During Patient Experience Week, the Prevention and Wellbeing team delivered the results of the most recent Patient Parliament, which was held virtually at the end of 2021.  

Peter Mac strives to deliver the world’s best cancer care.

To achieve this, we value the ideas, advice and feedback from the more than 37,000 patients who visit Peter Mac’s five campuses every year.

Patient Parliaments give Peter Mac an opportunity learn from patients, carers, and families about how to improve services and access to key information.

The results webinar, led by Director of Prevention and Wellbeing Geri McDonald, was an important update for consumers about the steps Peter Mac is taking to improve the patient experience. 

Peter Mac's Director of Prevention and Wellbeing Geri McDonald
Peter Mac's Director of Prevention and Wellbeing Geri McDonald

Ms McDonald said Peter Mac’s aim is to make patients “partners” in the delivery of care. 

“It’s really important that consumers feel empowered by our staff to use the information they have to make informed decision about their care,” Ms McDonald said. 

“This includes having all the information, understanding their options, asking questions and making sense of those options.”

The report identified a number of key improvement areas that consumers said are most important to them. These include:

  • Better information and communication
  • Improving navigation of the healthcare system
  • Building capacity for consumers to partner in their healthcare, and;
  • Improving support networks. 

Peter Mac will use the responses from Patient Parliament to inform the Patient Experience Strategy and to drive immediate improvement projects – many of which have already commenced. 

One major area of focus is how Peter Mac staff communicate with patients and their families and carers.

“We know there are some communication challenges working in a busy hospital environment with lots of patients to see, but we also know the way we communicate with our patients has a big impact on their experience,” Ms McDonald told the event.

“Following the extensive consumer feedback, Peter Mac is introducing a new training program for every single staff member, to provide greater focus on what matters to patients, called Your Thoughts Matter.”

Peter Mac will be the first metropolitan health service in Australia to implement the evidence-based training program, delivered by Deakin University, across the entire organisation.

Other issues being addressed from consumer feedback include Health Hub refinements, improvements to appointment systems and patient navigation, improved patient welcome packs and orientation, carer supports (including a newly-funded carer liaison) and better access to wellbeing and support services.