There are five new consumer representatives at the Whanganui District Health Board.

The group, named Te Pukaea - the trumpet carrying the message or voice of the people - is to provide advice on the DHB's Patient Safety and Quality Strategy and the care provided to patients and their families.

Tim Tapa, Robyn Beattie, Sandy Innes, Sheila Beckers and John Hannifin will form the group, and Mr Hannifin will mentor and support the others.

"What makes Tim, Robyn, Sandy and Sheila ideal for the role is their experience as a patient or as a family member of a patient who, in some way, was let down by the WDHB," nursing director Sandy Blake said.

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Mrs Blakes said it was important to remember the group were not professional consumer representatives. She and customer relations and complaints co-ordinator Sue Penfold identified the five as "people we felt could make a valuable contribution to the WDHB's efforts to improve our services and the care we provide".

"We saw different backgrounds as a plus given that, in general, we'll be seeking their advice as individuals rather than as a group," she said.