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:

Consumer Conversations are back and they’re better than ever!

Consumer Conversations have made a welcome return this week and it was wonderful to see you all again on Zoom on Tuesday.

For this series, we have brought together our experienced and emerging consumer groups so the COVID-19 Community of Interest has joined up with the Health Consumers Queensland’s Consumer Advisory Group, the Health Consumers Collaborative of Queensland, the Primary Health Networks and the consumers who sit on Statewide Clinical Networks.

Conversations will now be held every fortnight rather than once a week.

These valuable sessions will continue to provide consumers the opportunity to share your lived experience on topical health issues with the group and with Queensland Health. In response to your helpful feedback, we’ve also added a short informative presentation at the beginning of each session to enable you to build your skills and knowledge around consumer engagement.

This week we explored: How to tell your story with impact. Many people become active as health consumers due to a significant experience with the health system. Telling the story of your healthcare journey effectively can be a powerful tool in your consumer kit.

We hope you enjoy this new format and please continue to share your feedback with us as the series continues. 

If you’d like to join the Consumer Conversations, please register here. The next presentation will focus on some tips and strategies that help to communicate your message with impact.  

Your health care experience during uncertain times

In late April 2020, Health Consumers Queensland asked consumers about your experiences of health care during the very first easing of the COVID-19 lockdown. Procedures that had been delayed or cancelled were just restarting, but consumers shared that they were unsure about accessing care safely, and many faced uncertainty and confusion about when, if and how they could have their healthcare needs met.   
Ten weeks later in Queensland, restrictions have eased significantly and health care services are beginning to return to full operation. At the same time, parts of Victoria have gone back into lockdown and parts of NSW are seeing an increase in positive testing results. 
Against these opposing backgrounds, are health consumers any more confident and certain about accessing care or knowing when they will receive treatment?  At this week’s Consumer Conversation we asked 28 consumers about their current experiences of health care.
Consumers highlighted a range of concerns that were top-of-mind for them at the moment. These included:
  • Inconsistent approach from hospital to hospital of informing patients about their expected wait times for surgery
  • Greater reassurances that hospitals are safe places
  • Communication that is not easy to understand for CALD consumers or those with low literacy
  • A need for clear and transparent information about what is ‘back on’, what isn’t and the timeframes involved on various waiting lists
  • Queensland is opening up too fast and complacency is setting in as fewer people seem to be adhering to social distancing or using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect themselves and others.
You can read the full summary of the Conversation in our latest Issues Paper below. 
Read the latest Issues Paper

Representing consumers at Parliamentary Inquiry

Health Consumers Queensland’s CEO, Melissa Fox, was a witness at Monday’s Parliamentary Inquiry into the Queensland Government’s health response to COVID-19. Along with the Public Health Association, QAIHC and groups representing health professionals, Melissa spoke about what has and hasn't worked well for consumers.

You can read our submission below. 
Read Health Consumers Queensland's submission

Consumer views on COVID-19 testing to feed into Queensland Health’s implementation plans

The team in the Prevention Division at Queensland Health has given some positive feedback to Health Consumers Queensland after we submitted the full summary of consumer views on COVID-19 testing following a Consumer Conversation in June.

They said it was a “good document” and “is going to be very informative to feed into the implementation aspects moving forward.”

Consumers work on strategies to increase testing in Queensland

We have also recruited six consumers from our network to join five working groups which are being established by the Prevention Division in the Department of Health to assist in the development of implementation plans for the testing strategies outlined in the Testing framework for COVID-19 in Queensland.

Each working group will provide input and guidance on how the testing strategies can best be implemented for a specific group or setting in the State including:
1.     Quarantine travellers and close contacts
2.     Rural and remote populations
3.     Hard to reach populations – homeless, culturally & linguistically diverse communities
4.     Healthcare and residential care settings
5.     Shared living/working settings
Training, information and resources

Consumer engagement training for Qld Health staff

Weekly at 12.00-12.30  beginning Thursday 23 July
Exclusively for Queensland Health staff of the Department of Health and HHSs

Grab your lunch and join us each Thursday for quick consumer engagement training via videoconference. Designed specifically for Queensland Health staff, this series will give you the practical advic eyou need to create or strengthen your collaborative  partnerships with consumers. 

232 members of staff have already signed up and we look forward to meeting you next week.

Each session will begin with a short presentation, leaving plenty of time for questions from the audience. Check out our training webpage for more information. 

Register for the Snack Pack Series

New opioids information video

The team at NPS MedicineWise have released their latest educational resource, an opioids information video for consumers.

The aim of the animation video is to provide information to consumers who may be about to trial an opioid for chronic non-cancer pain. Consumers can watch the video before starting opioid treatment.

For health professionals, the video can be incorporated as part of an opioid prescribing workflow, where it can be provided to consumers to watch before opioid treatment is initiated.

The animated video was developed in collaboration with the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists. The video was also tested by the Pain Australia Consumer Advisory Group.
View the opioids information video

Podcast with Dr Jillann Farmer, DDG of Clinical Excellence Qld

Dr Jillan Farmer hails from Rockhampton in Queensland's north and started her medical career with Queensland Health.

Dr Farmer spent the last 7 years in New York as the United Nations' Medical Director. She managed the UN's internal response to the Ebola disease outbreak and the chemical weapons crisis in Syria, to name a few.

Dr Farmer recently returned to Queensland to take up the position of Deputy Director-General of Clinical Excellence Queensland.

In the latest episode of the Senate podcast, Dr Farmer talks about her experience with the UN and what has brought her home.
Listen on Apple
Listen on Whooshka
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

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 patient care and clinical workflows using the digital platform, including integrating across primary, community and hospital settings.

Are you a consumer or carer representative who has:
  • At least six months experience sitting on an executive committee of a statewide clinical network.
  • An excellent track record of working with multi-disciplinary clinical teams.
  • A good understanding of the future of healthcare from a consumer or carer perspective
  • Well developed written and communication skills.
  • Innovative and creative approaches to address complex organisational issues using a quality improvement framework.
  • A high level of negation and conflict management skills.
The position also requires personal experience as a health consumer, strong links with community groups / networks and the ability to present practical advice that reflects health consumers’ real-life experiences. Your contribution as a consumer representative will help to improve and support clinical services.

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.

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 will be held prior to the TSU provisioning a software build for the new site, with the second session to follow the developer’s production of the website in order to provide feedback. 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!

Griffith University wants to hear about your behavioural response to COVID-19.

In an effort to understand the transmission of COVID-19, this research takes a critical review of individual decision making in response to COVID-19. Your participation will contribute to a greater understanding of emerging behavioural patterns that may assist policy makers to better respond with relevant actions.

What does the study involve?

You will spend about 20 minutes answering survey questions about
1) your general attitude to behaviours in response to COVID-19 Government guidelines 
2) about you (e.g., your age, gender). 
Participants will have the opportunity to win one of 2 x $50 vouchers. There are no foreseeable risks associated with your participation. 
Go to survey

IFIC to document people’s lives during COVID-19

A worldwide project plans to document people’s personal experience of living with COVID-19 restrictions as well as hearing from those who have been directly impacted by the disease itself. 

The International Foundation for Integrated Care is a not for profit network based at Oxford University in the UK, that brings people together to advance the science, knowledge and adoption of integrated care policy and practice.

As part of their ICIC20 Virtual Conference taking place in September they are creating a short sound-byte video, documenting people’s lives throughout the months of COVID-19.
They are keen to hear from Australians. Are you interested in doing a short zoom call to answer two or three questions relating to your personal experience of living with COVID 19 restrictions or being directly impacted by the disease? The call will take no more than 5-10 minutes and you may speak in your own language and they will provide translation to English (the conference language) on screen.
The people they would love to hear from could be (but aren’t limited to):
  • Someone working from home with young children
  • Someone who usually receives treatment in a hospital setting that had changed significantly
  • A person who was seriously ill with COVID-19 and has recovered
  • A person whose family member has passed away due to COVID-19
  • A person whose family member has passed away unrelated to COVID-19 and the funeral and celebration of life was affected 
  • A care home worker
  • A frontline worker

Health Consumers Queensland is collecting details of interested people to pass along to IFIC. If you are interested in taking part, and would like us to pass your details along to IFIC for them to contact you, please complete the form below.

This activity is not remunerated.


Read more or apply

Other opportunities for consumers and carers

Share your experiences of maternity care during COVID-19

Have you received or supported a woman receiving maternity care in Queensland after 1st March 2020?

Take part in the Queensland Maternity Survey for COVID-19.

This survey will help Queensland Health understand the experiences of families during the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and how it affected your pregnancy, birth and post-natal care, and your general health and wellbeing. 

Queensland Maternity Survey for COVID-19

Influence the future design of aged care

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety is an opportunity to influence the future design of the supports we receive as we all age, now and into the future.

COTA Queensland is currently seeking feedback to inform COTA’s response to the Royal Commission  as well as our ongoing advocacy work.

We are keen to here from people receiving aged care services, as well as the people who support them such as informal carers, family members and friends.  

You can contribute through our virtual conversations or via our surveys.

Next week's virtual conversations topics are:

 Monday 20 July  2-3.30pm.  Informal Carer Support Services and Respite. To find out more and register to participate click here

Tuesday 21 July 10.30-12pm. Care Finding in Local Communities. To find out more and register to participate click here.  

The three surveys focus on the following topics and are open until 21 July. 

The COVID 19 Survey is to gather information about the impacts of COVID 19 on people receiving aged care services and their supports. 

The Informal Carer Support Services and Respite Survey is to gather information about the Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission's proposals relating to Informal Carer Support Services and Respite. 

The Care Finding in Local Communities Survey is to gather information about the Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission's proposals relating to Informal Carer Support Services and Respite. 


Study into frontline workers’ experiences during COVID-19

The Queensland University of Technology is conducting a study which aims to gather information from frontline health care providers and leaders across different sectors of the health system in Queensland about their experiences in preparing for and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you would like to participate in this research please complete this survey by Wednesday 22 July. Clinicians are also welcome to forward the survey link to any colleagues who might be interested in sharing their experiences.

The survey should only take a few minutes to complete and is entirely anonymous.


QUT survey
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