Objective The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the content of annual Victorian quality of care reports had an increased consumer participation focus following the introduction of the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Partnering with Consumers standard. Methods A mixed-methods approach comprising a comparative descriptive observational study design with quantitative data analysis was used. Nine large Victorian metropolitan public health services’ annual quality of care reports from 2011 and 2014 were analysed using a newly devised analysis framework consisting of elements of the NSQHS ‘Partnering with Consumers’ standard and minimal requirements for Quality of Care reporting by the Department of Health and Human Services. Results Of the nine 2014 quality of care reports, in only three were total scores higher compared with scores in the 2011 reports; in one of the 2014 reports, the total scores remained the same, and in the remaining five reports total scores were lower than in the 2011 reports. Overall, there was an improved total score for the 2014 reports compared with the 2011 reports, corresponding to a higher consumer participation focus. Conclusion Overall, the present study demonstrated mixed findings and, in some cases, lower scores for the 2014 reports, which was after the introduction of the Partnering with Consumers NSQHS standard, compared with the 2011 reports. Overall, there is future scope to enhance the degree of consumer participation evident within the quality of care reports. What is known about the topic? Partnering with consumers has been associated with improved clinical outcomes, decreased readmission rates and rates of hospital-acquired infections, and improved adherence to treatment recommendations and health literacy. Engaging consumers has been recognised as a means to increase the accessibility and appropriateness of healthcare to individuals. Public reporting is a tool through which health services communicate with and engage their consumers in order to improve the quality of care they provide, and is a key element in Australia of the NSQHS Partnering with Consumers standard. What does the paper add? This paper links the principles of consumer participation with public reporting. The paper highlights the potential for healthcare organisations to use their public reporting media to engage with consumers and communicate about the quality of care they deliver. What are the implications for practitioners? The unexpected findings of a lower emphasis on consumer participation suggests the need for Victorian health services to review the purpose and processes for developing the publicly reported quality of care reports in order to improve their compliance.