program and deliver sustainable outcomes.
Summary: Partnership approaches have been undertaken with multiple organisations to deliver the Community QUM Program messages and strategies to identified population groups. This collaborative approach has encouraged active participation by communities, greater ownership of the program at multiple levels, and has focused on addressing consumers understanding and behaviours about medicines directly rather than through health professionals.
1. Harris E, Wise M, Hawe P, Finlay P and Nutbeam D (1995) Working together: intersectoral action for health, Government Publishing Service, Canberra