News, Updates and What's On

“Working together for the best care possible” – What health consumers and carers are saying on Friday 4 February 2022

During a conversation with Torres Strait Islander Elders this week, one of the Elders asked: “Are we doing the best we can?”

HCQ asks each of us to consider that question. Are we working together with the right people, inside and outside our organisations/networks, to do the best we can?

Key issues for health consumers and carers this week focus on what’s working well with communications about COVID-19:  improvements to Queensland Health’s website are much appreciated; HealthDirect’s information is hitting the mark but needs better promotion and telehealth information and experience is a plus.

Consumers still need tailored advice from hotlines and now that schools are back to face-to-face lessons, consistent and accessible information would be valued.

Read the full summary in our latest issues paper >

Vaccine Q&A for First Nations Consumers

Online Q & A with Chief Health Officer and Chief Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Officer

3 March 2021

Almost 100 people joined Health Consumers Queensland’s Q&A Forum for First Nations consumers, carers and health workers on the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young, and Queensland’s Chief Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Officer and Deputy Director-General, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, Ms Haylene Grogan joined us to share the latest information and answer participants’ questions.

read more…

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 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Officer and Deputy Director-General Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, Ms Haylene Grogan. This summary paper highlights the shared themes and differences between the Q&A Forums and examines what your questions tell Queensland Health along with suggestions for changes and improvements.

Read the issues paper >

 

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 health outcomes are directly affected by them.

read more…

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.

read more…

A holiday message to our wonderful health consumers, carers and health staff across Queensland

Finally, we are at the end of this never-ending year.

As news started to filter through at this same time last year of a concerning new virus, few of us could have foreseen that COVID-19 would go on to wreak havoc and heartbreak across the globe on such a massive scale.

We know that in many ways we are ‘lucky’ here in Queensland but we are also aware that in order to contain the virus we have had to bear the consequences of strict and sometimes painful restrictions. You may have lost a loved one and been unable to attend their funeral. You may have welcomed a new baby into the world without being able to share the joy and receive support in those early days. You may have been stranded in Australia, have a precarious visa status or be homeless, and have felt abandoned. You may have felt overwhelmed by having to work harder than you’ve ever worked whilst home-schooling your children or you may have lost your job or your business and be fearful of what the future holds.

This year has forced us to dig deep and tap into reserves of fortitude, resilience and adaptability that we never knew we had. In our separation, isolation and darkest moments, we have needed connection – to be seen, heard and considered – more than ever. And we’ve used our ability to innovate or be resourceful so that we can continue to reach out to our loved ones, our friends, our colleagues and people who can support us. read more…

Going the extra mile in 2020

From a sombre starting point at the onset of lockdown when the Health Consumers Queensland team were faced with the prospect of COVID-19 significantly impacting the work of the many wonderful health consumers on our network as well as our engagement partners at Queensland Health, we are instead ending the year able to celebrate extraordinary growth across the health engagement space with you all.

We have never seen such incredible numbers. And we are so proud of how hard we have all worked this year to ensure consumer voices are heard when key decisions are being made – going the extra mile time and time again to achieve this. Thank you to everyone involved and a special thanks to our extraordinary team:

Melissa Fox, Chief Executive Officer
A key part of Melissa Fox’s role this year has been to strongly advocate for consumer involvement in all parts of the health system. She sits on key committees and decision-making groups and has been a true and strong voice ensuring consumers are involved in key decision-making.

Indeed, without Melissa’s advocacy early in March at a large system wide forum with representatives from Queensland Health, including the Chief Health Officer and the Director-General, where she identified the potential consequences of Queensland’s health system not engaging swiftly and meaningfully with consumers and the community, the voice of consumers may not have been heard to the extent they have. “Speak up even when your voice shakes”, is a phrase that seems quite a good fit for Melissa this year. She’s been a fearsome leader and we’ve achieved what we have largely because of her determination to ensure consumers are heard. Thank you. read more…

eAlert: Looking back and looking forward with consumers from our COVID-19 Community of Interest

2020 will go down as the year when consumers in Queensland stood shoulder to shoulder with their public health system thanks to the efforts of so many committed and passionate consumers and dedicated consumer champions within Queensland Health.

So please forgive us if we shed quite a few happy tears during our final Consumer Conversation for the year on Wednesday. Fourteen consumers, Health Consumers Queensland team members and Dr Alex Markwell, Chair of the Queensland Clinical Senate and a tireless consumer champion who supported our bid to be around the table at the beginning of COVID-19 and has partnered meaningfully with us throughout this time, had much to celebrate.

Together we shared our perspectives on the incredible HCQ Covid-19 Community of Interest and reflected upon the impact that the conversations, consultations and discussions held during this extraordinary time in all our lives.

Continue reading eAlert >

2020: the year when consumers in Queensland stood shoulder to shoulder with their public health system

2020 will go down as the year when consumers in Queensland stood shoulder to shoulder with their public health system thanks to the efforts of so many committed and passionate consumers and dedicated consumer champions within Queensland Health.

So please forgive us if we shed quite a few happy tears during our final Consumer Conversation for the year on Wednesday.  There was so much to celebrate by the fourteen consumers, Health Consumers Queensland team members and Dr Alex Markwell, Chair of the Queensland Clinical Senate and a tireless consumer champion who supported our bid to be around the table at the beginning of COVID-19 and has partnered meaningfully with us throughout this time.

Together we all shared our perspectives on the incredible Health Consumers Queensland Covid-19 Community of Interest and reflected upon the impact that the conversations, consultations and discussions held during this extraordinary time in all our lives.

The COVID-19 Community of Interest and our online Consumer Conversations were established almost overnight through existing Health Consumers Queensland networks to enable rapid, accessible and inclusive consumer consultation on unprecedented challenges for the health system..

Over 600 consumers and observers/speakers from Queensland Health have attended 24 Consumer conversations since the end of March. Based on what you told us about what was and wasn’t working in the public health system, you trusted us to put together 22  Issues Papers and we shared these across the Department and all the Hospitals and Health Services to inform the response to COVID-19. read more…

Consumer article: Consumer co-researchers making a difference: and a call to action for occupational therapists

New findings following a study on consumer involvement in occupational therapy health-related research have revealed that comprehensive consumer-researcher partnerships may not be common-place in occupational therapy research in Australia.

The research team from Griffith University, QE11 and PA Hospitals included three academic researchers and two consumer co-researchers. One of the consumers, Elizabeth Miller, is a member of the HCQ Consumer Network, and the other is Bernadette Tanner. Together with the research team, they reviewed the current status of consumer engagement in occupational therapy health-related research which was published in the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal over the past 5 ½ years.

Of the 123 eligible papers, 48 included various types of consumer engagement, but only two involved consumers collaboratively, or in-depth, across all the research phases of preparation, execution and translation.

Four themes which demonstrate the key philosophies of enabling and empowering consumers and communities in research emerged from this scoping review –

  • Parity is essential in research partnerships
  • It’s important to know the ‘Who, What, When, How, and So What’ of consumer involvement
  • Consumer engagement must be a two-way process – not a dead-end street, and
  • We must meet the challenge of being diverse and inclusive

Consumer involvement in research is becoming an ethical, political and moral imperative, and this study verified that collaboration with two consumer co-researchers in finalising data analysis, interpreting results and reporting outcomes added a diverse and valuable perspective. It also highlighted the need for training and development of both health researchers and consumers in order to build capability to create meaningful partnerships.

Elizabeth said, “Taking part in this research process over the past year has been a rewarding, stretching and fulfilling experience, and I would strongly encourage other consumers to become engaged in research, if and when the opportunity arises. I’ve enjoyed the genuine co-learning that’s taken place, with our research team being committed to an authentic partnership. It was also exciting that our paper was accepted for publication.

Along with the learning we’ve had lots of fun and laughter together, and I’m now looking forward to the next exciting phase of our research … watch this space!”

Read the paper >

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24 May,9:00 am - 11:00 am
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