January 23, 2020

Andrew Lauva on consumer participation

Andrew Lauva enjoys a challenge and a problem that needs to be solved. That is one of the reasons he is one of Northern Health’s valuable consumers who has participated on a number of important initiatives, including the working party for the strategic plan, patient experience recruitment and Standard 2 committee.

Andrew spent the majority of his career working for the Victorian Public Service. His last role was as a HR Coordinator/ Facilities Manager was at the State Services Authority.

“I worked in about 10 departments during my career in the Victorian Public Service also volunteered with Brotherhood of St Laurence, working with Asylum Seekers and Refugees and helping them with job seeking,” he said.

Andrew had experiences as an inpatient both in private and public hospitals.  Through his rehabilitation at Bundoora Centre for an injured ankle he became interested in volunteering at Northern Health.

“Before Bundoora, I was also a patient in a medical ward at Broadmeadows Hospital and had rehab there to add to my consumer experience,” he said.

As an end user of the system, Andrew felt his experience, observations of routines and practices whilst in hospital provided an opportunity for input as a consumer at Northern Health.  Coupled with his impressive experience professionally, Andrew felt he had something to offer.

“After retiring, I was keen to stay engaged in the community and keep my mind active, as well as give back to my community. I was seeking a way to use my professional background to make a meaningful contribution. I value learning about the complexities of a public health system,” he said.

Andrew enjoys the opportunity to share his expertise and knowledge, as well as the social interaction as a consumer. Being active in the community, and the feeling of contributing and the contact – brings Andrew satisfaction. His work on the committees and being involved in the strategic plan development enable Andrew to make a valuable contribution.

Andrew also feels it is important to recognise and reward volunteers – as they provide their time, energy and skills to an organisation.

“Actually, my volunteering experience at Northern Health was as a Ward Angel.  After being an inpatient myself, I understood how long a day can be, and how your day is driven by routines. A Ward Angel visits people and spends time with them. Having a chat, being a friendly face that can help break up the day, particularly if you are mostly confined to bed really means a lot,” he added.

Andrew knows that a consumer brings fresh eyes to a situation, and being a future potential end user of the system, he aims to have his experience influence and improve others experiences.

“We are all consumers and potential users of health services. With increasing demand, consumers can influence processes and offer a different way of doing things, that can shift efficiency and effectiveness, which a clinical or medical model may not consider,” he added.

Andrew is excited to have a continued and deeper involvement in committees.

“I would like the opportunity to make an active contribution to development of Framework for involving consumers in recruitment.  I like to be involved in projects where I can see the results,” he added.