eNews from Health Consumers Queensland
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eNews October 2017

In this issue:

From the Chair

The end of the year is quickly approaching which brings a sharper focus to our work and commitments for both Health Consumers Queensland’s Board and our dedicated and hardworking CEO and team.  A key priority is that Health Consumers Queensland continues to deliver real results and better outcomes for Queensland health consumers, particularly as they become more active participants in the push for better healthcare for all.  There is no doubt that Health Consumers Queensland has played a significant role in enabling health consumers and health services to work together to drive better health outcomes, and it is important to recognise these achievements.  However the future remains challenging and there is much to be done as the state and national health systems shift to meet the needs and wants of more savvy health consumers.


The Board will meet next month for the final time in 2017, coinciding with our Annual General Meeting.  We will farewell director Brendan Horne, who has been involved with Health Consumers Queensland since its inception in 2008.  Brendan’s contribution to the development of the organisation at all stages is to be commended and we will certainly miss his expertise and historical knowledge.  We wish Brendan well for his future endeavours.  In turn, we look forward to introducing our newest board members and utilising their new skillsets and experiences to help guide the strategic direction and work of the organisation in the future.  We also look forward to releasing our 2016-17 Annual Report next month which will be made available via the Health Consumers Queensland website and will give more insight into the variety of work and projects undertaken during the past financial year.


It is with deep sadness that I confirm the passing of Queensland Health Consumers Collaborative member John Gagen.  The board and the organisation send our sincere condolences to his family.  John was appointed to the Collaborative in October 2015 and remained a valuable voice until he became too unwell to participate.  John was highly regarded by all members of the Collaborative and his smile and gentleness will be missed.  For the past 20 years John has been an ongoing heart patient at the Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane and was an active consumer representative on several committees.


There have been further changes to the Collaborative membership following the recent departure of Andrew Blythe and Dean Johnson, who we thank for their individual contributions and efforts.  We undertook the opportunity to refresh and replenish with a recruitment process receiving applications from across Queensland from a number of very skilled consumers.  I am pleased to announce the appointment of Keren Pointon from Brisbane and Louise Lawrie from Cairns – you can read more about our newest members in this eNews.  The Collaborative will meet for the final time this year in December.


I was recently invited, together with Health Consumers Queensland Project Manager Anne Curtis, to participate in a full day workshop on the key priorities for Queensland as part of the National Digital Health Strategy.  The Strategy, which is being led by the Australian Digital Health Agency, is an important piece of work which will help Australia embrace digital health and reap the benefits such as reducing duplication of tests, fewer hospital admissions, and better coordination of care for people with chronic and complex conditions.  The workshop was an important opportunity for us to provide input from the consumer perspective in Queensland as part of this national consultation process.  I look forward to bringing you more news as the Strategy is implemented.


Looking to next year I would ask that you mark in your diaries Health Consumers Queensland’s 2018 Annual Forum, which for the first time will run over two days from Thursday 14 to Friday 15 June.  The forum will be held at the Royal International Convention Centre in Brisbane with the theme of ‘The next generation of partnering’.  This is Health Consumers Queensland’s signature event and will feature training workshops for health staff, consumers and carers, a speed networking session, a wide range of presentations showcasing Queensland-wide best practice, consumer and community engagement – and the inaugural Health Consumers Queensland’s Consumer Awards.  It is certainly shaping up as an event not to be missed.  More details, including a program outline, call for abstracts, consumer travel assistance applications and how to register, will be released very soon – so stay tuned.


Mark Tucker-Evans

From the CEO

Health Consumers Queensland is excited to share that our organisation has purchased an organisational membership to The Beryl Institute that allows our consumer and carer network members to have access to all the benefits of membership from the Institute.  The Beryl Institute is the global community of practice and premier thought leader on improving the patient experience in healthcare.
Membership with The Beryl Institute gives you access to the Institute's full library of patient experience white papers, research reports, webinars (including the archive of past webinars) and topic calls (also including archived calls).  In addition, your membership gives you discounts to the Institute events and the ability to network with other patient experience leaders throughout the world.
To express interest in a Health Consumers Queensland consumer or carer membership, please provide your information via this link.  We will notify successful applicants once their membership has been approved.
Read more about the Beryl Institute, and the benefits of membership.
Please note that this offer is open to members of the Health Consumers Queensland network only.  You can join the network here.
Melissa Fox

Health Consumers Queensland News
- what have we been up to?

Annual survey results
Each year Health Consumers Queensland surveys consumers and carers on our statewide network and health service staff.  The survey assists us to understand the skills, experience and professional development and support needs of both staff and consumers and carers, and indicates how well consumer partnerships are developing within health organisations across the state.  We look forward to presenting the survey findings in this year’s 2016-17 Annual Report which will be released next month.
‘How to’ guides for consumers and health organisations
We’re excited to be getting closer to launching our two new ‘how to’ guides for health consumers and health organisations as a follow-on to our recently revised and super useful Consumer and Community Engagement Framework.  The new guides will be launched in December and will be used to develop new ‘Fundamentals of Partnering with Consumers’ training packages. 
October Networking session: Consumer partnerships working to improve services for young people with severe and complex mental illness
Our next networking session will be held on Thursday 19 October and will feature guest speakers Jeannine Kimber and Katherine Moodie who will discuss their experiences as consumer and carer representatives on the Barrett Adolescent Centre Commission of Inquiry Steering Committee.  You can register here to attend the session at the Brisbane Square Library from 6pm to 8pm.  The last networking session for 2017 will be held on Wednesday 6 December.
Training update
It has been a very busy year providing training to health services across the state.  During the past month we have facilitated training for Central Queensland HHS consumers and carers, the Central Queensland Wide Bay Sunshine Coast PHN, Gold Coast Health staff and Department of Health staff.  We will be back on the Gold Coast for more staff training later in October and also in Longreach providing staff training for the Central West HHS.  Further training workshops with the Central Queensland Wide Bay Sunshine Coast PHN will also be facilitated next week.
Project Officer Jo Smethurst will be travelling to Melbourne over the next three weeks to undertake the only accredited Consumer Leadership training course provided by the Health Issues Centre with the aim of Jo delivering the course in Queensland next year for the first time.
2018 Annual Forum: The next generation of partnering
Don’t forget to pencil in your calendars for Thursday 14 and Friday 15 June next year for Health Consumers Queensland’s 2018 Annual Forum in Brisbane.  The program outline, call for abstracts and information on how to register will be released very soon
Jumping jellybeans
Health Consumers Queensland project officer Reeme Naresh is jumping for joy after winning a jar of nearly 700 jellybeans while attending the CheckUP Forum in Brisbane last month.  The competition was run at the Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA) booth with Reema’s guess of 600 jellybeans being the closest to the actual count of 690 colourful candies.  Reema also won a free registration to the Health Data Analytics Conference – where hopefully the topic of too much sugar isn’t raised…

New Collaborative Members

The Queensland Health Consumers Collaborative is a strategic, high-level joint initiative between Health Consumers Queensland and Queensland Health.  The Collaborative is tasked with embedding consumer partnerships at every level of planning, policy, delivery, monitoring and evaluation of services provided by Hospital and Health Services and the Department of Health.
We recently welcomed two new members to the Collaborative – Louise Lawrie (above) and Keren Pointon (below).
Louise is a mother of three, lives in Cairns and is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker at Wuchopperen Health Service.  Louise is also a member of the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (HHS) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consumer Consultative Committee.  Louise was previously employed as a researcher for Closing the Divide: Cancer Study by Menzies School of Health Research Darwin for more than two years and was based at the Cairns and Hinterland HHS Hospital Oncology Department.
“Setting an example and providing holistic health and wellbeing helps me give leadership in my community daily while building long-term relationships,” Louise said.
Keren has been an active member of the Children’s Health Queensland (CHQ) Family Advisory Council since 2012 and was appointed as Co-Chair in March 2017.  Keren is passionate about family-centered care and consumer engagement.  As a parent of a medically complex child, Keren has first-hand knowledge when this is done well and what a difference it makes to outcomes for not only the patient, but also for the whole family.  Keren has been actively involved in CHQ in many initiatives including delivering training sessions on family-centered care to new doctors at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, and as a consumer representative on a number of committees and interview panels.  Keren is also a CPA and works part-time in a management role at Suncorp.


Have your say: value-based healthcare for Queensland

Queensland Health is continuing work on Advancing Value in Healthcare: Delivering What Matters, a program of work based on the concept of value-based healthcare.
The overarching aim of the Advancing Value program is to improve understanding of how to deliver what really matters to patients and the Queensland community, and maximise the value of our health system.
The Queensland Health Consumers Collaborative continues to play an active role in the consultation process, recently focusing on the most significant barriers and enablers to delivering what really matters to patients and the community.
All members of the Queensland health system – consumers, clinicians, system leaders and so on – are invited to have their say and contribute to the strategy via the online Advancing Value Engagement Hub – click here to register to join the conversation.
More information about the Advancing Value program is available on the Hub, along with a summary of feedback to date.  There are also a range of documents and resources which can be downloaded and opportunities to register interest in being further involved.
We encourage you to visit the Hub, and tell the project team what you think and what supports you need to achieve the strategy’s objectives.  The Hub will be updated as the project progresses, so keep checking back, or register online for updates.

Public Consultation to develop My Health Record secondary use of data framework now open

HealthConsult has been engaged to assist the Australian Government in developing a framework for the secondary use of data in the My Health Record system for research, policy, planning, system use, quality improvement and evaluation activities.
Following the release of a Public Consultation Paper on Thursday 5 October, HealthConsult is now seeking feedback to ensure that each component of the Framework appropriately reflects the views of the community.  HealthConsult is keen to hear the views and ideas from all individuals and organisations, including My Health Record users, and those that may seek access to the My Health Record data for secondary purposes.
There are a number of ways to become involved and share your views:
  • attend a workshop in Cairns on Wednesday 18 October or Brisbane 20 October
  • participate in a webinar on 16 November 2017
  • make a written submission or complete an online survey before Friday 17 November
  • receive future updates about the project, or
  • request a one-on-one interview by registering here.
You can find more information via the project website.

Have your say: Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures

Consumers, carers and family members are invited to have their say about the new Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures website which will offer information and tools to help address the problem of childhood obesity.


Children’s Health Queensland is developing the new website to help give kids the best start in life and promote a healthier Queensland in which all children and young people can access and enjoy healthy eating and physical activity every day.


You can complete the ‘Child nutrition and physical activity website survey’ here.

National Carers Week: Carers Count

National Carers Week – 15 to 21 October – is nearly here and this year’s theme is ‘Carers Count’.  National Carers Week is about recognising and celebrating the outstanding contribution unpaid carers make to our nation.
Carers make an enormous contribution to those they care for and to our local communities.  Carers also make a significant contribution to our economy with the replacement value of unpaid care in 2015 valued at more than $1 billion each week.
Carers on Brisbane’s north side are invited to attend a Mini-Expo for Carers (Northgate, Tuesday 17 October), a Carers Week High Tea which includes the presentation of the Carer Friendly Business Awards (Chermside, Wednesday 18 October), and a garden party (Mt Coot-tha, Friday 20 October).
RSVP by Friday 13 October as places are limited. Call 07 3624 1700 or email

For more information about Carers Week visit:

Access to healthcare: a fundamental human right

Meet Dr M.R. Rajagopal, referred to as the father of palliative care in Indian, at an event acknowledging the importance of human rights in healthcare.  Dr Raj’s mission is to bring ethical practice to modern medicine through whole person care and universal access to essential healthcare.  He will speak of the fundamental human right to access health services including ensuring compassionate care for those who are dying.
The event includes an introduction from Dr Amaya Gillespie, drawing on her experience as an international health adviser and a senior leader in the United Nations. She is a member of QUT’s Faculty of Health Alumni Advisory Committee and IHBI’s External Engagement Committee.
The presentation is free to attend and open to all. It will be held on Monday 16 October from 2pm to 3.30pm in the IHBI Seminar Room (KG-Q430) at Kelvin Grove. Afternoon tea will be provided.  For more information email John Rosenberg at  To register click here

CHF seeks views on new strategic plan

With CHF’s current strategic plan ending in 2017, the CHF team have begun to devise a new direction and plan to continue through to the end of 2022.  The new direction has been developed in consultation with members, non-member stakeholders, the board and staff.
CHF is hosting a webinar on Thursday 19 October at 12.30 AEDT where it will present an overview of the new strategy and seek feedback and views.  Accompanying the webinar will be a survey to allow more detailed feedback.
You can register for the webinar here.

2017 QCYCN Forum Culture for Kids: Integrating communities and system

Registrations are now open for the 2017 Queensland Child and Youth Clinical Network forum Culture for Kids: Integrating communities and system.  This is a free event held at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital on Wednesday 8 November from 9.30am to 4.30pm.  Videoconferencing will also be available.
Keynote speakers include Dr John Wakefield, Deputy Director-General Clinical Excellence Division and Dr Sarah Dalton, Clinical Lead, NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation.  Presentations throughout the day will explore the culture of integrated care across the continuum for children, young people and families.  It is hoped participants will be challenged, inspired and supported to pursue innovation throughout their clinical practice.
For more information visit QCYCN’s website or register here.

Good Life, Good Death Expo

What is a ‘good death’?  This is a situation in which someone is cared for at the end of their life in the way that they choose, rather than finding themselves in a situation where they feel isolated or fearful.
The Good Life, Good Death Expo is a free two-day event which aims to start conversations around loss, ageing, dying and grief in an open, honest and friendly environment, to help people understand that the end of life shouldn’t be a taboo subject.
The expo will include discussion panels with experts on topics such as advanced care planning, navigating the health and aged care systems and talking to children about loss, as well as short films and video presentations.
The Good Life, Good Death Expo is on at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 October 2017.  Find out more information here.

New National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards launched next month

The NSQHS Standards (second edition) have been endorsed by health ministers and will be launched in November.  Assessment to the National Safety and Quality Health Service (HSQHS) Standards (second edition) will begin from 1 January 2019.  Health service organisations will be informed of the transition arrangements for accreditation well in advance of implementation.
To support the transition, the Commission has developed nine fact sheets with the summary fact sheet providing an overview of the second edition of the Standards and the remaining eight fact sheets outlining key concepts of each standard.  The fact sheets are now available on the Commission’s website.

Patients welcomed to hospital by the "Sign Guy"

Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick recently launched a new Metro South Health patient resource designed to make patients’ stay in hospital less complicated by providing essential hospital information in nine different languages, including Australian Sign Language (Auslan).
The Auslan version features Auslan Interpreter and Metro South Health employee Mark Cave, who captured the hearts of Queenslanders during cyclones Marcia and Debbie and who became known as the “Sign Guy”.
“The three-minute animated video helps patients understand what to expect while in hospital, including identification checks, medication, preventing falls, infection control and hospital discharge”, Minister Dick said.
The video is available in Metro South hospitals and online, with translated subtitles in Arabic, Farsi, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Somali, Spanish, Traditional Chinese and Vietnamese.  Patients can watch the video prior to their hospital admission by visiting the Metro South Health website.
Watch the video here:

All versions of the Hospital Welcome Video are available online at

Gather My Crew: an online rostering tool to get the help you need in times of crisis

Gather My Crew is a free and easy to use online rostering tool that allows you to ‘gather’ (or ask for) the practical help you need from your ‘crew members’ (friends, family, neighbours and colleagues) and lets your ‘crew’ decide when and how they will help.
The tool lets you create a list to choose the tasks you need help with, invite your friends to lend a hand, and lets your friends accept the tasks they can help with, providing a way for people to get the help they need when going through tough times.
Gather My Crew works by directly linking people in need to their own network of ‘helpers’ in an easy and coordinated way, based on a list of practical tasks that form part of our everyday lives.
Visit for more information.

ABS health survey shows GPs viewed positively but cost remains a barrier

Consumers Health Forum (CHF) has commented on the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics health survey results which show that while the majority of older Australians are happy with their GP, costs and other barriers underline gaps in care and the need for a better-connected health system.
CHF CEO Leanne Wells said the survey results that 96 per cent of people aged 45 and over viewed their GP positively was an encouraging foundation on which to develop a more integrated care system.
“The survey gives us a valuable insight into patients’ experiences of health care given the 35,000 people who responded from around Australia. Its findings add weight to much of what CHF has advocated for in terms of better quality access to care, out of pocket costs and digital health,” Ms Wells said.
“It reveals problematic gaps in information getting to patients such as the significant numbers of those who said that their GPs did not seem informed about the care they received from specialists, or of their medication needs after a visit to a hospital.
“The prospect of much improved patient access to information offered by the My Health Record we trust will deliver a better informed patient and a better connected health system.”
Read CHF’s media release in full here:

New look for Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has launched its new-look website, providing easier access to health and welfare data for members of the public, researchers and media.
The AIHW holds valuable data on many health and welfare issues and topics, widely used by government, researchers, policymakers and the community for the betterment of all Australians.
Find reports or statistics and recent releases on a wide range of health and welfare matters, in order to inform and improve the delivery of health and welfare for all Australians.
Check out the new AIHW website here:

The Next Step After Care - new Facebook page

CREATE and Life Without Barriers are proud to present the Next Step After Care Facebook page – a safe space young people can visit to find advice from their peers, practical information and positive inspiration.
The Next Step After Care Facebook page will provide up-to-date content for young people transitioning to independence, opportunities for jobs or further study including scholarships and grants, and a way to learn about different legislation changes made by the government in easy to understand language.  Young people will also have the chance to have their say about what they would like to see on the page as well as provide feedback, submit memes or photos – it’s a chance for them to be seen and heard!
Visit the Next Step After Care Facebook page here.

Department of Health's
2016-17 Annual Report released

The Department of Health’s 2016-17 Annual Report has been released reflecting “huge reductions in the number of people waiting longer than clinically recommended for specialist outpatient appointments and the delivery of a $65 million surplus across the system”, according to the Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services The Hon Cameron Dick. 
Read Minister Dick’s media release on the Department of Health’s 2016-17 financial year activities in full here.
The Department of Health’s annual report can be accessed here.

Consumer and community organisation search

Find consumer and community organisations in Queensland with Consumers Health Forum of Australia’s easy-to-use online search tool.
Use the search filters to quickly find organisations with expertise in a certain area of health from Alzheimer’s to women’s health.
Find this digital resource here:

Your Input into eNews

Do you know of a consumer engagement story that we could share in this e-News?  We welcome your input.

If you have a great consumer story, or anything else you’d like us to include in the e-News, please contact Health Consumers Queensland at or call us on (07) 3012 9090.

Copyright © 2017 Health Consumers Queensland, All rights reserved.

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