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Being involved in a subcommittee of the Intellectual Disability Health Network

Information for families, advocates and carers interested in being involved in a subcommittee of the Intellectual Disability Health Network.

What is the Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI)?

The Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) was established in January 2010 to drive continuous improvement in the way health care is provided to consumers in the NSW health system.

The ACI has a state-wide brief to work with consumers, doctors, nurses, other health professionals, managers and the community to promote improvements in health service delivery.

The ACI reports to the NSW Minister for Health and the Director-General of the Ministry of Health and works closely with the Bureau of Health Information, Clinical Excellence Commission, Health Education and Training Institute and the Cancer Institute NSW.

What is the Intellectual Disability (ID) Health Network?

The (ACI) Intellectual Disability Network has two co-chairs; Maria Heaton is the mother of a young person with intellectual disability and Les White is NSW Chief Paediatrician. The Network has a Manager, an Executive Group and four subcommittees. Three multidisciplinary health teams “pilots” have also been established to develop models of health service delivery and capacity building for people with intellectual disability and their families or carers living in NSW. The subcommittees are made up of medical, nursing and allied health staff, as well as government and non government staff and family members / carers and advocates.

The ID Network works closely with its stakeholders to identify and action changes to improve the health and well being of people with disabilities. The subcommittees will approach this agenda from different angles, but all have the same aim.

What subcommittees are there in the ID Network?

  • Workforce and Capacity – focusing on building a well equipped health workforce.
  • Research and Development – focusing on research awareness and practice.
  • Access and Equity – focusing on availability and access to services.
  • Models of Care – focusing on promoting health and well-being across the health system, and linking in with specific pilot projects.

There are also family member / carer groups These tend to be in regional and remote areas. They meet to discuss issues of concern more generally and to hear updates on the work of the Network.. If you would like to become a part of one of these groups or would be interested in forming one of these groups in your area, please let Tracey Szanto, Manager of the Intellectual Disability Network know. (Ph: 02 9464 4632). 

Consultation with people with intellectual disability

The network is also keen to consult with people with intellectual disability.

Why become a subcommittee member?

It is an opportunity to have a voice, hear how others from a broad range of areas are involved in intellectual disability and to be involved in influencing change. The Network is very keen to hear from people advocating or caring for someone with ID.

Subcommittee members get talking and it is clear that they are all working towards the same goal ie to identify and action changes to improve the health and well being of people with disabilities. Different perspectives are important. Views are shared. No two parents have the same views; neither do two academics or two GPs or two researchers.

What is the commitment?

Subcommittees usually meet for 2 hours, five times per year (usually in North Ryde).

How can I help?

  • Attending (or phoning in for) subcommittee meetings.
  • Being an active participant through expressing your viewpoint and advocating for those with disabilities
  • Listening to others and being engaged in discussion
  • Coming prepared to the meetings eg having read previous minutes, attachments and having completed relevant actions on the Action List
  • Assisting in achieving the subcommittee goals, as appropriate.

How will it help me and people with disabilities?

Your views, ideas and recommendations can be heard and can influence the directions and outcomes of the subcommittee, with a view to putting forward recommendations for change in practice or policy.

I live a long way away

We are keen to have people from regional and remote areas involved. This may mean you are not necessarily able to attend in person, but can be involved in a phone or video link-up.

What about parking?

Most meetings are held at Macquarie hospital, North Ryde and parking is not a problem. For consumers / carers who come to meetings at the ACI building in Chatswood. We are able to reimburse reasonable travel costs and assist with the cost of parking.

What support is available for subcommittee members?

Subcommittee members can contact each other. The Manager of the Network is available on email, mobile and phone and usually rings before and after each meeting to talk over the meeting. The subcommittee co-chairs are also there to assist their members. There is also a Consumer Forum every twelve months run by the ACI for consumers / carers across all Networks.

There is an Intellectual Disability Forum at the end of each year, where all the subcommittees come together with the Executive Group to share information about the work of each subcommittee, hear from some guest speakers and there is also a consumer group discussion as part of the Forum.

Further Information

For further information, please contact:

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