News, Updates and What's On

Issues Paper: Get Back to Basics

As the first month of 2022 draws to a close, Health Consumers Queensland continues to listen to health consumer and carers across the state of their experience of accessing, getting and receiving healthcare and information.

This week the key themes that have emerged from health consumers include significant concerns for people’s safety and wellbeing in Residential Aged Care Facilities, those locking down for long periods of time, and people with disability.

 A joint statement from consumers, community, clinician and unions was issued called for immediate action from both the Commonwealth and State governments to give priority access to key measures for people with disability. Read the joint statement here: Open Letter to Commonwealth and State governments calling for immediate actions – Queenslanders With Disability Network (qdn.org.au)

There is still widespread lack of access to RATs for those who need them most.

And getting the right, simple and easy to follow information on all things COVID when so much is changing so quickly.

  • Significant concerns about safety and wellbeing for people with disability and aged care residents
  • Communication gaps
  • Lack of access to RATs

Read the Issues Paper to understand the issues in more detail.

eAlert: Why Queensland’s consumer partnerships during COVID-19 are standing out

The Consumers Health Forum of Australia has recognised Queensland’s lead on consumer engagement and influence in the health system’s COVID-19 response after publishing a leading article by Melissa Fox, CEO of Health Consumers Queensland in their latest eJournal.

In the article, Melissa shares the exceptional outcomes of the partnerships between consumers and the health system which grew in strength, trust and influence from a faltering start at a very challenging time.

The peak national consumer organisation said, ” A standout has been Health Consumers Queensland which, during COVID, has formed working links with the State’s Health Department to develop consumer-effective policies, promoting online engagement with consumers to alert government on a range of areas including delayed access to health care, advice on testing and face masks.

Continue reading eAlert >

eAlert: Watershed commitment for consumer engagement in deciding funding priorities

At this week’s Consumer Conversation on how consumers can have a seat at the decision-making table to influence funding priorities, 27 consumers welcomed a commitment from Nick Steele, the Deputy Director General of the Healthcare Purchasing and System Performance Division at Queensland Health which manages a $16bn budget, to approach the Leadership Board about involving consumers from the start in the tough decisions which need to be made over the next five years.

Continue reading eAlert >

eAlert: Consumer priorities and solutions for the health system over the next four years

Following the re-election of the Labor State Government on Saturday, 31 October 2020, Health Consumers Queensland was encouraged to see 20 consumers from our Community of Interest (and welcome new faces) at our Consumer Conversation this week to set out your priorities and solutions for the public health system during the next four years. A further 48 consumers have completed an online survey and we thank you all for expressing your views with such clarity and purpose.

You were quick to praise Queensland Health for its COVID-19 response and the way it has listened to the consumer voice. Many support the innovative models of care which were adopted during the past eight months including telehealth and care including maternity care and hospital care delivered at home or in community settings.

You would like the Government to build on these achievements and innovations to ensure that all Queenslanders have access to quality care. The key priorities identified by consumers are as follows:

Continue reading eAlert >

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 consumers and carers since March 2020. It was clear from the conversation that although consumers assume they are getting care in a safe system and many of the safety nets are invisible to us, consumers can clearly identify and describe what unsafe care (and unsafe environment) fees like to them. All of the 28 people who attended brought their passion and their experience to this conversation, everyone had something to say. Safety is one of the tenets of the Australian Charter for Healthcare Rights.

We heard clearly how much safety matters to everyone who accesses health care. Yet what it looks, feels, sounds and tastes like for each of us is unique – and extends far beyond a single perspective of clinical safety. What feels safe for one person, may not feel safe another.

Read the Issues Paper >

Please complete Health Consumers Queensland’s Annual Survey

Health Consumers Queensland’s Annual Survey for 2019-2020 is now available for all health consumers and carers and health staff on our state-wide network to complete.

Your responses will enable Health Consumers Queensland to continue to improve and develop our services and advocacy to ensure that consumer partnerships are a powerful, meaningful and integral part of the way the health system in Queensland designs and delivers its policies, services and outcomes.

This year has presented more challenges, opportunities and innovations for our public health care system and for consumer partnerships than at any other time in our history. Although our survey touches on our work during COVID-19, we will soon be commencing a more in-depth external evaluation of the roles of consumers in supporting the response to COVID-19.

Our Annual Survey is open from today until Monday 23 November and should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Click on the button below to start.

If you would like assistance completing the survey please contact us on 07 3012 9090 or email [email protected]

Thank you for your time and support.

Start survey >

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 Director-General of Corporate Services, the Statewide Lead for COVID-19 for Aged Care and Disability, and the Strategic Communications Branch. In all, more than 40 people were part of this on-line discussion about the issues culturally and linguistically diverse consumers faced in the health system during COVID.

Since April 2020, the Department and stakeholders representing CALD community groups in Queensland have been working together to develop policy and action plans for a COVID-19 response that meets the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse Queenslanders. Throughout this time, Health Consumers Queensland has also been listening to CALD consumers in our frequent Consumer Conversations sharing their experiences of accessing health care during the pandemic and expressing their concerns and views about what is still missing the mark.**

This conversation offered a rare moment for the Department, consumer organisations and every day CALD consumers to reflect upon the opportunities and improvements in access or delivery of health care which have been developed during COVID and collectively ask ourselves how we can keep doing this better.

Read the full issues paper here >

eAlert: What do consumers need to feel safe in our public health system?

Thank you to the many consumers and carers, and Dr Jillann Farmer, the Deputy Director-General of Clinical Excellence Queensland who contributed to such a powerful and open Consumer Conversation about feeling safe in our public health system this week.

We heard loud and clear how much safety matters to all of us who access health care. We also learned that what it looks, feels, sounds and tastes like for each of us is so unique – and extends far beyond a single perspective of clinical safety.

You shared what safety means to you if you identify as LGBTIQ, if you are from a culturally or linguistically diverse background and no one speaks your language, if you are challenging a senior clinician, or a carer having to point out a problem with the care of a loved one, if you have to invoke Ryan’s Rule or another review / complaint protocol, or if you feel very unwell or vulnerable.

Continue reading eAlert

eAlert: An inclusive Qld, Treating people who test positive to COVID, and more

An inclusive Queensland matters for all Queenslanders

Health Consumers Queensland was one of eight state-wide organisations who co-hosted the Make Disability Count 2020 State Election Virtual Forum last Thursday, 8 October.

Over 200 people registered to attend and five political parties joined us to answer questions that are important to people with disability, their families and the organisations that support them.

Together with Queenslanders with Disability Network, ADA Australia hosting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Disability Network of Queensland, National Disability Services, Queensland Alliance for Mental Health, Community Services Industry Alliance, Queensland Advocacy Inc., and the Queensland Collective for Inclusive Education, we all called on political parties to commit to seven priority policy areas:

  • Independent individual and systemic advocacy
  • Investment in frontline community services
  • Disability leadership, governance and accountability across mainstream services
  • A dedicated Minister for Disability and Inclusion;
  • Human Rights
  • Workforce
  • Sector capacity
  • Inclusive education.

read more…

eAlert: Culturally and linguistically diverse consumers, are you having your needs met during COVID-19?

Welcome back to everyone after the September school holiday break. We hope many of you feel refreshed and revitalized as we head towards the end of this long year.

We kicked off our return to ‘’business as unusual’’ this week by hosting an important conversation with more than 40 people: Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and non-CALD consumers, NGOs representing the interests of CALD consumers including World Wellness Group and the Refugee Health Network, and staff from Queensland Health’s Disability and Multicultural Health Unit, the Social Policy Unit, the Statewide Lead for COVID-19 for Aged Care and Disability and the Strategic Communications Branch.

Since April 2020, the Department and stakeholders representing CALD communities in Queensland have been working together to develop policy and action plans for a COVID-19 response that meets the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse people. Throughout this time, Health Consumers Queensland has also been listening to culturally diverse consumers who have shared their experiences of accessing health care during the pandemic and expressed their concerns and views about what is still missing the mark. read more…

Groundbreaking appointment of consumer representatives to Queensland Health Tier 2 Committees

Health Consumers Queensland is delighted to announce that, for the first time in our public health system’s history, consumers are sitting across almost all the key governance committees in the Department of Health (known as Tier 2 System Advisory Committees).

Eight out of the nine committees have representation from consumers, clinicians and First Nations people as well as an organisational representative from Health Consumers Queensland. The System Management Advisory Committee is the only exception, with a decision by the Chairs to have clinicians and First Nations people on the Tier 2 committee, and consumers on their Tier 3 sub-committees.

Continue reading eAlert >

Events

Consumer Mentoring

28 July,10:00 am - 11:00 am
There is no better teacher than experience! In this very special mentoring session, we invite consum...

For Consumers: Fundamentals of Consumer Partnerships

2 August,10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Co-presented with an experienced consumer, this program is for consumer reps to strengthen their par...

For Consumers: Fundamentals of Consumer Partnerships

3 August,10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Co-presented with an experienced consumer, this program is for consumer reps to strengthen their par...

Introduction to Consumer Partnerships for Health Consumers

16 August,5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Co-presented with an experienced consumer representative! For consumers very new to partnerships Who...

Introduction to Consumer Partnerships for Health Consumers

23 August,5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Co-presented with an experienced consumer representative! For consumers very new to partnerships Who...

Introduction to Consumer Partnerships for Health Consumers

30 August,5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Co-presented with an experienced consumer representative! For consumers very new to partnerships Who...

Fundamentals of Consumer Partnerships for Qld Health Staff

6 September,10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Get a deeper understanding of consumer partnerships in health. Understand your role as health staff ...

Introduction to Consumer Partnerships for Health Consumers

6 September,5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Co-presented with an experienced consumer representative! For consumers very new to partnerships Who...

Fundamentals of Consumer Partnerships for Qld Health Staff

7 September,10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Get a deeper understanding of consumer partnerships in health. Understand your role as health staff ...