Revised Statement on Consumer and Community Involvement in Health and Medical Research

Summary media release information

Date: 
28 November 2016
Type: 
Media Release
Contact for further information: 

NHMRC Media Team
M: 0422 008 512
E: media@nhmrc.gov.au

The National Health and Medical Research Council and the Consumers Health Forum of Australia have released a revised joint statement reflecting the growing recognition of the place of consumers and community in health research.

The Statement on Consumer and Community Involvement in Health and Medical Research revises the initial joint statement released by the two organisations in 2002.

The CEO of the NHMRC, Professor Anne Kelso AO, and the CEO of CHF, Leanne Wells, say that in recent years the importance of consumer and community involvement in research has become more widely recognised.

Examples include NHMRC’s Centres of Research Excellence Scheme whose applicants are required to demonstrate extensive engagement with research end-users and the community.  The Partnerships for Better Health initiative has also provided unprecedented opportunity for consumers to partner with researchers in the co-design of research proposals and to seek funding from the NHMRC.

Professor Kelso said the Statement recognises the importance of community involvement and guides researchers, research institutions and consumer and community members on involvement activities. “The community has a vital role to play in health and medical research as contributors, participants and advocates, helping to ensure that research is undertaken that will lead to improved health and health care”.

Ms Wells said the Statement reflected the strengthening role of consumers in their health care and in the development of health policy.  “CHF is committed to developing consumer knowledge about research and invigorating the capacity of the consumer sector to engage in research design, conduct and translation through such measures as education and training.  We seek to collaborate with the research community, to involve consumers in priority-setting, and to advise on research translation and consumer centred policy.  A vital challenge in Australia that requires much more than medical knowledge is how to close the gap in health expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.”

The vision of the Statement is consumers, community members, researchers and research organisations working in partnerships, to improve the health and well-being of all Australians through health and medical research.

NHMRC and CHF will work together to promote the aims of the Statement and will regularly review the Statement to ensure it remains contemporary and in line with emerging practice.

The Statement is available on the NHMRC website and the CHF website.

Media inquiries:

Consumers Health Forum: Mark Metherell, 0429111986

NHMRC Media Team:  (02) 6217 9190, 0422008512 or media@nhmrc.gov.au