Having trouble viewing this email?
Click here.


March 2016


Message from the Chair of Health Consumers Queensland -
Mark Tucker-Evans

On the horizon

I’m pleased to advise that Health Consumers Queensland has appointed two additional directors to the Board.  Steve Russell from Port Douglas and Julie Connelly from Brisbane join Dr Erin Evans, Brendan Horne and myself to provide strategic direction and oversight of our work.  Their contributions and perspectives will be valuable to ensure we continue strengthening the partnerships between health consumers, carers and community organisations with health service providers and we will profile our directors in the next e-News.

Work is well underway for our Annual Forum on Thursday 19 May in Brisbane.  The theme for the forum is Disruptions in Health to drive better health outcomes: The role of the consumer movement.”   Please pencil this date into your diary and we’ll be promoting the registration process, call for abstracts and program soon.



Do you partner with consumers in your role?

Many health organisations are now setting their budgets for the next financial year. Have you considered a budget for consumer engagement activities? 

You may want to consider costs associated with:
  1. Staff training on Partnering with Consumers.
  2. Training for consumer and carer representatives.
  3. Remuneration and reimbursement fees for consumers/carers involved in on-going engagement activities such as strategic policy committees or working groups.
  4. Recruiting consumer representatives to a committee/group.
  5. Focus groups or other one-off consultations.
  6. Ensuring the special assistance some consumers may require are met e.g. captioning services, a venue with good mobility access.
  7. Reviewing patient information, websites and signage around the health service.
  8. Evaluation of your engagement activities.
  9. Consultation and engagement for a major project e.g. a new building design or service redevelopment.
  10. Ensuring staff have opportunities within their workloads to develop relationships with consumers and community to strengthen partnerships.
Investing in building strong and effective partnerships with consumers and community will help to improve health outcomes for patients and their families, protect patients, improve access to services and provide innovative solutions to complex problems.

If you’d like more ideas on ways you can resource effective consumer engagement feel free to call our team on (07) 3012 9090.


Consumer profile:

Douglas Porter, consumer member of the Queensland
Health Consumers Collaborative
--- Making life easier

Douglas Porter is determined to help make life easier for all health consumers, but particularly for those with incurable chronic diseases, as he’s had a lifetime of experience of this. 

Douglas has been living with cystic fibrosis since birth; his lungs are now working at less than 35% of the predicted normal values, he’s retired from being a community pharmacist to concentrate on his health and preparing for when the time is right for a double lung transplant.  He understands the value of implementing programs to make the lives easier for patients and their families.  Douglas is currently trying to get WiFi in hospitals so that CF patients can connect with each other and their family while they are in hospital for lengthy periods of time.

Since retiring to maintain his health, Douglas is busier than ever partnering with health services to find ways to improve the lives of health consumers.  He relishes his roles in continuing to be a voice for the consumer on various Metro North hospital committees at The Prince Charles Hospital, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and Redcliffe Hospitals.  He’s excited, honoured and a little nervous about working on the Queensland Health Consumer Collaborative and hopes to lessen the strain on patients and families.


Diary Dates

Health Consumers Qld
Networking session dates

Would you like to meet other consumer representatives sitting on advisory groups or committees helping to influence and shape health services so we get better health outcomes for all?

Then pencil these dates in your diary to come to our regular networking sessions to meet peers, make valuable connections and troubleshoot any problems you’re currently experiencing in your work as a consumer representative. 

These sessions are held in our Brisbane office over a cup of tea and biscuit.
Time: 9.30 am to 11.30 am
Venue: Level 9/217 George Street, Brisbane
           - Wednesday 20 April
             (please note date change)
           - Wednesday 8 June
           - Tuesday 9 August
           - Wednesday 12 October
           - Tuesday 6 December


Another Consumer Advisory Group is up and running

Health Consumers Queensland have assisted Silver Chain Queensland to recruit and train six members of their new Consumer Advisory Group.

Silver Chain is a national non-profit organisation and this is their first consumer advisory group.  The group will provide a structured partnership between consumers and/or carers and Silver Chain Queensland, facilitating meaningful discussions for the provision of advice, direction and advocacy for planning, delivery, design, measurement and evaluation of Silver Chain services.

Partnerships between consumers, their carers and a health service are important to create better health outcomes for people.

Consultancy opportunities

Review of DAA Accreditation Standards

The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) wishes to invite you to participate in a consultation process regarding the review of the DAA Accreditation Standards for Dietetic Education Programs (the Standards) and the Processes for the Accreditation of Dietetic Education Programs (the Processes). Consumer input has been incorporated in to the draft Standards and Processes via the Consumer Representative on the Australian Dietetics Council (ADC), the independent council responsible for providing high-level strategic advice to DAA on matters relating to accreditation and recognition.

Dietitians Association of Australia and Australian Dietetics Council would value further consumer contribution to the consultation process to assist in ensuring a process that produces safe and competent dietetic graduates. Information regarding the consultation, including the documents and link to the consultation surveys is available via the DAA website.

Consultation for both documents will close at 9pm AEDT on Friday 25 March 2016.

If you have any queries regarding the consultation process please contact Kristy Bartlett, Accreditation Manager, on (02) 6189 1215.


Funding for health innovations

Queensland Health has a new $35m Innovation Fund to improve integrated care.

Applications for funding are now open and close on 1 April 2016.

For more information:

Metro North HHS
There’s also another innovation fund run by the Metro North Hospital and Health Service designed to partner with external organisations to improve care for patients.  Community organisations interested in this finding are invited to attend roadshows being held across the Metro North area in March so they have time to prepare for the funding round.

Click here for information on these roadshows or contact

Disturbing disability facts

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released a new report called Health status and risk factors of Australians with disability 2007-08 and 2011-12.  This report examines how health-related factors affect the health status of Australians with disability at the national population level.  

It reveals disturbing facts like:
  • In 2011-12, half (51%) of people aged 15-64 with severe or profound disability reported poor or fair health, compared with 6% for those without disability.
  • Half (50%) of people aged under 65 with severe or profound disability had mental health conditions, compared with 8% for those without disability.
  • Higher proportions of people aged 15-64 with severe or profound disability compared with those without disability were obese (43% versus 25%), doing no physical exercise (46% versus 31%), daily smokers (31% versus 15%) and having a very high level of psychological distress (22% versus 1%).

Understanding guardianship for service providers

Queensland Aged and Disability Advocacy (QADA) delivers guardianship workshops aimed at service providers working in this area.

The workshops provide education about the various presentations of reduced mental capacity – such as dementia, mental illness, intellectual disability and acquired brain injury.

The workshop also assists service providers working in this area and promotes the principles of the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000, Queensland.

The workshops are being held across the state in 2016 but there are only 30 places at each workshop. 

To find out more and to register please visit:

Consumer vacancy

Ambulance retrieval: What factors are involved in the decision to transport an emergency patient to hospital?
** Two health consumers required **

The Prince Charles Hospital, in partnership with CSIRO, QAS, ACU and QUT are starting a study focusing on the patient and health clinicians’ decisions in the patient’s healthcare journey, that determines the patient’s final hospital destination.

We are seeking two health consumers to join the study’s Steering Committee, to share their valued perspective and input on the patient’s healthcare journey.  The consumers will be required to attend four meetings (March, June, September and December), for a two hour duration.  Remuneration will be paid at the recommended Health Consumers Queensland rate and includes pre-reading, and any costs including travel etc. 

The first meeting is scheduled for the 23rd March at 9am, at The Prince Charles Hospital Emergency Department.  The Steering Committee will include the principal and associate investigators, consumers, nursing, paramedic, and medical staff.  The study is funded by the SEED grant, with more information found at

If interested please contact:
Lisette Knight - Project Officer
Phone: 31394989 or  0432 242 153


Engaging patients through open notes: an evaluation using mixed methods

Esch T, Mejilla R, Anselmo M, Podtschaske B, Delbanco T, Walker J
BMJ Open. 2016;6(1).

A study investigated the experiences of patients invited to view their medical notes.  Using survey responses from patients cared for by primary care physicians at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center who had electronic access to their visit notes the authors suggest that for these patients open notes “may increase patient activation and engagement” and that they had “improved understanding (of health information), better relationships (with doctors), better quality (adherence and compliance; keeping track) and improved self-care (patient-centredness, empowerment).”

Award from Governor

Congratulations Douglas!

Metro North Hospital and Health Service recognised Douglas Porter, a member of our network, for his personal efforts and dedication to supporting Queensland patients living with cystic fibrosis and the work of The Prince Charles Hospital Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre.  The Governor of Queensland, Mr Paul de Jersey, presented the award to Doug last week.

Left to right: Douglas Porter, Paul Alexander, Chair of Metro North Hospital and Health Board and the Governor of Queensland, Mr Paul de Jersey.

Radio COTA

A new radio service for seniors

COTA (Council on the Ageing) Queensland have launched a new radio service with weekly podcasts focused on topical and relevant information for older Queenslanders.

In the coming weeks there will be interviews and a wealth of information leading up to the 13th Global Conference on Ageing in June and Seniors Week in August.

To learn more or to listen to the podcasts check out

HEALTH PROMOTION CHARITY. Health Consumers Queensland © 2015. All rights reserved.

HEALTH PROMOTION CHARITY. Health Consumers Queensland © 2015. All rights reserved.