News, Updates and What's On

To isolate or not to isolate? How a lockdown in Brisbane affected a couple from Cairns 

Within days of the lockdown in South East Queensland in July 2021 following the first outbreak of the Delta variant, Cairns and Yarrabah also went into lockdown. Having just hosted a Consumer Conversation to hear from consumers across the State during the lockdown in the south-eastern corner, HCQ reached out to consumers and carers from our network in the Far North to find out whether their particular concerns and experiences were reflected in the recommended list of actions in our situation report..  

One carer representative from our network, Deb Robins, took the time to describe her experience of accompanying her husband to Brisbane for hospital treatment during this time. In particular, she highlighted the difficulties people are facing in getting reliable information on discharge when they need care far from home and the need for discharge staff to be fully informed so they can give the correct advice to patients and their families.

Read their story here:

My husband and I have been in North Brisbane for the past month and arrived home just as the lockdown in Cairns was lifted. I had escorted him to Brisbane with some trepidation, not being a medical escort, but he was discharged to travel independently and wanted my support.  He was being monitored and assessed initially for heart valve surgery.  The weeks in Brisbane were filled with innumerable daily tests – some quite invasive. He was also treated medically to improve his overall weak physical condition and boost his heart/lung function to a point where he could survive surgery – which he didn’t reach by the time he was discharged.

Therefore, I was locked down for a handful of days, twice, in my little motel room with kettle, toaster, microwave and walking distance from both his hospitals in Brisbane.  I’m certain the Olympics and of course the variety of programs on the ABC and SBS channels helped, but I exercised 1-2 hours daily, read, crafted, but mostly networked for my health roles.  In the private hospital there were many days when laundry drop off at the hospital entrance was the only visitation allowed.  Of course we could message on the phone after a day of tests, so we understood the greater good of these restrictions. The surgeon assessing him very kindly arranged an exemption for me to attend his rooms which were within the hospital, to help my husband discuss his options and prognosis – that’s when we opted  to be re-assessed for more options with the heart transplant team working out of the public system.

read more…

e-News March 2016

In this March 2016 issue:

  • Message from the Board Chair of Health Consumers Queensland
  • Do you partner with consumers in your role?
  • Consumer profile: Doug Porter, “Making life easier”
  • Funding for health innovations
  • Disturbing disability facts
  • Radio COTA

e-News February

In this issue:

  • Date Claimer 19 May 2016 – Health Consumers Queensland 2016 Annual Forum
  • Upcoming Networking Session 23 February 2016- What you need to know about the NDIS
  • Consumer Profile – Meet Helen Mees who is a member of the Queensland Health Consumers Collaborative
  • Children’s Health Queensland – Your Voice, Our Future – Consumer consultation opportunities

e-News December

In this issue:

  • Health Consumers Queensland 2015 in review: Chair, Mark Tucker-Evans
  • What’s on the horizon: General Manager, Melissa Fox
  • Health Consumers Queensland Launch
  • Training for health services – February is booked out
  • Queensland Health Consumers Collaborative
    • Profile on Mr Harry Pitt
  • For your diary: Dates for networking sessions 2016
  • Consumer representative vacancies
  • Opportunity for consumers and health professionals
  • Congratulations to new Board Director of Consumers Health Forum
  • Useful websites
  • Media statement: Nurse to patient legislation introduced
  • Office opening hours over Christmas

Media Statement: Supporting Queensland consumers and health services to partner for better health outcomes

Supporting Queensland consumers and health services to partner for better health outcomes:PDF

A health system that places health consumers and carers at the heart of the system in a true partnership with those who provide the care is the driving force for Health Consumers Queensland and the Queensland Government.

On Tuesday 24th November, Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services, The Honorable Cameron Dick will officially open the new office of Queensland’s peak health consumer organisation, Health Consumers Queensland.

“We fund and support Health Consumers Queensland because we believe it’s good for the health system and health consumers for Queenslanders to have a strong voice in how Queensland’s health services are delivered,” said Mr Dick.

“The importance of the valuable partnership between Queensland Health and Health Consumers Queensland allows consumers to participate in the planning of health services and the development of health policy leading to health services that better meet the needs of the community.

“Health Consumers Queensland is a place Queensland Health staff can look to for advice, training and support in developing their consumer and community engagement strategies.

“It has skilled, knowledgeable staff to provide training and consultation.

“There is a growing body of evidence that engagement with health consumers is essential in lifting outcomes for patients and in improving community health overall,” said Mr Dick.

The Government has committed three years funding to the organisation to enable increasing numbers of health consumers and families to have a real say in how public health services are planned and delivered.

Health Consumers Queensland General Manager, Melissa Fox said everyday health consumers, carers and their families are providing input into service delivery and design through avenues such as patient feedback and complaints processes, or as members of consumer advisory committees and as independent consumer representatives. “Our role is to take that involvement to the next level by developing the skills of those wanting to have a voice and we will do that through training and skills development programs, and maximizing opportunities for consumer representation at all levels of the health system.”

“We are also working with the Hospitals and Health Services (HHS) to identify their needs in relation to staff training and providing strategic advice on effective consumer partnership.”

Melissa has seen first-hand from her own consumer representative roles, how valuable the partnerships between consumers and clinicians are in creating healthier people and communities. “We are working towards consumers being recognised and valued as leaders in health decision-making for their own healthcare as well as at a policy and systems level.”

Health Consumers Queensland Network member and carer representative Jan Kealton believes many people would like to speak out but do not believe they have the skills to do so effectively. “As members of Health Consumers Queensland, we have easier access to training and resources, and can play a much greater collaborative role in ensuring our health services are designed and delivered to better meet the needs of our community and ensure the best possible outcomes.“

“It’s wonderful that, with this overt support, more of us can be empowered to take greater responsibility for our own health outcomes and those of our families.“

The launch will be held at Health Consumers Queensland’s office at 9.00am, Tuesday 24th November on Level 9, 217 George Street, Brisbane.


Health Consumers Queensland is a not-for-profit organisation and a registered health promotion charity.


Media contacts: Andrew Fraser (Minister’s office) or  [email protected]

Melissa Fox 0404 882 716 or 3012 9090 (Health Consumers Queensland)

E-News November 2015

In this issue:

  • Queensland Health Consumers Collaborative expressions of interest closed
  • Have your say: Three consultations now open
  • New database: Updating your details
  • News and resources for consumer representatives
  • Come to our Open Day



Fundamentals of Consumer Partnerships for Health Consumers

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