eNews from Health Consumers Queensland
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eNews September 2017

In this issue:

From the CEO

As always it has been another busy period for Health Consumers Queensland, as we continue to extend our reach into the health system and our relationships with health consumers throughout the state.


I have been involved in a number of ongoing conversations, consultations and reforms on a range of consumer issues which are being explored including the use of medicinal cannabis, paid hospital parking and the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme.  I look forward to bringing you more specific updates on these issues and more as they progress.


I am pleased to report that our ongoing advocacy around the use of transvaginal mesh continues to keep pace.  We recently facilitated a workshop with Queensland Health staff and women who have been impacted to share their experiences and identify the services needed by women who are living with complications.


We recently had the opportunity to support further work into closing the gap in Indigenous maternal and child health outcomes when Health Consumers Queensland partnered with the Queensland Clinical Senate, the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council and the Queensland Department of Health to deliver the Growing deadly families forums in Brisbane last month.  These were very well attended forums with several high-level state and federal government and health services representatives, as well as many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to share their experiences.  We look forward to continuing our support for consumers to be involved in tangible outcomes from this process.  For more information see below.


It’s been a busy period for Health Consumers Queensland staff as they continue to deliver a growing number of training and networking sessions.  Our last bi-monthly Networking Session was held on 18 August and I was pleased to be able to present on the revised National Safety and Quality Health Care Standards, and in particular focus on Version 2 of the Standard 2: Partnering with Consumers.  The revised versions were recently approved by all the state health ministers at their Council of the Australian Governments meeting.  Information for consumers and health service staff on the revised versions are being prepared by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care to be released by the end of the year.  These new standards, which will come into effect by January 2019, will once again help to cement the partnership between health services and consumers.


Training opportunities for consumers and health professionals have also been ongoing as we strive to share the fundamentals of effective consumer partnerships so both parties have a true and common understanding of health literacy, the value of positive partnerships and the role, as well as the limits, of consumer representation.  We are providing this training to hospitals and health services throughout Queensland.  You can read about some of our recent training below.


We also have a continuous number of consumer opportunities advertised on our website and through our eAlerts.  One of our fundamental roles is to support health consumers and carers to have a voice in the planning, implementation and evaluation of health policy, programs and services to achieve better health outcomes.  You can read more about some of the latest opportunities by visiting our website for a more comprehensive list.


Melissa Fox

Chief Executive Officer 

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

Do you need support to participate in a Health Consumers Queensland activity?

Health Consumers Queensland values the voice of consumers in how health services are designed and delivered. The priority focus is on consumer engagement that influences and leads improvements and delivers better health outcomes for all Queenslanders.

We are also committed to ensuring that all our activities are as accessible as possible to encourage participation and involvement from any consumer wishing to be part of our networks, training and skills development programs, and consumer representative opportunities.

On request we can provide a broad range of supports, including captioning, hearing loops, interpreting and translating services. Our venues are selected to ensure physical accessibility for all, including accessible toilets, friendly public transport access, ramps and elevators where possible.

If you would like to attend one of our events or activities and require additional support please let us know via the online registration form, by email at or by calling 07 3012 9090.

Growing Deadly Families Forum

Health Consumers Queensland partnered with the Queensland Clinical Senate, the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council and the Queensland Department of Health to deliver the Growing Deadly Families forum in August which attracted more than 150 delegates including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and elders, health workers, clinicians and health system leaders.

The aim of the forum was for communities, clinicians and health systems leaders to work together to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children through a healthier start to life.

The forum resulted in a number of key recommendations and outcomes being created, including the need for an integrated health system that empowers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and changing the workforce to reflect the community and its needs.

The forum facilitated many important conversations between consumers and health system staff to talk about what has been working, what hasn’t, and how to move forward to improve the future of health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their families.

Health Consumers Queensland was pleased to be part of this forum and to support the inclusion and involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to ensure they were heard and their experiences were valued.

Read the Queensland Clinical Senate’s latest communique about the forum here.

Read the Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services, The Hon Cameron Dick’s media statement about the Growing deadly families forum here.

Networking sessions for
consumer representatives:

Our last bi-monthly Consumer Networking Session was held on Friday 18 August at Brisbane Square Library.  These regular sessions are a chance for health consumers and carers working together with health services and organisations to share learnings and support each other.

Another networking session is scheduled for Wednesday 11 October 2017 in Brisbane in the Brisbane Square Library’s Community Meeting Room.  Register online via Eventbrite or email us at

Training Update

Sunshine Coast HHS (as pictured above)
A combined training for both staff and consumer and carer representatives was held at Nambour Hospital on Friday 25 August.  Twenty people attended the training facilitated by Health Consumers Queensland.

Partnering with Consumers Training for Department of Health staff
We continue our Partnering with Consumers training sessions for Department of Health staff with the most recent training held on 24 July for 24 participants.

Our next training for staff will be held on Monday 16 October from 9am to 12.30pm.  The training is specifically for staff who are, or will be, partnering with consumers and carers within their work areas, or have a particular interest in learning more about consumer engagement.
*Please note that this training is available to Queensland Health staff only.

For further information please contact Health Consumers Queensland on
Upcoming Training Sessions
Training on Partnering with Consumers will be provided to Gold Coast HHS staff on 25 September and 23 October 2017. Staff interested in attending should email

Training is also being provided to staff at the Central West HHS in October. 

Health services interested in receiving Partnering with Consumers training can contact Anne Curtis, Project Manager at

Webinar survey: tell us what you want

Health Consumers Queensland Network member shares experiences of travelling with her husband who has dementia

Have your say: consultation open on
Venous Thromboembolism Prevention
Clinical Care Standard

Ask the Experts Webcast –
Prostate Cancer: What you need to know

Need an excuse for a night out?  Watch a film and meet the father of palliative care in India

My health for life

  • Healthy eating and physical activity
  • Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Reducing alcohol consumption
  • Quitting smoking.
Flexible support options will include over-the-phone health coaching, group programs and online support.  The program is free and can be personalised to suit each individual’s needs.  Community groups and health professionals are also encouraged to find out more about the program and supporting others to get involved and ‘taking small steps to achieve great health results’.

Click here to see if you are eligible for the My health for life program or for more information.

MND Connect 2017

Focused workshops to develop regional plan

Click each workshop title for a link to the registration page, and more information about the location and workshop specifics.

For any enquiries, please email Program Support Officer Mary Smareglia on or phone 3630 7350.

The outcomes from these workshops will be added to the outcomes from the Brisbane North PHN’s whole-of-community symposia and the development of chapters currently underway for the regional plan (young people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, psychological services, people with severe mental illness, suicide prevention, alcohol and other drug treatment).

What is stepped care?

Top tips translated for safe health care

  • Arabic
  • Chinese - Simplified
  • Chinese - Traditional
  • Farsi
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hindi
  • Italian
  • Korean
  • Macedonian
  • Punjabi
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog
  • Turkish
  • Vietnamese
The translations were completed by accredited translators, then tested and approved by members of each linguistic community to ensure the information is culturally appropriate and easy to understand.
The Top Tips is designed to help consumers, their families, carers and other support people get the most out of their health care.  

It is available in a guide that provides practical advice on:
  • Asking questions to understand more about your health and treatment options
  • Finding good-quality health information
  • Understanding the risks and benefits of tests, treatments and procedures
  • Confirming what will happen before and after an operation or other procedure.

Health Minister hears consumer case
for health reform

  • Reforms to strengthen Australia’s primary health care system to make it more consumer-centred, prevention-orientated, and better integrated with hospital and social care and with more capacity to support transitions of care;
  • Boosts to investment in health systems research, shaped by consumer and community priorities to stimulate services that reflect advances in health sciences.
The full Consumer Priorities for a National Health Plan can be downloaded here, or a one-page summary report is available 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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