eNews from Health Consumers Queensland
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eNews June 2017

In this issue:

From the Chair

A sincere thank you to everyone who attended our second Annual Forum held in Townsville on Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th May 2017.  Over 200 people attended including consumers and carers, consumer and community organisations, Hospital and Health Services, Primary Health Networks and private health services and organisations.
We were again joined by the Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services, The Hon. Cameron Dick who provided an update on the My health, Queensland’s future: Advancing Health 2026 he launched at last year’s Forum.
 From the feedback received participants took away things that will inspire current projects, inform future projects, and increased personal commitment and action towards meaningful consumer engagement and partnerships.
Planning will begin shortly for the 2018 Annual Forum.
Read the full Annual Forum Report here
Expressions of Interest - Health Consumers Queensland Board Membership
Health Consumers Queensland is committed to co-designing a health system which delivers quality and safe health services and values the voice of consumers in how health services are designed and delivered.
Health Consumers Queensland is governed by a Board of Directors drawn from consumer networks. The Board meets regularly to provide strategic direction and oversight of Health Consumers Queensland’s work.  The members of the Board have a broad range of skills including lived experiences as health consumers.
We are now seeking Expressions of Interest from individuals committed to the further development of Health Consumers Queensland as the peak organisation representing the interests of health consumers and carers in Queensland.
If you are interested or would like to know more please call Health Consumers Queensland’s Chair Mark Tucker-Evans at COTA Queensland 07 3316 2999.
Nominations for Health Consumers Queensland’s Board close on Monday 31 July. Candidates will be short-listed and interviewed in August, for commencement in September 2017.
See here for Board Info Sheet & EOI form
Queensland Health Consumers Collaborative

One of Health Consumers Queensland’s deliverables is the formation and support of the Queensland Health Consumers Collaborative, a joint initiative between Health Consumers Queensland and Queensland Health.  This strategic, high level Collaborative informs the embedding of 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.
At our last meeting, the Collaborative, supplemented by a number of additional consumers, participated in a workshop to inform Departmental thinking about Value Based Healthcare for Queensland.
Previous meetings have considered issues such as My health, Queensland’s future: Advancing Health 2026, Allied Health Expanded Scope of Practice Strategy, the Chief Health Officers Report, etc.
We are now calling for Expressions of Interests from consumers/carers in active consumer representative or advisory committee membership to fill a number of vacancies on the Collaborative.
Nominations close on Monday 31 July.  Candidates will be short-listed and interviewed in August, for commencement at the next Collaborative meeting in September 2017.

See here Collaborative for EOI form
Mark Tucker-Evans
Board Chair, Health Consumers Queensland

2017 Annual Forum Highlights - Townsville

The Annual Forum commenced with a networking session on the evening of 17th May.  It was an opportunity for the forum delegates to join the Health Consumers Queensland Board and staff for a pre-forum get together and get to know each other.
Together some 120 delegates from across Queensland took the opportunity to join us and visit the learning pods which showcased engagement activities from across the state.
We asked two consumer representatives, Robyn Anderson, a local Townsville consumer and John Palmer, a Longreach consumer to share their experiences living and receiving healthcare in a regional area.
The day of the Forum commenced with registration of some 200 delegates.  Gracelyn Smallwood, Professor of Nursing and Midwifery, CQ University provided the Welcome to Country.
In the early afternoon, The Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services, The Hon. Cameron Dick officially opened our Annual Forum showing his support of the work of Health Consumers Queensland and updated attendees on progress of actions against My health, Queensland’s future: Advancing health 2026 which he launched at our 2016 Annual Forum in Brisbane.
The day featured 14 presentations by health consumers/carers and health service staff partnering together.  
Please find the link here to access the PowerPoint presentations, photo gallery and videos from our keynote speakers, presentations and panel.
Learning Pods

Nine organisations showcased their engagement projects and programs that partnered with consumers via a Learning Pod.  Organisations that participated were:
  •  Queensland Child and Youth Clinical Network – Family Centred Care Posters
  • Children’s Health Queensland – Consumer newsletter for consumers by consumers
  • Metro North Hospital and Health Service – Community Board Advisory Group (CBAG)
  • Metro North Hospital and Health Service – CaRE patient experience survey
  • Caboolture Hospital – Metro North Hospital and Health Service – Virtual Maternity Care Project
  • Brisbane North Primary Health Network – PHN Stepping up the mark! Consumer participation and engagement in Mental Health
  • Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service – How a frog named Fabio gives children a voice
  • Gold Coast Primary Health Network – Community Advisory Council
  • Moura Community Hospital – Moura Community and Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service
Some of our featured speakers

Townsville Hospital and Health Service - Raising health staff awareness about health literacy issues
Jo Sherring, Clinical Lead for Person Centred Care
Lyn Hinspeter, Community Partner
Health staff often believe they communicate in a manner that patients and families can understand.  It can therefore be challenging to engage them in concepts around health literacy and to understand the full gravity of ensuring we create tools and speak in a manner that supports true patient and family understanding and knowledge about health.  Information forms the basis of any partnership between a patient, their family and the healthcare team.  The Patient Information and Health Literacy Meeting Group decided to make a video to highlight true understanding and opinion of patients and families in relation to health language and information.
We set up a video camera in the hallway of our main hospital and asked people walking past if they would be prepared to help us make a video for staff learning.  We then gave them pieces of card with commonly used health words and asked them to describe in their own words what they thought the word meant.  The results were interesting and at times very surprising.  We also asked them to tell us about what it is like talking to health staff and some of the things they thought we needed to know.  This video has been shown in a range of contexts, from health service orientation, Health Literacy Week events and other staff training events.  Feedback from staff has indicated it opened their eyes and made them consider the assumptions they make about patient and family understanding.
Please see link to watch the video


Townsville Intercultural Centre - Communication across cultures with emotional intelligence
Dr Farvardin Daliri, Executive Director
Townsville Intercultural Centre has been engaged with health consumer support over the past three decades.  The team represents the needs of consumers from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities in the Townsville region.  One of the biggest barriers that the consumers face in accessing health and mental health services is communication failure due to cultural issues.  They are not simple issues.  The consumers background, prior experience with health services or any trauma that they may have suffered, one and all interfere in the way they interpret the information provided to them by the service providers, all of which are hidden from the decision makers who administer a procedure or a drug.
Over the past 20 years, Dr Daliri developed communication tools that are based on emotional intelligence and avoid any value judgement of clients.  In his course he teaches how to unlearn and re-engage with the intention of knowing the person within the positive and encouraging space that should be created at the beginning of communication.  Dr Daliri shows how nonverbal communication is more effective than verbal and how to utilise nonverbal body language for communication which involves both heart and mind.
Forum delegate - “Dr Farvardin Daliri - Love it!  Fresh different view, relatable.  Wow!”
Please see link to watch the video
What delegates said
  • “Congratulations on orchestrating a wonderful conference. The networking was fantastic and the presentations were all fabulous - the ones that I saw. It was authentic and heartfelt - I loved to be a part of being with such a large group of dedicated and passionate people”
  • “Fantastic forum! Thank you for providing a great platform for such important discussions around consumer voices and how we can all work together to advocate for and achieve health! One suggestion for next year would be to have an interactive workshop where the learnings are discussed & both consumers and health staff can brainstorm how the learnings can be incorporated into their services/practices”
  • Excellent job! The whole event went off seamlessly! A great testimony to great team work. Any issues you may have been having were not visible at all to me – so that is a great success for the team.

What Have We Been Up To?

It’s been an incredibly busy few months for our staff with the Annual Forum, trainings around the state, and new projects underway.
We provided submissions on the following, available to read here:
  • Health Consumers Queensland submission on the Healthy Futures Commission Queensland Bill 2017
  • Joint submission to the Senate Inquiry into the number of women in Australia who have had transvaginal mesh implants and related matters
  • Inquiry into Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis Affordability) Amendment Bill 2017
  • Consultation Draft: National Framework for Maternity Services (NFMS)
Networking sessions
On Thursday 8th June we held our bi-monthly Networking Session at Brisbane Square Library.  Guest speaker Greg Merlo discussed how health economics can be used for consumer advocacy.  Issues addressed included financial burden of illness and measuring and valuing quality of life.  Greg is a health economist with the Australian Health Services Innovation based at QUT.
Our next Consumer Networking Session will be held in Brisbane on 18th August from 9.30 to 11.30am. You can register for this session via Eventbrite.
Free consumer training
Following on from the August networking session is our next consumer training, The Fundamentals of Partnering with Consumers.  This training module was very well received when we delivered it in April, so we are looking forward to working with a new group again this August. Would you like to take part in the consumer training?  You can register for this session via Eventbrite.
Our first webinar for health consumers and carers was held on Tuesday 4th April with 8 participants attending from across Queensland.  Titled Your First Committee, the session gave a broad overview of what starting as a consumer representative entails.  The webinar covered everything the beginner needs to know to prepare for the first meeting, and tips for understanding how to navigate your way through those initial meetings.  
Your input on webinar topics for regional and remote areas
We’re mindful that people in regional and remote areas don’t have access to the same variety of opportunities for training and professional development as people in metropolitan centres do.  Health Consumers Queensland are continuing to develop our webinar series, and we are seeking the ideas of people from outside the south east corner.  You can do this via our online survey.  The survey is only a short one, and will help us to develop content that genuinely meets the needs of regional and remote communities.

Keep your eye on future editions of eNews and our eAlerts to see when you can register for our next webinar.
Training Sessions
For the first time the Graduate Certificate in Consumer and Community Engagement is being held in Brisbane with the course now underway.  17 participants from across Queensland are undertaking the Certificate.
The first Partnering with Consumers training for Department of Health staff was held on the 19th June with the second course already booked out for the 24th July. 
A Guide for Consumers
Following the launch of the Consumer and Community Engagement Framework we have commenced work on the supporting Guide for Consumers.  Project Officer, Reema Naresh has been undertaking consultation with our network members and through an online survey to ensure that the guide meets the needs of consumers and carers in representative or advisory committee roles and those who are new to these roles.
A Guide for Health Staff is also in the planning and will involve input from health service staff.

Welcome Reema

Hello & Bula Vinaka Everyone.
Reema Naresh is the most recent addition to the Health Consumer's Queensland dynamic team.
Reema has recently worked with Children's Health Queensland, at the Good Start Program.  Reema is from the beautiful Island of Fiji.  She has lived and worked in New Zealand and the United States.  Reema is passionate about consumers being involved in their journey to health and wellness.
Reema is responsible for liaising and maintaining relationships with the Hospital and Health Services consumer and community engagement staff to support their effective partnering with consumers and carers.  Reema’s role incorporates providing advice, training and specific project work.
If you wish to contact Reema please email or call 07 3012 9090

Change to the way your GP can view your
public hospital information

From July, Queensland general practitioners (GPs) can have secure online access to patient healthcare information from Queensland’s public hospitals.  This access will bridge the information gap between Queensland‘s general practitioners and public hospitals to help ensure you receive consistent, timely and better coordinated care.
What are the benefits for consumers and carers?
Providing general practitioners with secure online access to patient healthcare information from Queensland’s public hospitals will improve your treatment outcomes.  Having access to more detailed recent information will enable your general practitioner to make better-informed medical decisions about your care.  Sharing your hospital records with your general practitioner will:
  • ensure your general practitioner and the Queensland Health clinical staff involved in your care have timely access to your public healthcare information
  • lessen your likelihood of being referred for duplicate tests or being re-admitted to hospital
  • reduce your need to recall and describe details of your recent treatments when visiting your GP
What information will your general practitioner be able to access?
Your general practitioner will be able to access information including:
  • blood tests results
  • medical imaging results
  • details of medications you received and have been prescribed
  • details of your diagnoses.
What if I don’t want my general practitioner to see my public healthcare information online?
If you would prefer your treating general practitioner did not have online access to your public healthcare information, you have the right to opt-out.  You can do this by calling 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).
For more information and to make an informed decision visit:

Seeking Feedback

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) is seeking feedback on the draft resources to support the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards (second edition).  The resources aim to assist health service organisations to implement and prepare for assessment to the NSQHS Standards (second edition).
Consultation has commenced for the NSQHS Standards user guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and closes on 31 July 2017.
Click here to view or download the guide, consultation questions and instructions for submitting a response online or by email, mail or fax.
Your feedback will help ensure that this resource is useful, easy to understand, and applicable to you and your organisation.
You are invited to circulate this email to your contacts who may be interested in reviewing this resource and providing feedback.
The launch of the NSQHS Standards (second edition) and the finalised supporting resources is planned for November 2017, with assessment to the NSQHS Standards (second edition) to commence from 1 January 2019.
Questions regarding the public consultation on these resources can be addressed to the Commission on 1800 304 056 or at

Going to the doctor?  
Don't draw a blank at your next visit

Australians are being encouraged to plan ahead for their medical appointments and have the confidence to ask questions about the tests and treatment options they’re being offered.
As part of a national push to reduce unnecessary healthcare, today Choosing Wisely Australia has launched a new video campaign with two key messages: times have changed and it’s okay to ask questions of health professionals; and prepare questions in advance so you don’t forget them.
Choosing Wisely Australia is part of a global movement to improve the safety and quality of healthcare through better patient-doctor conversations.  NPS MedicineWise launched the initiative two years ago to help eliminate unnecessary or inappropriate health care, where evidence shows there is no benefit or there is a risk of harm.
Dr Robyn Lindner, Client Relations Manager at NPS MedicineWise, said: “It’s important patients have all the information they need about the benefits and risks of any test, treatment or procedure being recommended.
See the full Media Release here

Have Your Say: Nurse to Patient Ratios Survey

Queensland Health would like your input into what you would want to know about the impact of the nurse-to-patient ratios on patient care, what should be publically reported and how you would like that information provided to you.
What are Nurse-to-Patient Ratios?
A nurse-to-patient ratio is the number of nurses working on a particular ward, unit or department, in relation to the number of patients they care for. There is established evidence that higher nurse-to-patient ratios have positive health outcomes for both consumers and nurses.
Closing date: Close of business 10 July 2017

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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