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December 2016


From our Chair

Merry Christmas

As the work year draws to a close we’d like to thank all of the people who have contributed to the success of Health Consumers Queensland since funding was provided for our work by the Palaszczuk Government.  A special thank you to my fellow Board members, our staff, the hard-working and committed consumers on our statewide network, the Queensland Health Consumers Collaborative, and the staff who work in health services who are dedicated to partnering with consumers to transform our health care so that we may all become healthier.  This is a time of year that we can celebrate that together we are making a difference to people’s lives, ensuring they get the best health care they can.

In particular I would like to thank Melissa Fox for her day-to-day leadership of our organisation over the past 18 months. In recognition of this work, the Board has promoted Melissa to Chief Executive Officer.  I’m sure all of you who work closely with Melissa will join me in congratulating her on this recognition of her success.

I take this opportunity to wish you a healthy and happy Christmas and look forward to working with you in the New Year.

Mark Tucker-Evans
Chair, Health Consumers Queensland



From our Chief Executive Officer

On the horizon for 2017

I’m excited about what’s in store for consumers in 2017.  We keep getting more and more requests for consumers to be involved in decision-making processes to shape our health services including committees, working groups, focus groups and conferences/forums.  To support consumers to take up these roles and fulfill their responsibilities, we are offering more face to face training, starting up webinars and developing on-line training modules. 

Both consumers and staff will benefit from the release of the revised Consumer and Community Engagement Framework we’ve been working on this year.  Once it is released in February 2017, we will be developing tools and resources to support its implementation across the state.
Our first Annual Forum this year successfully brought together the movers and shakers in consumer engagement and we anticipate the 2017 Annual Forum will do the same.  If you haven’t already, please submit your abstract(s) to us by 10 January 2017.  If you’re looking for inspiration the web page also has a link to the 2016 presentations.  The full guidelines and template for the abstracts are also included on the web page.  We look forward to reading your abstracts in January 2017!

Our office will be closed between Christmas and New Year’s.
We re-open again on Tuesday 3 January 2017.
See you next year!
Melissa Fox
Chief Executive Officer


In The Spotlight

Dean Johnson, consumer member of the Queensland Health Consumer Collaborative.

Passionate about health care services that are accessible, equitable
and appropriate for all peoples. 

Throughout the year we’ve profiled each of the consumer members of the Queensland Health Consumer Collaborative.  Here is the final profile for the year, and the final consumer member of the Collaborative.

Growing up in a very large, extended and multi-cultural family, Dean learnt from an early age the importance of identity, culture, family and community - plus a love for sharing a meal and good yarn.  Dean’s passion for delivering accessible and equitable health care was initially ignited in the early 1990’s, with the release of the first National Aboriginal Health Strategy.  As a young Aboriginal man, hearing first-hand the importance to Aboriginal Traditional Owners, elders, community leaders and family on the significance of this document he knew the path to take.  From then until now, he’s been involved directly (both professionally and personally) in connecting people and information together, with the goal of supporting improved health outcomes.      
From a personal perspective, Dean has experienced the health care system on a number of occasions as both a patient and supporting family members.  While these outcomes as a patient (and supporting family) has been mostly positive, this lived experience definitely gives further depth and knowledge on the current health care system.  It is the combination of his work history (he is the Indigenous Health Coordinator at West Moreton Hospital and Health Service and has worked in the Community Controlled health sector), and personal experiences that drives Dean to ensure that all patients are seen as people – not only an episode of care.
“At every opportunity, we need to ensure that a supported and holistic social and emotional well-being approach is taken towards providing health care services.  This includes acknowledging the importance of culture, religion, personal values and the broader social determinants of health” he said.         
Dean also recognises the importance of having a job to improve people’s health outcomes.  “It’s hard to look at things like diet, medications, education and housing  for example, if you have no money to pay the everyday bills,” he said.  He sees that all health sectors are significant employers in Australia, particularly in rural and regional areas, and could play a more active role in increasing employment options for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Dean is proud to be a member on the Queensland Health Consumer Collaborative and hopes to bring a positive focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and culture.  "By sharing our stories and having a yarn, together we can address the equity and equality of accessible health services for all Queenslanders".

HCQ Update

Graduate Certificate in Consumer and Community Engagement

Health Consumers Queensland in partnership with the Health Issues Centre in Victoria will be offering the Graduate Certificate in Consumer and Community Engagement in 2017. 

Although in the planning stages, we plan to offer this 4 day course at least twice next year. 

We’ll keep you updated in 2017 about when and where and how to book.


Keep updated on Barrett

Regular updates on our website are provided to keep you informed about the consumer and carer involvement in the progress of the work the Government is doing to meet the recommendations from the Barrett Adolescent Centre Commission of Inquiry Report.

You can also subscribe to email updates and read the latest here:

Networking sessions for consumers

Health Consumers Queensland hosts networking sessions in Brisbane and around the state, to help connect health consumer representatives so they can share their successes and achievements, seek support and assistance to overcome any challenges, and share information.
Next year we’ve moved the Brisbane sessions to a bigger venue as they’ve proven to be so popular – this way we’ll have more room so people don’t miss out on hearing a guest speaker and meeting up with their peers.  
Brisbane venue: Community Meeting Room, Brisbane Square Library (ground floor), 266 George St, Brisbane (across the road from our office).
Click here for the 2017 networking session dates.

Consumer training: Fundamentals of partnering with consumers

Next year we’ll be offering to consumers on our network the chance to do our consumer training: Fundamentals of partnering with consumers.  This year, we’ve provided training to consumers via health organisations e.g. Hospital and Health Services but we know that not everyone in our network has had the opportunity to do this training. 
During 2017, we will be developing some on-line training modules for consumers so they can access training from the comfort of their own home/workplace.
We’ll provide you with more information in 2017 but here are the proposed dates for face-to-face (free) consumer training (coinciding with networking sessions in Brisbane):
Friday 21 April 2017
Brisbane Square Library 12.30pm – 4.00pm
Thursday 18 August 2017
Brisbane Square Library 12.30pm - 4.00pm
Thursday 19 October 2017
Brisbane Square Library 2.00pm - 5.00pm

Click here for the 2017 training dates.

Consumer Opportunities

Cancer Australia - Breast Cancer Risk Factors Expert Reference Group

Expressions of Interest close 8 January 2017

The Breast Cancer Risk Factors Expert Reference Group (the Expert Group) will provide Cancer Australia with high level expert input and advice to guide the development of an online resource to communicate the risk factors for early breast cancer. 

The project will communicate evidence-based, up to date information on key risk factors for breast cancer.

Consumer representatives interested in this work should complete a Consumer's Health Forum nomination form available online at:  Your nomination form should be accompanied by a letter of endorsement along with a copy of your curriculum vitae. 

Please contact Deb Milner on 02 6273 5444 or at should you have any queries.


Consumer focus group on development of Australia’s Digital Health Strategy

As part of the consultation for the National Digital Health Strategy (see following) the Agency is partnering with Consumers Health Forum to organise a dedicated consumer focus group.  This focus group will build on the issues raised by consumers throughout the consultation period.  Sitting fees and travel costs will be met.

When: Tuesday 24 January 2017, 10.30-3.30 – light lunch included
Where: Sydney CBD – venue to be confirmed
RSVP & Applications: Places are limited.

If you are interested in attending, please complete this attached CHF EOI form and send it and a CV  to (link sends e-mail) by COB Friday 6 January.  Any queries please contact Rebecca on 02 6273 5444. 

Please note: The CHF office will be closed from 5pm Dec 23rd to Tuesday 2 Jan so they will not be able to respond to your email during this time.

National Consultation on the draft Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Clinical Care Standard

Closes: Wednesday, 11 January 2016

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, in collaboration with consumers, clinicians, researchers and health organisations, has developed a draft Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Clinical Care Standard.

This work is being undertaken in response to the recommendations of the first Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation.

The Commission welcomes your feedback on the Clinical Care Standard.

You can find out more here.

National Digital Health Strategy Consultation

Closes: Tuesday, 31 January 2017

To help describe what digital health looks like now and in the future, the Australian Digital Health Agency is launching a national consultation with the general public, clinicians, healthcare providers and funders.

The findings from the national consultation will be used to develop a national digital health strategy for delivery to the Government in 2017.

There are a number of ways to provide feedback, you can find out more here.


Queenslanders needed for study into law at end of life

A study, led by QUT and Cancer Council Queensland, is the first attempt to assess whether Australians understand and/or act upon their legal right to participate in decisions about medical treatment for themselves, or for their loved ones at the end of life.  
The study needs input from both cancer patients and family members.
“Australian law requires that informed consent about medical treatment be given prior to treatment, and that patients participate in decisions about their healthcare,” said Ms Clift from Cancer Council Queensland.
“However, there are major barriers to this kind of participation, particularly at the end of life.
“Making crucial decisions, such as continuing aggressive treatment or entering palliative care, requires knowledge and understanding from patients and carers about their legal rights.
“This project seeks to understand the community’s knowledge of law at the end of life, and how that affects the ability of patients and their families to make decisions about treatment”.
To find out more, including who can participate in the research, read this, or contact Dr Rachel Feeney at QUT on 3365 2505 or

FREE Patient Literature

The GP and Health Professional online request form

As a tool to further assist GP's and health professionals when treating their patients, the Heart Foundation has developed an online form to enable GP's to select FREE quality evidence based literature to assist patient understanding on a variety of topics, including but not limited to:


  • Warning Signs of a heart attack
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Treatments and Procedures
  • Arrhythmias
  • NutritionWeight Management
  • Women and Heart Disease
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resources

Links of Interest

The Health of Queenslanders 2016 report

The Health of Queenslanders is a report on the health status of the population from the Chief Health Officer.

It’s a good source of information for consumers, carers and families who are partnering with health services to know what are the biggest health issues for their own community or special interest group.


Data Linkage Symposium 2016

Videos of the key presentations made at this symposium are available to view on-line.

Health consumers and staff interested in how linking data can improve health outcomes of individuals and communities will be interested in this.

News from Australia and beyond

Health professions survey reveals gap between belief and practice in patient-centred care

Australian health workforce organisations recognise the importance of patient-centred care but acknowledge they do not have adequate resources and support to promote consumer-focused services, a Consumers Health Forum survey has found.

The survey found that more than 90 per cent of the workforce organisations which responded agreed that patient-centred health care benefited patients and the health system through better outcomes.

The survey is published in the latest edition of CHF’s journal Health Voices, see

Winning film on antibiotic use and misuse


NPS MedicineWise and Tropfest have partnered to encourage creative individuals or groups to help spread a vital health message to Australians that, through misuse and overuse, antibiotics are losing their power.

The winner was The Pick Up and you can view it here:

Patient experience
case study


Using Mystery shopping to understand the voice of the customer and improve the patient experience.
In this case study on patient experience from the Beryl Institute, it shows how mystery shoppers captured the patient experience from the first impression on the phone, through their arrival at the facility, way-finding, and general impressions of the facility and interactions with all care staff and providers.

Speaker bureaus

A number of community organisations run ‘speaker bureaus’ where a person with lived experience can come and speak to your group.  Hearing first-hand from a person with lived experience of a health condition is extraordinarily helpful to breakdown any barriers and assist health professionals to provide empathetic and accessible care.
Here are just some of the organisations who can provide you with an expert in the field.  You can also come to Health Consumers Queensland to help find a consumer or carer expert in other areas of health.  Call us on 07 3012 9090 or email us on to find out more.

Voices for change: Stories of mental health recovery is a Brisbane-based community program where presenters are trained, mentored and supported to articulate their lived experience of mental health recovery in a public setting.

Presentations can be delivered to various members of the community including workplace employees (incl. health staff), school students, university students and community members.

Queensland Positive Speakers Bureau (QPSB) is a not-for-profit community organisation that trains, mentors and supports Queenslanders living with HIV and viral hepatitis as professional speakers and motivators of change within the community.  These education sessions are delivered to health care professionals, school and tertiary students and government employees.

Better Hearing Australia (BHA) is the largest independent consumer association for people who have hearing loss in Australia.  It is a not-for-profit, self-help organisation run by members and provides Australia wide support to everyone in the community.  Better Hearing Australia Brisbane specialises in Aural Rehabilitation and can supply speakers to your organisation to talk about living with hearing loss; effective communication strategies; and a range of other topics.
Hearing loss can have a profound impact on health outcomes - from not following one’s medication or treatment regime correctly to impacting on an individual’s capacity to make informed choices about their own health care.  To find out more about how BHA can help you or to request a speaker for your organisation, contact your local Better Hearing Australia branch.
BHA Brisbane can be contacted on 07 3844 5065 (Voice & TTY) or at

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

HEALTH PROMOTION CHARITY. Health Consumers Queensland © 2016. All rights reserved.


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