Consumer Conversations

Since the beginning of COVID-19, Health Consumers Queensland has been running regular Consumer Conversations.

These online sessions are a two-way flow of information. Consumers have the opportunity to hear from key people in health, and also to have their voices heard on some of the most topical health issues of the day.

We summarise the key themes from these conversations and produce an Issues Paper. We share these papers here, as well as with key leaders in Queensland Health. The Consumer Conversations and Issues Papers are one of the ways we help to create a bridge between consumers and the health system. By taking part in a Consumer Conversation, you can be sure that your experience and views are heard by the people who make the decisions.

We would like to thank each and every one of the amazing consumers who have joined one or more of these conversations. Your insights and perspectives are valuable and help us to influence and shape the system.

Why not take part?

We warmly invite all consumers in Queensland to join us in the Consumer Conversations. We publicise dates, topics and how to register in our eAlerts and on Facebook.

Don’t get our eAlert? Just join our network to start receiving a weekly digest of consumer opportunities, including Consumer Conversations.

Issues Papers

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout – What’s working and what could be better

Last week, Queensland Health gave a record 80,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.  This issues paper shares consumers’ most recent experiences of the rollout up until 22 June 2021 and includes your reactions to ATAGI’s latest revised recommendations for the Astra Zeneca vaccine. It also presents your ideas and suggestions about what needs to improve so that the roll-out feels well-run, safe and...

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The COVID-19 vaccine roll out in Queensland: Are you still on board or now feeling de-railed?

Exploring the impact of the slow progress of the vaccine roll-out program across our states and territories and the decision to suspend the distribution of the Astra Zeneca vaccine for under 50s, on health consumers and carers across the State. There is an urgent need for health professionals known to and trusted by their high risk patients to offer a proactive, joined up, team-centred approach...

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Magic bullet or bitter pill: What the COVID vaccine means vulnerable people

Many consumers are living with chronic or multiple conditions which mean they are in category 1B, which is rolling out now. For this reason they experience a real sense of urgency for them to get the information they need about the vaccine: is it safe for them (and their specific circumstances), how and who can they have this safety conversation with, and when they will be vaccinated. Read the...

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Your questions and concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in Queensland

In the past 4 weeks, Health Consumers Queensland has hosted two Q&A Forums about the COVID-19 vaccine roll out in Queensland: The first enabled consumers from across our network to put their questions to Queensland’s Chief Health Officer (CHO), Dr Jeannette Young. The second was specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health consumers who put questions to the CHO and the Chief...

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A seat at the decision-making table

As the State faces an uncertain economic future with the pandemic draining the public purse, a looming recession and a significant burden of chronic disease and health inequity, key decisions about funding, resourcing and service priorities are only going to get tougher. However, currently, consumers do not have a seat at the table to help shape these decisions even though their health care and...

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The COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in Queensland: What would build your confidence?

Amidst intense media coverage and the release of limited information by the Commonwealth and State Governments, our first Consumer Conversation of 2021 focused on hearing what consumers are looking for from Queensland Health’s engagement and communications to underpin informed decision-making and instill public confidence in the plans to roll out the COVID-19 vaccination. Prior to the event, Dr...

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What does safety in healthcare mean to you?

Safety is at the very foundation of healthcare, but how often do we think about what safe care looks and feels like to us? How often do we consider what the healthcare system does to keep us safe? Have you ever felt uncomfortable or unsafe when receiving healthcare? Do you feel you can speak up if you do start to feel unsafe? This was Health Consumers Queensland’s 21st conversation with...

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Are culturally and linguistically diverse consumers having their needs met during COVID-19?

Health Consumers Queensland facilitated a conversation between culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and non-CALD consumers*, NGOs representing the interests of CALD consumers and staff from Queensland Health’s Disability and Multicultural Health Unit who have been leading engagement with CALD communities on the health response to the pandemic, the Social Policy Department, the Deputy...

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Face masks: What more do consumers need to know

Recently the Chief Health Officer confirmed that Queenslanders should wear face masks when we can’t socially distance.  However, wearing face masks continues to be a topic of discussion and confusion amongst consumers. Eleven consumers from Health Consumers Queensland’s COVID-19 Community of Interest joined Jordan Medlock from the Strategic Communications Branch’s Project Team to explore the...

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A COVID-19 vaccine: Health consumers’ views

Although a vaccine for COVID-19 is not yet available, it’s high on the news agenda this week and keenly anticipated. According to peer-reviewed research published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal, we need up to 80% vaccination to ensure herd immunity.  Yet the results of an Australian study in April showed that 14% of Australian adults would reject or were unsure about...

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Consumer engagement in Victoria and NSW: Lessons learned during COVID-19

Here in Queensland, Health Consumers Queensland is uniquely positioned to amplify the consumer voice. We are fortunate to work with a Government, health department and health services that welcome consumer engagement and values the consumer voice.  Importantly, this commitment is matched by action, not just lip service, with consumer/HCQ participation facilitated at almost every level of...

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Encouraging COVID-19 testing throughout Queensland

Testing remains one of Queensland’s best defences against a sustained outbreak of COVID19.   A Consumer Conversation on Tuesday 28 July 2020 focused on the top barriers to testing, how the process can be made easier and what the key messages are that would motivate people to get a COVID-19 test.  Fear, uncertainty, confusion, mis-interpretation of information and complacency are currently the...

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Consumer experiences of health services as COVID-19 restrictions ease

In late April 2020, Health Consumers Queensland asked consumers about their experiences of healthcare during the very first easing of the COVID-19 lockdown. Procedures that had been delayed or cancelled were restarting, but consumers shared that they were unsure about accessing care safely. Many reported feeling uncertain and confused about when, if and how they could have their healthcare needs...

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Looking Back: How effective has the Queensland COVID-19 response been?

We asked consumers for their reaction to the COVID-19 response from Queensland Health, and from us, Health Consumers Queensland. We were very pleased to hear that consumers were impressed with Queensland Health's response. Particularly compared to other states, consumers felt that Queensland Health has done very well to involve consumers to such a high degree, to listen and act on their views...

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A mental health system for everyone: Integrated, strong and tailored to our individual needs and circumstances

COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on mental health service provision in Queensland like never before, as people grapple with prolonged social isolation, fear and uncertainty, unemployment, restricted access to health care, home-schooling, withdrawal of support and services, with many reporting feeling forgotten by the government and its pandemic responses. Currently Queensland Health provides...

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COVID-19 Testing: Straightforward, or difficult to access?

The message from Queensland Health is that we need more people tested for COVID-19, but consumer continue to be unclear about eligibility for testing, what testing entails, and what measures need to be taken either side of having a test. Many are reluctant to seek out testing if they are only showing mild symptoms, with the thought of isolation another disincentive. While the Queensland Health...

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Harnessing the benefits of telehealth and virtual care

5 June 2020 Rapid expansion of telehealth and virtual care has emerged as one of the positive outcomes from COVID-19. Consumers shared key insights including: Everybody is doing it differently. Let’s make it simpler, easier and less complicated for all consumers and health care providers to use telehealth. Let’s ensure there is public awareness and system-wide acknowledgment of when and where...

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Qld Health funding priorities 2020/2021

While talking about funding priorities for the next financial year, it was clear that health consumers have an appetite for major changes in health.  Consumers have suggested major reforms to long-held ways of providing health care.  Identified reforms are: to the way patients are categorized for care re-imagining HHS borders funding healthcare collaborating with consumers to design new models...

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Priority Queensland populations – consumers and carers at risk of being left behind

19 May Consumers identified health consumers and carers at risk of being left behind during COVID-19. This helped form their views on who should be included in priority Queensland populations and what healthcare should look like for them. Consumers also saw the value of focusing on the commonalities between these groups as their challenges may be similar e.g. accessing healthcare, navigating...

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Being safe and feeling safe when receiving healthcare

From what consumers shared, a picture emerged of mixed messaging, inconsistent application of protective and safety measures, and varying levels of confidence in the health system’s ability to keep patients safe from potential infection. Some people feel frightened, vulnerable and forgotten. Read the Issues Paper >

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Positives and innovations consumers want to keep after COVID-19

Consumers outlined the positives and innovations they would like maintained during COVID-19 and beyond including improved consumer engagement, the collaborative, timely and effective decision-making at both the system level and at point-of-care, telehealth and virtual care, and that mental health is given equal weight alongside physical health. Read the Issues Paper >

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