With parts of Queensland in lockdown against the Delta variant for the first time, a public health system under extreme pressure and an acceleration in the vaccine rollout, HCQ has focused on listening to consumers and carers and staff. We moved mindfully and acted swiftly and strategically to maximise the impact of our small team and the voices of consumers, to help keep Queenslanders safe and well.
Amplifying your voices across the public health system during lockdown
We know there are so many issues for health consumers and the system to navigate during an outbreak . We held a Consumer Conversation to ask how the latest COVID-19 outbreaks in Queensland were affecting you and your health. We also heard from members of our CAG and Youth Reference Group and consumer representatives, consumer, disability, aged and palliative care and culturally and linguistically diverse NGOs to find out how they’ve been impacted by the lockdowns, regional cases and concern about spread.
This is what you told us and what we shared with the public health system: August 2021 – How the latest COVID-19 outbreaks in Queensland are affecting you and your health.
Other HCQ actions
- Reached out to key leaders in the health system to understand their biggest challenges and connect them with consumers to find solutions
- Attended daily updates with the Chief Health Officer representing consumer and carers
- Fed consumer feedback and suggestions into multiple parts of the system including the urgent needs:
– for consistency across hospitals in allowing support people in hospital during lockdown (as allowable under Healthcare Directions)
– to consider the lockdown impact on consumers outside SEQ who had surgery booked during the lockdown with a focus on the lack of accessible information for them about the quarantine requirements after returning home
– for a “recently added locations” search function on the contact tracing hot spots list on Queensland Health’s webpage **NOW ADDED**
– for co-designed, accessible information for culturally and linguistically diverse consumers.
- Held a joint COVID conversation with Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN): Making the vaccine accessible for people with disabilities.
- Sought assurance about system-wide readiness to rapidly upscale widespread use of telehealth again after dropping to pre-pandemic levels.
Improvements to communications have been a key issue for consumers throughout the pandemic. This month HCQ has built on existing relationships to increase opportunities for consumers to shape communications materials including providing feedback on:
- template letters from the HHSs about delays to outpatient appointments
- communications materials that will support the pharmacy vaccine rollout in South East Queensland
- planned materials around vaccine hesitancy.
- The Director-General of Queensland Health’s support for HCQ and consumers to be involved in ensuring the consistency of written patient information for COVID positive patients regardless of which HHS is providing care after HCQ raised this as a key issue.
- The rollout of Hospital in the Home (HITH) models for COVID positive patients. We also made sure there are daily opportunities to share and implement improvements across the COVID hospital and HITH models.
- A focus on workforce planning in Residential Aged Care Facilities to include at home aged care and disability care in all residential settings.
- The availability of vaccines in community pharmacies in some parts of the State.