“There is no time” – What consumers have told us this week (17-21 January 2022)

From a system that doesn’t support people with any vulnerabilities, including those with a disability, to a growing sense that we’ve run out of time, both consumers and health staff want a plan forward rather than crisis management.

The key themes you raised during HCQ’s Thursday evening online Coffee & Connect session and other online engagement included:

• Access to care and care for COVID patients
• Testing
• Vaccinations
• On-going health concerns (not COVID-related)
• Long COVID
• Be open and transparent

Read the full summary here >

What‘s the information you need right now? What consumers are saying today?

Health consumers and carers identify key issues and give suggestions of key actions. Issues include:

  • Consumers online today were very worried. They feel like there is no plan.
  • They are very worried that people are going to die unnecessarily because there is no plan.
  • Current consumer experiences shared today include being unable to get food or medications in rural and remote areas.
  • Consumers want knowledge but underpinning this knowledge and information, they want reassurance that the government has got a plan particularly now so close to the peak.

<Click here to read more>

Urgent Consumer Issues

Urgent Consumer Issues

Queensland’s border opening just prior to Christmas, coupled with the dramatic rise in cases from the highly infectious Omicron variant and recent adoption of national policy shifts has meant Queensland’s pandemic preparedness has been deeply tested.

An exhausted health workforce and Queenslanders have faced the challenges of the last three weeks with agility, resilience and commitment.

During this time Health Consumers Queensland, consumer and community organisations have been escalating issues, sharing resources, and supporting care providers and consumers.

This Hot Issues Brief paper is a summary of issues of importance to consumers in this response that need to be urgently resolved.

Read the Hot Issues Brief paper >

HCQ TV re-energises consumers, carers and health staff

HCQ TV re-energises consumers, carers and health staff


Thank you to everyone who tuned in to our inaugural webcast series: Sharing Power: Co-design with consumers for impact and equity during 25 May – 3 June.

Our Annual Forums are renowned for bringing together expertise across consumer partnerships. Whilst we could not meet face-to-face this year, we were delighted to still be able to bring you together with 18 inspiring consumer and carer representatives, HCQ and health staff, and NGOs representing consumers and carers to discuss four key issues which influence what it takes to truly share decision-making power.

  • Consumer Partnerships Going Digital: Bridge or Barrier?
  • Sharing Power: Showcasing successful consumer-led co-design
  • Why do you think I’m hard to reach?
  • Value based health care – What it means for all of us

Watch the episodes >

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MEDIA RELEASE – GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO SENATE MESH INQUIRY

10 October 2018 Sorry is a Good First Step

Peak consumer health groups around Australia have welcomed Health Minister Greg Hunt’s apology to women whose lives have been severely impacted by trans vaginal mesh implants.

“We congratulate the Minister for recognising that these women have waited too long for validation from a system that treated them as unreliable witnesses to their own pain and suffering.” “But ‘sorry’ is just a good first step. It doesn’t in itself deliver a happy ending.”

While the government has supported 12 of the 13 recommendations of the Senate’s Inquiry into TVM, half of these are supported in principle rather than in substance. In fact the only tangible initiative is the announcement of a Clinical Quality Register for urogynaelogical procedures and even that commitment is capped at “considering the feasibility” of establishing such a register.

Glaringly absent is any new funding to resource integrated care pathways for affected women.

“We are concerned that State and territory support for mesh affected women has to date been inconsistent and patchy with attempts at meaningful co-design of care pathways happening only in a small number of states.

“These women must be central to the design of appropriately resourced and compassionate, multidisciplinary care that includes access to removal by skilled clinicians, pain management and psychological support. We call upon COAG to direct the states and territories to work together to ensure a nationally consistent service response to women’s healthcare needs.

“While the federal Health Minister has kicked the mesh can down the road to the States he is also calling for system reform through institutional self-regulation. Expecting the various bodies that failed their duty of care to pick up their game without addressing their accountability is a forlorn expectation.”

“Further expecting the TGA to improve its adverse event reporting is at odds with the fact that they have registered 364 events to date compared with the 1,000 women who are parties to class action and the 2,400 women who have reported their experiences directly to consumer health groups. “The Minister needs to act decisively on the question of credentialing surgeons and on mandating informed consent (70% of affected women did not give informed prior consent to their procedure). While we applaud the few substantive initiatives announced in this response, a reliance on nonbinding guidelines and self-regulation by bodies that have failed to self-regulate will not wish the problems of mesh away.

For comment and further information contact:

Melissa Fox (Health Consumers Queensland) 04048 2716 / 07 3012 9090

Danny Vadasz (Health Issues Centre, Victoria) 03 8676 9050

Anthony Brown (Health Consumers New South Wales) 02 9986 1082

Julia Overton (HCA SA) 08 8231 4169 Pip Brennan (Health Consumers WA) 08 9221 3422

Darlene Cox (ACT HCCA) 02 6230 7800

Senate report into transvaginal mesh released

The Senate have released their report into transvaginal mesh.

Joint State/Territory Peaks Media Release

Vindication for mesh injured women: but suspend mesh until after audit results

Australia’s state and territory based health consumer organisations have welcomed the recognition of the extent and impact of harm to women, and the recommendations contained in the report from the Senate Inquiry into transvaginal mesh implants released yesterday. But they say they hoped the report had gone further.

“We are very pleased that the Senate’s recommendations reflecting our calls to strengthen provisions for informed consent, only using mesh as a last resort, requiring mandatory reporting of complications, establishing a register (which should be retrospective and for all transvaginal mesh devices) and having the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care do an audit of transvaginal mesh procedures in Australia. The Commission must be resourced to do this in a timely manner and the audit should also include procedures done by private specialists” said state and territory consumer peaks spokesperson Melissa Fox, CEO of Health Consumers Queensland.

“However until the community sees this accurate, retrospective data we won’t know just how many women have been harmed by all types of mesh including POP, tapes and slings.  We are disappointed that a more cautious approach wasn’t taken, to recommend the suspension in use of all mesh until the data is in to establish their safety and efficacy.  These devices will continue to be implanted in women in hospitals across Australia tomorrow, and not one more woman should be unwittingly subjected to this high-stakes surgical intervention until we can be assured of their safety”, said Ms Fox. (more…)

MEDIA STATEMENT: YOUNG PEOPLE’S VOICES THE KEY TO IMPROVING YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

Young people’s voices the key to improving youth mental health services: PDF

Health Consumers Queensland is advocating for increased involvement of young people and their parents/carers to improve mental health services for children and adolescents across Queensland.

“Sadly, there are too many stories like that of Murray Benton and his family who shared their situation on social media last weekend”, said Melissa Fox, CEO of Health Consumers Queensland.

“Families report profound challenges in helping their children find the care that they need, when they need it, from a health professional they trust, and in a location that is accessible to them”.

“Improving access to mental health services for young people is a high priority and needs to remain a key Queensland Government focus. It is an area of high need for support across the state, both at a strategic level and an operational level”.

“Input from young Queenslanders who use mental health services and their loved ones and carers is key to the development of better services”, she said.

Health Consumers Queensland has been a key partner in the Queensland Government project to deliver outcomes based on recommendations from the Commission of Inquiry into the closure of Barrett Adolescent Centre. The partnership has resulted in the inclusion of young people, carers and families at all levels of the project. The result so far has been an unprecedented approach to designing a new youth mental health facility, to be built at the Prince Charles Hospital, commencing later this year.

END

For more information on this project, go to: http://www.hcq.org.au/our-work/barrett-inquiry/

Media contact: Melissa Fox, CEO, Health Consumers Queensland 0404 882 716

Health Consumers Queensland Annual Forum 2018: “The next generation of partnering”

Next year, Health Consumers Queensland’s Annual Forum will be held over two days Thursday 14 until Friday 15 June 2018 at the Royal International Convention Centre, Brisbane with the theme of “The next generation of partnering”.

Health Consumers Queensland’s signature event will have an exciting new two-day format, featuring:

  • Training workshops for health staff and consumers and carers
  • Speed networking
  • Inaugural Health Consumers Queensland’s Consumer Awards Evening
  • A wide range of presentations showcasing Queensland- wide best practice, consumer and community engagement

We look forward to welcoming health consumers and carers, Queensland Health staff, Hospital and Health Service staff, Primary Health Networks, consumer and community organisations, researchers and health leaders from across Queensland to share learnings about “The next generation of partnering”.

Further details, including a program outline, call for abstracts, consumer travel assistance applications and how to register, are coming soon.

For more information email [email protected]