The latest consumer opportunities from Health Consumers Queensland
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eAlert: Enabling vital partnerships to ensure the COVID-19 health response meets the needs of all Queenslanders

In this issue:

Addressing the barriers to COVID-19 testing

Queensland’s best defences against a sustained outbreak of COVID-19 via community transmission are quarantine, border controls, testing and contact tracing.

Ahead of reports of new cases of COVID-19 in Brisbane this week, 21 consumers had already joined forces with Department and health staff, Queenslanders with Disability Network and Palliative Care Queensland at a Consumer Conversation on Tuesday to share their views on the top barriers to testing and what can be done to address these and encourage more people to get tested. 

During the conversation, it was clear that consumers are looking for a clear and unambiguous testing pathway which is convenient, supportive, nuanced and needs-focused. Yet fear, uncertainty, confusion, misinterpretation and complacency are rife.

Specifically, consumers identified the following ongoing barriers to testing:
  • Difficulty interpreting advice about symptoms
  • Unclear testing pathways
  • The logistics of having a test and managing the consequences are too complicated and overwhelming
  • The need to self-isolate (for several days in rural areas) while awaiting results
  • Pain and trauma associated with testing
  • Perceived lack of social responsibility amongst certain groups of people
  • Fear of stigma and retribution if people do test positive
Consumers also came up with a range of ideas and suggestions for making it easier for people to participate in testing. These included:
  • Clear and consistent overall communications which use words like ‘symptom-free’ rather than asymptomatic.
  • Targeted information for specific groups of people e.g. truck drivers should regularly get tested even if they are symptom-free.
  • Checking for context and interpretation
“Context matters: From Boulia to Gympie, different mobs are saying that these symptoms are my everyday life so how we check for understanding is important. What does that mean in my context here? E.g. in a heavy dust laden environment or during blossom season in Northern Queensland.”
  • Harness the power of local leadership to set the tone for understanding and engagement with testing.
  • Directly address and acknowledge people’s fears, uncertainty and confusion.
  • Take testing to people rather than expecting people to go for testing eg mobile testing for people with a disability and living remotely.
  • Provide a wrap-around testing protocol which supports people to self-isolate – even if you need to get the whole family tested but you’re running out of food and need to go shopping or you are concerned about your job.
  • Offer people a choice of test (a number of consumers asked about the saliva test which is not yet validated in Queensland)
  • Provide a reward or incentive for compliance.
A sense of social responsibility – this is about keeping us all safe – was high on the list of key messages to be sharing in order to encourage people to get tested.

The Issues Paper on this topic will be available on the Issues Papers page of our website from early next week . If you’d like to join the regular Consumer  Conversations please register to join our COVID-19 Community of Interest group here.

CHO issues new directions on aged care facilities

In light of recent COVID cases in Queensland, the Chief Health Officer has issued two new directions (30 July 2020) related to visiting aged care facilities and also released a list of  restricted areas across the Greater Brisbane and Ipswich regions which will limit access to aged care facilities in those locations. 

You can stay updated on the latest directions by signing up to the CHO updates here.

The Aged Care Direction (no.8)
Restricted Areas Direction

Queensland consumer appointed to national Commissioner role with Consumers Health Forum of Australia

Helen Mees, an experienced consumer on our network and Chair of our CAG, has been appointed to Consumers Health Forum of Australia’s Consumer Commission: Beyond COVID-19 to help shape future consumer-centred health and social care policy.
Over the coming months, Helen and her fellow Commissioners will be looking at mental health and wellbeing, integration and care coordination, health equity and digital health.
Congratulations, Helen. We wish you every success in this new role.

Electronic prescriptions now available in primary care settings

The Queensland Government has now approved electronic prescribing for valid Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) prescriptions.
This means that prescribers in primary care settings may now generate an electronic prescription using prescribing software that uses a prescription delivery service such as eRx or MediSecure to allow the pharmacist to retrieve and dispense the electronic prescription.
Prescribers in hospital settings (both public and private) will not have this capability until their respective prescribing software and supporting systems are conformant.
Prescribers attending residents in Aged Care facilities that are taking part in the Electronic National Residential Medication Chart Trial will also be able to use the trial software to prepare lawful electronic prescriptions that may be dispensed by pharmacists as part of the trial.
Find out more here.
Training, information and resources

This week's Snack Pack training take-away


Guide for Best Practice

Partnership, respect and dignity, being inclusive, and having an eye on continual improvement are the are the key principles of consumer partnerships. If these simple principles underpin all your consumer engagement, strong authentic partnerships will follow.

Registrants check your junk/clutter folders 
We learned this week that a number of registered participants didn't get our reminder email for this week's training or the follow up email with the links to the recorded session or resources. Please check your junk/clutter folders for these emails from Health Consumers Queensland. 
Hot tip: Check you have all the dates for this 8-week series in your calendar. You don't want to miss a session!
Register for the Snack Pack Series

HHS Engagement Staff skill sharing sessions

Health Consumers Queensland is currently hosting a series of skill sharing sessions for engagement staff from Hospitals and Health Services across the state. These sessions are using the highly effective Project ECHO training and mentoring approach to help support a state-wide community of practice. 

Consisting of a short presentation and a case scenario by participants, this skills sharing series is based on the philosophy of All Teach, All Learn. This week, one of the participants shared a gem of wisdom from Eric Ries that is useful for all of us in these times of uncertainty and change: "A pivot is a change in strategy without a change in vision".
We invite you to join our network of Queensland consumers, carers and staff of health organisations.

Our shared focus is creating strong and sustainable consumer partnerships in Queensland. By joining you will become a part of a network of skilled, connected people working together to make the health system the best it can be.
Join the Health Consumers Queensland statewide network

16-25? Join the Young Health Consumers Engagement Project

Applications close at 9am, Monday 17 August 2020

We want to hear your voice!

Health Consumers Queensland is leading a project to improve the engagement of young health consumers in Queensland. We are establishing a Youth Reference Group for the project to enable and ensure the voices of young health consumers are heard.  

Many young people use Queensland Health services which are designed for older adults including emergency services, mental health services, acute and chronic support services. You have valuable experience and feedback to give that is important to policy makers, clinicians and others in the health system. 

We also want to better understand any key changes you may have experienced with health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Make a difference to young people's healthcare

Would you like to help build an effective, exciting and diverse youth health consumer network?
Could you help guide the Young Health Consumers Engagement project and ensure that what we develop together works for all young people and your different needs?
Would you like to make it possible for young people to be able to regularly share ideas and views on health services with  Queensland Health and help develop the services you need together?

This opportunity will give you some key skills and experience which will look awesome on your CV. You'll need to be able to give seven hours a month for the next five months and you will receive payment in line with Health Consumers Queensland's remuneration position statement.

Find out more and apply by clicking on the link below.  
Find out more and apply

Review Queensland Health's updated immunisation website

Applications close Friday 21 August 2020

Queensland Health’s Strategic Communications Branch would like your feedback on their newly refreshed immunisation website. The website is a useful resource which provides detailed information on what you and your family need to know when it comes to immunisations in Queensland.

Queensland Health is keen to know what you think and if the content is relevant and easy to follow for the general public. By taking part in this short review, you will help to ensure that this important information is understood by as many people as possible.

Queensland Health would like to invite 30 consumers from a range of backgrounds to review the website and complete a short questionnaire. This task should take around 30 minutes to one hour at most. If you are just beginning your consumer representative journey then this is a great opportunity for you.

Applications are welcome from people who live in Queensland and are:

  • A parent
  • A young adult
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • From a Culturally or Linguistically Diverse background
  • Medically at risk or live with a chronic condition
  • Pregnant women or women planning a pregnancy

Participants will be remunerated $40 for this activity, which is in line with Health Consumers Queensland's guidelines

Please complete this online application form by Friday 21 August 2020 

Apply online

Help Northern Queenslanders be as healthy as all Queenslanders

Applications close Monday 3 August 2020 at 9am

The Better North Queensland Alliance has an ambitious plan to make Northern Queenslanders as healthy as all Queenslanders, and you can help make the project a success for your community. 

The Better North Queensland Alliance is a collaboration between Hospital and Health Services in Northern Queensland: North West, Torres and Cape, Cairns and Hinterland, Townsville and Mackay, and other key partners. The Alliance wants to deliver healthcare differently in the region, by:

  •  Investing in prevention and primary care
  • Giving earlier and better access to services
  • Helping communities live better, healthier lives

 The Better North Queensland Alliance is looking for consumer representatives for several aspects of the project, including Kidney, Surgical Services, Healthcare in the Home project steering groups, and the overall strategic governing committee.

Will you give an hour or two of your time each month to create better healthcare in the North? All North Queenslanders need to take part is at least 6 months’ consumer rep experience on a committee, and have an interest or lived experience in one of the key areas listed above.

Read more or apply

Join the Statewide Digital Healthcare Improvement Clinical Network

Applications close at 9.30am, Monday 31 August 2020

Statewide Digital Healthcare Improvement Network (DHIN) is seeking a consumer representative to help to improve and integrate patient care and clinical workflows using digital across primary, community and hospital settings.

The network provides overarching governance of digital activities occurring throughout Queensland Health integrated electronic medical record (ieMR) sites and functions as an innovation hub for digital healthcare improvement.

This role would suit an experienced consumer representative who has sat on an executive committee of a statewide clinical network for at least six months.  You also need to have strong links with community groups / networks and the ability to present practical advice that reflects health consumers’ real-life experiences. 

Membership will be current for two years and it is expected that meetings will be conducted every two months (approx. 2 hours during business hours), principally by Microsoft Office Teams.

Read more and apply

Join the Queensland Clinical Senate

Applications close at 9am, Monday 10 August 2020

The Queensland Clinical Senate (QCS) represents clinicians from across the health system and provides strategic advice and leadership on system-wide issues affecting the quality, affordability and efficient delivery of patient care within Queensland. The QCS connects clinicians to improve care.

The QCS share their collective knowledge to consider strategic clinical issues and make recommendations to Queensland Health about how to deliver the best care to Queenslanders.

The QCS would like to recruit two consumer and/or carer representatives from rural or remote Queensland and who identifies as being Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander to be a part of the Senate. Your role is to provide the consumer perspective by engaging with your community connections and networks to inform into the Senate with a focus on quality patient outcomes and experiences through all levels of the health system in Queensland. 

Meetings will be held by videoconference or in person in Brisbane a minimum of three times per year. Consumers will be remunerated in accordance with Health Consumers Queensland’s remuneration position statement.

Read more and apply

Website revision focus group for the Telehealth Support Unit

Applications close at 9am, Monday 3 August 2020

The Telehealth Support Unit (TSU) is seeking health consumer representatives to inform the design of a new patient-focused website informing patients of their options in accessing virtual care and providing education in the practicalities of telehealth.

This opportunity would suit a consumer or carer representative:

  • With an interest in the delivery of health care via technology
  • Who has accessed or cared for someone who has received virtual care or telehealth
  • Who has been offered telehealth but not yet accessed it
  • Who is able to provide feedback to inform the design of a new patient-focused website

Applications from people living in rural and remote areas across Queensland and Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander consumer representatives are welcomed.

The Website Revision Focus Group will meet for two 1.5 hour sessions. The first session will be held in mid-August prior to the TSU provisioning a software build for the new site.  The second session will follow the developer’s production of the website in order to provide feedback and will be arranged to suit all members of the group at the time. Both meetings will be held via videoconference.

Consumers will be remunerated for their time in line with Health Consumers Queensland’s remuneration position statement.

Read more and apply

COVID-19 Behavioural Insights Research Study - last weeks!

Help Griffith University understand how you've responded to the COVID-19 directives, guidelines and advice so that future information can meet your needs and help you make informed decisions about your actions.

Dr Joan Carlini from Griffith Business School is also a health consumer and a regular at our Consumer Conversations. Your feedback spurred her on to develop the first consumer-led and co-produced nationwide research study into people's behavioural responses to the government's containment measures during COVID-19.

Health Consumers Queensland is delighted to partner with Joan and Griffith University on this study and ensure that the most vulnerable members of our society are supported and protected as we all continue to respond to COVID-19, and plan the response to future pandemics.

If you are a young person and/or live in a rural and remote, we particularly want to hear from you!

The study's success depends on large numbers of people across all communities in Australia taking part so please find 15 minutes to fill in the survey and share it with your networks, family, friends and colleagues. 

Participants will have the opportunity to win one of 2 x $50 vouchers. 
Go to survey

Other opportunities for consumers and carers

Give feedback on palliative care preparedness checklist in residential aged care

Palliative Care Queensland (PCQ) is aware that while much of the focus of the pandemic is on prevention and curative treatments and planning, it is essential not to forget dying is also an outcome of this pandemic. While many residents may not be affected by this virus, they will die during this pandemic, when their facility and the health, social and community systems around them are operating differently to usual. Palliative care must be embedded into all pandemic planning to ensure that a good death is also possible during a pandemic

Palliative Care Queensland has created a COVID-19 preparedness checklist for residential aged care facilities and would like your feedback to ensure it meets people's needs and is easy to work with.

 If you would ike to share your feedback, could you please track changes on the document directly and return it to:

PCQ COVID19 Response Team by Monday August 3rd 12 noon.


Palliative care preparedness draft checklist

Share your experience of medicine use after a road traffic crash

Do you have neck or back pain following a road traffic crash? Join UQ's study about people's experiences of medicine use after road traffic crashes.

Gaining a more in-depth understanding of people's experiences will help guide development of better treatment options to improve recovery and hopefully prevent chronic pain from this injury.

Find out more by clicking on the link below.

Find out more and participate

Are you impacted by childhood heart disease?  


HeartKids is creating new resources for individuals and families impacted by childhood heart disease.

Childhood heart disease includes congenital heart disease and heart disease acquired during childhood. If you are impacted by childhood heart disease – this includes people with a condition, as well as parents, carers, siblings and other relations – you can help by completing this survey about your health information needs and preferences.  


HeartKids survey

Share your views with the TGA

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is seeking feedback from health consumers in the 2020 TGA Stakeholder Survey.

Your feedback will help the TGA to report on their performance and identify areas to improve.

The survey takes around 10-15 minutes to complete. Have your say before the survey closes on 21 August 2020.

Join the Queensland Clinical Guidelines (QCG) Register

Queensland Clinical Guidelines (QCG) is seeking consumer representatives to participate in a wide range of maternity and neonatal clinical guideline development.

Consumers representatives participate in statewide working parties as part of a multidisciplinary team that also includes doctors, midwives, nurses and allied health staff. Working parties provide expert opinion on the scope and content of clinical guidelines and related works.

The consumer role may include commenting on aspects of care, sensitive and respectful language, and the flow of information.

For further information about the role, registration, payment and how to apply click the links below.
Find out more
Application form
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