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June 2016


A Great Success

Thank you to everyone who attended our first Annual Forum on Thursday 19 May at the Royal International Convention Centre at Bowen Hills.  Opened by Cameron Dick, the Hon Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services, the forum showcased consumer leadership and best practices in consumer and carer engagement partnerships in our health system which shape and influence the way health care is co-designed, delivered and evaluated.
More than 240 participants attended including consumers, carers and staff from Hospital and Health Services, Queensland Health, Primary Health Networks and Consumer and Community Service Organisations.
From the evaluations received on the day and the online survey sent to registered attendees, 96% of the participants agreed/strongly agreed that the speakers who presented the sixteen showcases were effective in delivering on the key topics of “Consumer Leadership” and “Consumer and Health Staff Partnerships”.  It also showed that 96% of the participants agreed/strongly agreed that the Annual Forum highlighted the need for consumers to be involved in the design, delivery and evaluation of health services.
You can find the PowerPoint presentations from our sixteen showcases and keynote speakers on our website now:  
Photos from the day, audio recordings of workshops and presentations, video recordings of the keynote speakers and the graphic visuals by 3rd View Consulting will be available on the link above by mid June.  The final evaluation report will also be available from mid July.
Health Consumers Queensland would like to thank the attendees, stall holders and presenters who helped make the event such a success.  We hope the forum increased your knowledge of best practice engagement and assists health service staff in your roles, as well as the passionate and engaged consumers and carers who are the positive disrupters of the health consumer movement in Queensland.  Thank you also to the members of the Annual Forum Advisory Committee and our staff, in particular Chelsea Gourgaud for their hard work in organising such a successful event.  We look forward to inviting you to the next Annual Forum, to be held in regional Queensland next year.
Mark Tucker-Evans


In the Spotlight

Consumer profile:
Andrew Blythe, consumer member of the
Queensland Health Consumer Collaborative

Andrew is a historian by trade who only ventured into the world of hospitals while supporting his Dad after a heart attack.  Nearly ten years later that journey took a dramatic turn when—after exhausting all other treatment options—his Dad received a heart transplant.
Andrew is currently writing a memoir about the mental and physical health consequences of that event, which changed the trajectories of both of their lives.  He enjoys being part of a wider ‘family’ of transplantees and their support networks.
Because of these health challenges he has subsequently spent many years supporting people with mental, physical and intellectual disabilities to get their health needs met with compassion and dignity.  He also enjoys telling other peoples’ stories and has run a number of writing workshops to help them find a voice.
His latest projects include collaborating with internationally-renowned photographer Steve Parish in a workshop series that supports people with mental illness to connect with their natural world and find life purpose through photography, as well as being a Collaborative member and working with Health Consumers Queensland to connect via story with all the diverse groups that need support in our health system.
Writing now fills his days.  He was originator and editor of Time and Place (the magazine of the Queensland Heritage Council) and freelancer for and editor of Queensland Pride.  He also has a bottom draw full of unpublished stories; if you meet him and he starts scribbling in front of you, it probably means you’re going to end up as a character in one of them…


Hospital and Health Board appointments


Congratulations to all the new Hospital and Health Board members; 78 members were appointed to 16 Hospital and Health Boards in May.  

We wish all the new Board members well, especially those who are part of our Health Consumers Queensland Network. 

New Board members who aren’t members of our Network are welcome to join here:


New 10 year vision
and strategy


The Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services, The Hon. Cameron Dick, attended our Annual Forum and launched - My health, Queensland’s future: Advancing health 2026 - the Department of Health's 10-year vision.

The strategy embraces the state's health system as a whole and acknowledges the challenging environment in which we receive health care.  The Vision focuses on four key areas namely:
 - Promoting wellbeing
 - Connecting healthcare
 - Delivering healthcare
 - Pursuing innovation. 

Health consumers were involved in a one-day forum to develop the vision and strategy and the strategy includes a number of quotes from members of our Health Consumers Queensland Network.  Central to the strategy is the role of consumers in shaping our health system.  The Minister announced the establishment of a governance committee responsible for monitoring and publicly reporting on progress against the strategy measures including representation from consumers.

We recommend that people currently sitting on community advisory groups or other health committees should become familiar with the key areas of this document as it could help to strengthen your position on key issues.

Consumer Opportunities

Networking session for experienced consumer representatives: Mentoring

Date: Wednesday 8 June
Time: 9.30 to 11.30 am
Location: Health Consumers Queensland training room, Level 9, 217 George St, Brisbane
This informal networking session is an opportunity for experienced consumer representatives to report to the group on their committee’s work and outcomes.
What are your ideas on mentoring fellow health consumer advocates:
 - Would a mentoring scheme be useful?
 - What ideas should underpin it?
 - Identify ways Health Consumers Queensland could facilitate a mentoring scheme for consumer representatives.

Bring your ideas and passion along so together we can improve partnerships between consumer representatives and health services.
We'll discuss this around a table with a cup of tea and a biscuit (please let us know if you have any dietary requirements).
RSVP via the Eventbrite page: 


Training for consumers and staff

Health Consumers Queensland provides training for health consumers and health staff so together we can partner more effectively to improve health outcomes for all.
The training for staff focuses on working effectively with health consumers and your community as well as ways to embed consumer partnerships in your work.

The training for consumer representatives provides an overview of the fundamentals of consumer engagement and supports consumers with practical skills development and an understanding of the health system.
To book training, please talk to Anne Curtis, Project Manager at Health Consumers Queensland on 07 3012 9090 or email her on

Consumer Vacancies

Call for Expressions of Interest for Human Ethics Research Committee -
Endeavour College of Natural Health

The Endeavour College of Natural Health Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) is currently recruiting for two (2) positions for the Committee:
 - Lay person (female)
 - Lay person (female or male)

Both positions are available to those who are not affiliated with Endeavour College of Natural Health and are not currently involved in medical, scientific, legal or academic work.
Successful appointed members are required to serve on the HREC for a term of two (2) years, which consists of a minimum of two (2) meetings a year by face-face or teleconference.  Appointed members will also be required to respond to emails regarding HREC matters.
To find out more including how to submit an expression of interest go our website:



..Breastscreen Queensland - User Testing

Breastscreen Queensland are looking for women aged from 50 to 70 to do some ‘usability testing’ on their online booking system, preferably women who have not had breast cancer. 
They would like a diverse group of consumers to assist them with the process including women who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, who do not speak English as their first language, and women who are comfortable using computers and mobile devices and those who are not.
Participants would need to bring along their own mobile phones.
The test date: 12 July 2016
Time: 9am - 3pm
Where: Butterfield Street, Herston.
Participants will be remunerated for their time and will have their lunch provided.  The room and building are accessible and transport costs and/or parking can be arranged. 
For more information please contact Jo Smethurst at Health Consumers Queensland on 07 3012 9090 or email

Online Consultations

Queensland Sexual Health Strategy

Queensland is the first state in Australia to undertake the development of a comprehensive sexual and reproductive health strategy – the draft Queensland Sexual Health Strategy 2016-2021 (Strategy).
This Strategy aims to support healthy and safe sexual experiences based on respect and consent and to provide Queenslanders with the knowledge required to maintain optimal sexual and reproductive health across the lifespan.
Find out more and complete the online survey here:


National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions

Work is currently underway to develop a National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions (the Framework).
The Australian Government Department of Health is seeking comment on a second draft via an online public consultation.  The online consultation closes at 11:59pm on Wednesday 22 June 2016.
More information about the project and a link to the consultation hub can be found here:


Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA)

Suicide Prevention Australia in collaboration with the University of New England would like to invite you to participate in a national research project investigating the exposure to, and impact of, suicide in Australia. 

The purpose of the survey is to gain a clearer understanding of how individuals are affected by suicide.  This will help inform where we recommend funds and expertise are directed in suicide prevention.  Any information or personal details gathered in the course of the study will remain confidential. 

The survey will take approximately five to ten minutes and you can complete the survey here.

If taking this survey brings up difficult emotions, you may wish to contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 for free online and telephone counselling, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


The Australian Centre for Health Research (ACHR)

National survey of public attitudes towards end of life care.

ACHR has a vision to improve the quality and experience of care for all Australians at the end of life.  The feedback provided through the survey aims to help shape how end of life care is supported and funded within Australia in the future.

Participation is invited from all people aged between 15 and 99 years.  The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete and there are 24 questions to answer.

Survey submissions close on 30 September 2016.

You can participate in the survey here

And lastly ....

Nurse to patient ratios

Important baseline data is being collected now from nurses across the state before the introduction of the nurse to patient ratios from 1 July 2016.  

An online Survey was sent to Queensland’s private and public sector registered nurses by a research team via an email from RN4CAST on 30 May 2016.  The survey will only be open for a short period.
Input from nurses is important to this study.  Even though the ratios legislation is currently only being introduced in some public sector facilities, all of Queensland’s registered nurses are encouraged to participate.  

Participation is voluntary.  The survey is confidential and the results will not be reported by hospital name.
Further information about the study, including the survey, can be accessed from the University of Pennsylvania’s RN4CAST Australia website.

Federal Budget


The National Rural Health Alliance has issued two Federal Budget Snapshots. 

One clearly outlines each of the budget measures including money and one collates the various responses from the sector and its partners.  Both can be seen at

Consumers Health Forum of Australia has outlined their response to changes in primary healthcare in Australia saying now is not the time to erode Medicare. 

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. 

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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