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:

Enhancing our connection with you

This week we should have been excitedly greeting everyone at Twin Waters on the Sunshine Coast for the start of our 2020 Annual Forum. We have missed welcoming old familiar faces and finally saying hello to new ones after having perhaps talked to you on the phone or emailed for a year or more. We've missed the buzz of listening to all the amazing ideas, projects and initiatives and seeing everyone go away feeling so inspired and full of energy. The Forum is normally the highlight of our year and we know that for many of you it is the one time when you feel part of a bigger movement, if you sometimes feel alone as you push for better health care engagement in your towns and communities.

COVID-19 has made it difficult to plan ahead and know when we may be able to meet in person. In the meantime, we love every opportunity we have to connect with you all online.  In order to make this connection even more responsive and meaningful to you, we are delighted to announce we are rolling out a refreshed website - do take a moment to visit. Over time you will see more new, user friendly pages, including:
  • Downloadable summaries of consultations we have been doing during COVID-19
  • Step by step guides and resources to support skills development for consumers and staff at all levels of engagement.
As always, we’d love your feedback so please share your thoughts about the new website at
Latest news

Consumers and clinicians share a healthy appetite for major change

This week we hosted two Consumer Conversations to seek the consumer view of what Queensland Health’s Funding Priorities should be for 2020/2021.  In all, 42 consumers were involved from our our COVID-19 Community of Interest Group, members of the Health Consumers Collaborative of Queensland and our own Consumer Advisory Group (CAG) as well as HHS CAG Leaders and consumer representatives from some of the Statewide Clinical Network Steering Committees.

While talking about the proposed priorities for the next financial year, it was clear that health consumers are ready for some major changes in health. The recent Queensland Clinical Senate meeting also demonstrated a parallel appetite for change by clinicians in the health system too.

Consumers identified major reforms to long-held traditions and ways of addressing health care including:
  • the way patients are categorized for care (not just triaged by clinical need/clinically appropriate wait times, but in the context of complexities in their lives)
  • re-imagining HHS borders to better reflect referral pathways that work for consumers
  • the way healthcare is funded (outcomes, rather than volume)
  • collaborating with consumers to design new models of care, service improvements and funding models as well as when providing them with individual care
  • actively addressing the social and cultural determinants of health and the systems barriers that keep some people in a cycle of poverty and ill-health.
Above all, consumers want fair, equitable and maximum access to health care services for every Queenslander.  In exploring how this could be achieved they focused on the following solutions/ideas: :
  • Co-designed care, accountability, public reporting
  • A triage system which could use an adapted Patient Reported Outcome Measures alongside clinical assessment to determine priority of care
  • A value-based health care funding model which also capitalizes on capacity within the private health sector
  • Support for new, evidenced models of care including telehealth
  • A system that rewards evidence-based preventative healthcare and early interventions
  • Integration of care between different sectors
  • Improved communication and information
  • Involve consumers in the implementation and monitoring.
Read more about consumers’ recommendations and feedback in our full summary which has been tabled to Queensland Health’s Deputy Director General of the Healthcare Purchasing and System Performance. 

Consumers step up to support rapid COVID-19 response consultations

Thanks to consumers rallying to our call from across the state, Health Consumers Queensland has been able to facilitate two important consultations (in under 24 hours in one case) this week on mental health and wellbeing, and the development of a COVID-19 community management plan for rural and remote communities.

Ten consumers reviewed and provided feedback on Strategic Communications Branch’s (SCB) mental health and wellbeing TV/digital ad campaign concepts which have been designed to help people cope with the impact of COVID-19 on their lives. Consumers were pleased to see that the campaign would also be available in a print format to maximise access and asked the SCB to ensure that the campaign represents Queenslanders in all our diversity. Consumers also highlighted the sheer amount of content around mental health now and asked whether there was a more centralised way to organise the material to make it easier to find and use.

Meanwhile, yesterday afternoon, the Office for Rural and Remote Health consulted with Central West Hospital and Health Service’s Consumer Advisory Network Chairs and the Statewide HHS CAG Leaders Group to provide feedback on how mild COVID-19 could be managed in rural communities.  Key themes emerged including:
  • proactive and early communication about the options available for care now (before people become sick) to allay some concerns of community members
  • an understanding of what is available (before you need it) is useful e.g. families are uncertain if their child could get care close to home or in Brisbane
  • the diversity of Queensland needed to be recognized and care needs to be tailored to people’s individual circumstances including cultural diversity and the diversity of the way people live e.g. seasonal workers living in backpacker accommodation.
  • the importance of good patient information for people receiving care at home  and the need to involve people who have received care like this in developing that information.
Health Consumers Queensland recognizes that rapid consultations like these are not ideal  Our preference is for consumers to have more time to read, talk with others about their experiences, and be more prepared. Given the circumstances, we thank our consumers for rising to the challenge and continuing to provide such insightful and valuable feedback to staff who work in Queensland Health.
COVID-19 information and resources for consumers, carers and engagement staff 

New culturally safe bereavement guides 

Just a few weeks ago, consumers from across Queensland including First Nations consumers and Arabic, Chinese and Vietnamese speakers and translators participated in focus groups to explore cultural responses to bereavement for a series of new guides being published by Queensland Health's Care at End of Life Project.

These guides are now available to order and are free to consumers. Please click on the link below to order:
  • When someone dies: A practical guide for family and friends
  • During sad news and sorry business: Information for family
  • What to do when someone dies: Information for family and friends
    For people with low English literacy, using simplified language, visual cues and compatibility with screen readers.
Coming soon:
  • Translated resources - Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese A4. Will be available online only, print on demand.
  • Website with all resources available for print and download.
  • A range of other resources to support compassionate, needs-based bereavement care for Queenslanders.

Order bereavement guides

Resources to support the palliative care needs of all older Australians

End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC) works closely with Palliative Care Australia as part of a national consortium. They have produced a range of evidence-based resources to support aged care workers and health care professionals in assessing palliative care needs and providing palliative care. 
Go to ELDAC resources

Join our state-wide COVID-19 Community of Interest

It has never been more important to listen to the voices of carers and consumers. Find out more about our state-wide COVID-19 Community of Interest and take part in weekly video conversations to inform Queensland Health's pandemic response. 

Please register your details  via the link below. 

COVID-19 Community of Interest
Opportunities for consumers and carers from Health Consumers Queensland

Talk About Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health in Darling Downs West Moreton region


We invite four consumers who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander to have a yarn with five members of their community about health services in the Darling Downs West Moreton Primary Care Network (DDWMPHN) region.

About the project

Health Consumers Queensland has been contracted by Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN (DDWMPHN) to facilitate four online community discussions in June to hear about your experience with health care in your community. Due to current social distancing measures, the  Talk About session can be conducted online.

Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN is funded by the Australian Government to improve primary health care services (services that sit outside of a hospital) in the Darling Downs and West Moreton region. To do this, the PHN works with the community and health care providers to identify how the services in the community are working, what can be improved and what is missing.
What is 'Talk About'

• ‘TALK ABOUT’ is a way for Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN to ask you about your experience with health care in your community.
• The PHN wants to ‘talk about’ what you think is working well and what you think could be done better.

We are seeking four Consumer Hosts with a strong community network who can bring together five community members to have a yarn using Zoom video conferencing or a way that works for you. The Host guides the discussion with a set of questions provided to them and provides the feedback to Health Consumers Queensland.

Health Consumers Queensland provides opportunities for consumers to lead consultation with their own community. We do this via Kitchen Table Discussions which are community engagement sessions led by local people for local people. They allow small groups to participate in discussions at a time of day that suits them. The discussions enable health consumers, carers and community members who do not ordinarily participate in healthcare consultation to have their say in a safe and supportive environment.

Find out more and  complete an application form by clicking on the link below. The closing date is 4pm, Thursday 4 June 2020. 

For assistance completing this application please contact Health Consumers Queensland via or by phone on 07 3012 9090. For queries relating to this opportunity, please email Anne Curtis, Engagement Consultant – Specific Projects, Health Consumers Queensland at
Talk About information and application form

Consumer representative for Statewide Rehabilitation Clinical Network Steering Committee


The Statewide Rehabilitation Clinical Network (SRbCN), Queensland Department of Health – Clinical Excellence Queensland,  is seeking one consumer with a lived experience of disability and rehabilitation to join the membership of the network steering committee.

Rehabilitation services have become increasingly important in healthcare due to a greater focus on the needs of people with disability, the effects of an ageing population, and medical advancements that lead to improvements in survival rates and life expectancy for people with serious illness and injury.  Rehabilitation services remain fundamental in enhancing peoples’ functional independence, life participation and play an integral role in patient flow across the health care continuum.

As the peak body of expertise in Queensland, the statewide clinical networks serve as an independent point of reference for clinicians, Hospital and Health services, and the Department of Health. They guide quality improvement reform and support clinical policy development, emphasizing evidence based practice and clinical consensus to guide implementation, optimisation and provision of high quality patient focused health care.


The SRbCN was established in 2015 to engage the growing number of rehabilitation physicians, allied health and nursing professionals working in rehabilitation services.

The purpose of the SRbCN Steering Committee is to:
  • provide direction and leadership to the SRbCN regarding the continuing development of rehabilitation services and evidenced based rehabilitation in Queensland.
  • provide expertise, direction and advice to the Queensland Health executive in relation to rehabilitation and rehabilitation services.

Key areas of committee’s work include:
  • Support and advocate for rehabilitation and sub-acute services during COVID-19 and beyond.
  • Strengthening consumer engagement in rehabilitation services.
  • Enhancing rehabilitation goal setting practices in Queensland by exploring and developing resources to support best practice goal setting with consumers.
  • Strengthening the provision of rehabilitation services for adult and paediatric patients through improved integration and continuity of care.
  • Support implementation of the Statewide adult brain injury rehabilitation health service plan 2016-2026 and the Statewide adult spinal cord injury health service plan 2016-2026.
  • Strengthen Queensland Health Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre (AROC) data collection and support benchmarking initiatives.
  • Improve communication and the visibility of rehabilitation services, their programs and achievements within Queensland.

Role of the consumer

The role of the successful applicant will be to attend Steering Committee meetings and to actively participate in steering committee activities such as pre-meeting reading, discussions, provision of feedback and advice. Participate in network forums as required (mode of delivery may be virtual or in person).
Who is it for?

This opportunity would suit a consumer representative with lived experience of disability and rehabilitation. Having some committee experience, either at the Hospital and Health Service, or Statewide level would assist with the role, however this is not essential. As this is a statewide opportunity, we welcome consumer representatives to apply from outside of South East Queensland.

For full details and to complete an application form, please click on the link below. The closing date for applications is 4pm, Monday 22 June 2020.
SRbCN information and application form
Other opportunities for consumers and carers

Women's health during COVID-19

How has COVID-19 affected you as a woman in Queensland?

Health and Wellbeing Queensland is collecting information about women's health in Queensland during COVID-19 to help inform the content we create.

Please take two minutes to fill out the survey below. 
Health and Wellbeing Queensland survey

Help create a safer mental health system

The Office of the Chief Psychiatrist, Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drugs Branch, Department of Health, would like to invite you to take part in the following consultations on creating a safer mental health system. 

The Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan aims to improve the lives of people living with a mental illness and suicidality, their families, carers and communities.  This includes creating a safe and high-quality mental health care system that minimises and prevents harm wherever possible.

 To support this goal, Australian governments have agreed to work toward a new set of mental health safety priorities, to improve safety and reduce harms from mental health care, in all environments in which it is delivered.

This work is occurring with oversight from the national Safety and Quality Partnership Standing Committee.

 We want to hear from you

  • To help identify the new priorities, we want to know what you or your organisation think are the most pressing safety priorities in mental health, how we can best improve safety in these areas, and how we can monitor progress over time.
  • We want to hear from as many consumers, carers, care providers, clinicians, safety officers and service managers as possible. We also want to hear from mental health related services and stakeholders, including general practitioners, police, ambulance and emergency departments. 

Many ways to have your say

The Nous Group has been engaged to conduct a wide ranging consultation to help identify the new safety priorities. There are many ways for you to have your say on what the priorities should be. To get started, select an option that works best for you:
1. Take part in a short survey (survey open until 10 June)
2. Take part in an online discussion (nominate for one of the online discussions between 15-26 June)
3. Make a written submission (closing date 26 June)

For more information about these consultations you can contact

Share your views about nutrition in general practice

We invite you to participate in this research project, called Preferencesfor Receiving Nutrition Care in a Primary Care SettingGriffith University invites you to participate in this research project: Preferences for Receiving Nutrition Care in a Primary Care Setting

Nutrition care is defined as any practice conducted by a health care professional that aims to support patients to improve their diet quality. Nutrition care is important for the prevention and management of many health conditions, but particularly chronic diseases. Our research team recently conducted a study in a primary care setting where we reviewed the practices and views of general practitioners (GPs) and nurses around providing nutrition care to people at high risk of type 2 diabetes. We found that nutrition care was not often provided in usual practice for these patients even though they could benefit greatly from receiving diet support. We also discovered barriers for patients in accessing nutrition support outside of their GP visit. 

Our research team aims to understand the preferences of patients in accessing nutrition support in the primary care setting. This will help inform the design of a new model of care that ensures nutrition care is accessible by all patients, and especially those at high risk of chronic disease.

If you are:
1) over 18 years old
2) have visited general practice in the past year
you are eligible to participate! 

You will be asked questions over the phone about your health care experiences and preferences. This will take between 30-60 minutes. You will receive a $20 gift voucher for your time.

If you would like to participate, please read the participant information & consent form via the link below and email the researcher, Mari Somerville, at:

Information and consent form
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