Partnering in Healthcare: Strengthening opportunities for patients, carers and family members to escalate care in Victorian health services

In 2019 Safer Care Victoria (SCV) launched the Partnering in Health Care Framework to support Victorian health services strengthen how they approach patient-centred care and continue to empower patients, carers and family members to participate in health care. One important contributor to establishing health care partnerships is ensuring people know they will be heard if they have a concern about the medical status and care for themselves or a patient.

The Centre for Health Communication and Participation (CHCP), La Trobe University, was requested to conduct a rapid review of evidence and experience of patient, carer or family member-initiated escalation processes and systems. The review findings informed SCV's plans to pilot both a central support phone number and a principles-based framework to guide consumer-initiated escalation in Victoria.

The rapid review included research on consumer-initiated escalation and how these findings link to experiences of consumer participation in care. It also included a review of existing consumer-initiated escalation services in Australia to identify learning and experiences that can inform best practice recommendations for Victoria. Interviews with stakeholders were used to explore common themes that emerged from the evidence, and an Advisory Committee was reviewed the report and its recommendations.

The Rapid Review was funded by Safer Care Victoria. The Consumers as Partners Branch developed the consumer initiated-escalation principles, provided technical review and support in compiling this report.