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July 2016


A Framework for moving forward

Framework Review

Health Consumers Queensland’s Consumer and Community Engagement Framework was developed in 2012 using a collaborative model with many key health stakeholders in Queensland.  Since that time it has been used by many hospital and health services in Queensland and Australia wide to inform their Consumer and Community Engagement Strategies.

With consumer and community partnership activities increasing across Queensland Health and primary and private health care providers, it is an opportune time for the Framework to be reviewed to ensure it reflects best practice, the growing evidence base in the field and continues to effectively support and guide health services to engage with their consumers and communities.

Health Consumers Queensland will now commence recruiting via an expression of interest process to establish a Reference Group to guide this important work.  The group will include representation from active consumer representatives, Queensland Health, Primary Health Networks and private hospitals.

There will also be other opportunities to inform the Framework over the next six months and we look forward to your input into this important resource.  

Please refer to the EOI’s for Consumers and Health Service Staff

Mark Tucker-Evans
Board Chair


Annual Forum

PowerPoint presentations and audio files

Following our very successful Annual Forum on the 19th May we have been working to upload the PowerPoint presentations and audio files to our website. 

Now live for you to enjoy are the PowerPoint presentations from our keynote speakers and consumer leadership and consumer and health staff partnerships presentations, panels and workshops, audio files of the presentations, 3rd View graphics and evaluation report of findings.
Please note, the videos of the key presentations will be coming soon.


In the spotlight

Consumer profile:
John Gagen, consumer member of the
Queensland Health Consumer Collaborative

John Gagen from Brisbane is full of heart.  When he learned that over 60% of adult patients with chronic illness are in the 65 plus age group, and until recently that age group had little voice if any within the Queensland Health  structure, he stepped up to the plate and became a consumer representative.

For the past 20 years John has been an on-going heart patient at The Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane and he’s now a consumer representative on the QH Heart Health Consumer Advisory Group, and has been the Chair for the past two years.  He is also a member of The Prince Charles Hospital Consumer Advisory Network and on the steering committee of Metro North Hospital and Health Service’s LINK and SEED innovation funds project.

As a member of the Queensland Health Consumer Collaborative he hopes to assist in highlighting areas of need and improvement relative to active patients in the 65 plus age group within health policies.

Expressions of interest

Focus Group on Reviewing '10 Tips for Better Health Care'

Health Consumers Queensland is organising a focus group in Brisbane on behalf of The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) to seek the input of health consumers into the Commission’s ‘10 Tips for Safer Health Care’ resource.

‘The 10 Tips for Safer Health Care’ is a consumer advisory resource, designed to engage consumers in being involved in improving the safety and quality of their health care.  The Commission is developing an updated version of the 10 Tips and seeks to draw on the expertise and experience of consumers to ensure it addresses the safety and quality issues that consumers consider important.

The current version of the 10 Tips can be found here

The focus group will be held:
Venue: Health Consumers Queensland’s office
Date: Thursday 28th July
Time: 10am to 11.30am.  
All that is required is your time and to read the current 10 Tips resource and reflect on a couple of questions before the meeting. 

There are only a limited number of spaces left so if you would like to be involved please contact Jo Smethurst or Suzanne Wirges on 3012 9090 or email by Friday 22nd July.

- Tell us why you’re interested in attending the focus group, and
- Any dietary and other requirements you have in order to participate.
Successful applicants will be reimbursed for their attendance.  If you can’t attend the focus group and would like to input into the new version of the 10 Tips please contact the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.


Mental Health First Aid

Health Consumers Queensland has four places for consumers and/or carers from our network to attend Mental Health First Aid Training free of charge.

Mental Health First Aid (Standard Course) is designed to teach people how to assist someone who is developing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis.  For more information please see:

This professional development opportunity covers the cost of the training and associated training resources only. Transport costs will not be covered and remuneration will not be paid for attendance.

The training is 2 days in length and will take place on Monday 22nd August and Monday 29th August at Health Consumers Queensland’s offices in George St, Brisbane City.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please complete an Expression of Interest form demonstrating how the training will contribute to your consumer representative activities and return to by Friday August 5th.   You must be able to attend both days of training to be eligible for a place.

For more information about this opportunity please contact Georgina Lawson on: 07 3012 9090.


Alcohol and Pregnancy - A Community Conversation

The Reducing the Effects of Antenatal Alcohol on Child Health Centre of Research Excellence based in Western Australia would like to invite you to participate in a community conversation.

If you, a family member or friend have an interest in the effects of drinking alcohol during pregnancy and live in Brisbane or surrounding area you are invited to come and talk about research in this area including, Alcohol and Pregnancy, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and the best ways to include community opinions in research.

Date: Wednesday 13th July
Time: 6.00pm - 8.00pm
Venue: Cancer Council Queensland, 553 Gregory Terrace, Fortitude Valley

A light supper and small payment for out of pocket expenses will be provided.

For further information and bookings please go to


National Palliative Care Strategy

The Australian Government Department of Health is assessing the value and effectiveness of the National Palliative Care Strategy 2010 (the Strategy) and would like to identify new and emerging priorities and opportunities in relation to palliative care.

Urbis, who has been commissioned by the Department, would like to invite you to take part in a workshop to share your views on the achievements of the Strategy and opportunities for improvement.  The workshop will focus on the impact of the Strategy and will include a wide range of stakeholders including state/territory government health services, palliative care providers and local carer and consumer organisations.

The Brisbane workshop is being held:
Date: Tuesday 26 July
Time: 1.00pm – 4.00pm
Venue: Park Regis North Quay, 293 North Quay, Brisbane
To RSVP for the workshop:


 Iron Overload

6th & 7th August 2016 - Brisbane
The 2nd Biennial Australasian Haemochromatosis Conference will include everything you wanted to know about haemochromatosis but were afraid to ask!  This conference is targeting health consumers and health professionals.

What about diet?  Arthritis?  Sexual dysfunction?  What happens with my blood test samples?  Why don’t GPs detect it more often?  Why don’t they screen everyone?  What would that cost?  When should you treat someone with iron overload?  What’s happening in haemochromatosis research?

This is a 2-day conference - you can choose to attend either day, or both days.  Come and join others with iron overload disorder, researchers, doctors and health professionals for two days of discovery, friendship and discussion at the Haemochromatosis Conference Brisbane.

Full details for the Conference can be found here:

Call for Abstracts

Improving consumer and carer engagement in healthcare

Due by: 19 November 2016

This two-day seminar to be held on the Gold Coast on 2-3 March 2017 and aims to share the achievements of initiatives designed to improve patient, consumer and carer engagement in health care. 

It will focus on two main themes:
- Partnering with consumers, and
- Health literacy.

You can download the guidelines for submitting an abstract

In the Media

Waiting Times interview on ABC TV

Health Consumers Queensland featured in an ABC TV news story on Friday 8 July about a marked reduction in the number of Queensland consumers waiting longer than clinically recommended for specialist outpatient appointments and elective surgery.  
Improvements in this area are due to several factors: the addition of state government resources (increased investment in frontline services, outsourcing to private facilities and increased focus on consistent, clinically appropriate care pathways from primary to tertiary services), national targets over the last five years and hard work by many clinicians across the state.  This means more people are getting the right care, in the right time, at the right place.
We welcome continued investment by the Queensland Government to keep driving down these numbers as no one should have to wait for timely, appropriate care. 
We encourage health services to keep talking to patients and families and involving us in co-designing innovative solutions to accessing services in a timely manner.
(Story from 12 mins):


Oral Health interview on ABC612

Melissa Fox, General Manager Health Consumers Queensland, was interviewed on ABC 612 last week on oral and dental health.

The key points Melissa made were around access and equity and the need to invest in preventing oral disease (it’s entirely preventable) and stopping the impact of poor oral health on people’s wellbeing.  


And Lastly .....


A member of our network and dementia advocate, Christine Bryden, has received a Member (AM) in the General Division in the 2016 Queens Birthday honours list.

Congratulations Christine!

Good reading:

The Office of the Public Advocate (Qld) is an independent body that provides systems advocacy to influence government and non-government agencies for people with impaired decision-making. Their recent report on "Upholding the right to life and health: A review of deaths in care of people with disability in Qld - a systemic advocacy report" is compelling reading.

It will increase awareness and understanding for both health providers and health consumer advocates on some of the challenges and opportunities to improve care for people living with disability in Queensland.

Keeping you
in the loop

E-News comes to you every month, to communicate what Health Consumers Queensland is up to, share success stories and highlight the latest evidence and best-practice on consumer engagement.

If you are a consumer representative or a health provider with a ‘success story’ of an effective partnership we would love to share your success here.

To share your stories, please call Jo Smethurst or Anne Curtis on 07 3012 9090.
Subscribe to our E-News here. Please feel free to pass on to your consumer and community network.

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

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


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