Consumer Participation

St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney is committed to having a leading consumer participation program that enables effective partnerships with patients, their families and carers (consumers) to better meet the needs of the community it serves.   We believe that consumers have a key role in decision making on organisational initiatives.  They can provide important advice to assist the hospital with meeting the needs and expectations of the community, and embedding the philosophy of person centred care.

There is strong evidence that outlines the benefits of partnerships between healthcare staff, patients and their families and carers in improving healthcare quality including increasing safety, patient, family and staff satisfaction.

To foster these partnerships, St Vincent’s Hospital enlists consumer representatives.  Consumer representatives may be past, current or potential users of St Vincent’s Hospital healthcare. 

The key aspects of their voluntary role include:

  • Offering a specific experience as: a consumer of health services; as a patient or, as a family member involved in caring for a patient or consumer of health services to assist the hospital in meeting the needs of consumers accessing its services
  • Advocating for patients and their family on hospital committees and working parties
  • Actively participating in the development and review of quality improvement activities including patient surveys, patient brochures, policies etc.
  • Providing valuable advice from a consumer perspective

All of our prospective consumer representatives will have the opportunity to attend volunteer induction and corporate orientation, in addition to hospital mandatory training, and consumer representative specific training.

Our Consumer Participation Coordinator recruits and manages all consumer representatives.  If you would like to become a member of a growing and dynamic team of consumer representatives, please contact or 8382 2250.

Consumer Representative Bios 2016  

wendy_sinclair Dr Wendy Sinclair

Clinical area/Committees: Campus Cancer Centre Plan

Illness can have a far reaching effect on patients and carers.  So I welcome the opportunity to help make the experience of those using the hospital’s services a little easier, smoother and clearer.  

fran_macpherson Fran Macpherson

Clinical area/Committees: Diabetes Clinic

I have always wanted to work in a hospital – I started my nurses training when I was young & had to leave it behind & continue on with the other road life directed me.  I always intended to return in some capacity.  

david_polson_1 David Polson

Clinical area/Committees: IBAC (Immunology B Ambulatory Care)

I became involved as a consumer representative for IBAC as I have been a patient there for many years. I see this as a way of giving back and helping to grow to an important department at St Vincent's Hospital. 

rob_ferguson Rob Ferguson

Clinical area/Committees: Cancer stream and Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC)

I was invited to become a consumer representative following an approach I made to the Manager of the Cancer Stream to work as a volunteer at St Vincents Hospital.
This was prompted by the wonderful way my wife was treated by medical oncologist Dr David Dalley, along with Psychologist Rebecca Maher at the Kinghorn Cancer Centre. I was most impressed by the caring culture at St Vincent's, and was moved to give back in some way.


Patricia Skenridge

Clinical area/Committees: Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) and the End of Life Steering Committee

I became a member of the above committees on the invitation of Christine Choy, further to advising St Vincent's of two attitudes I felt were unacceptable regarding my own treatment: the infantilisation of the elderly, and the lack of regard for the patient as a reliable source of information about their own body. My long-held - and unaltered view - is that St Vincent's ranks as a superior hospital. I accepted the invitation to join the CAC as I felt that my experience and past working life - particularly for a time as a professional social worker - might be useful to St Vincent's in its effort to improve the relationship, attitude and dialogue between patient-staff-institution - and thereby hopefully the overall outcomes for patients and their families. 


Dr Meena Kumar

Clinical area/Committees: Campus Cancer Plan

I enjoy giving help to others . Having worked as a medical practitioner in breast screening and Child Health clinics, I have taken this position to continue work with the community.