COVID-19 Response

At Health Consumers Queensland we have never seen the health system work this hard and this collaboratively to care for its consumers.

The challenges for Health Consumers Queensland and Queensland Health mean we need to work closely together to ensure consumers are brought in at the right time to influence plans, and public-facing communications and directives.

Here we update you on the latest work with consumers and staff and share how consumer input is impacting how Queensland Health is supporting and informing Queenslanders around COVID-19.

Join the COVID-19 Community of Interest

Health Consumers Queensland has been having regular video-based Consumer Conversations about the Queensland public health system’s response to COVID-19 with groups of health consumers and carers across the state. To take part in these Conversations, join our COVID-19 Community of Interest

eAlert: Consumer priorities and solutions for the health system over the next four years

Following the re-election of the Labor State Government on Saturday, 31 October 2020, Health Consumers Queensland was encouraged to see 20 consumers from our Community of Interest (and welcome new faces) at our Consumer Conversation this week to set out your priorities and solutions for the public health system during the next four years. A further 48 consumers have completed an online survey and we thank you all for expressing your views with such clarity and purpose.

You were quick to praise Queensland Health for its COVID-19 response and the way it has listened to the consumer voice. Many support the innovative models of care which were adopted during the past eight months including telehealth and care including maternity care and hospital care delivered at home or in community settings.

You would like the Government to build on these achievements and innovations to ensure that all Queenslanders have access to quality care. The key priorities identified by consumers are as follows:

Continue reading eAlert >

Please complete Health Consumers Queensland’s Annual Survey

Health Consumers Queensland’s Annual Survey for 2019-2020 is now available for all health consumers and carers and health staff on our state-wide network to complete.

Your responses will enable Health Consumers Queensland to continue to improve and develop our services and advocacy to ensure that consumer partnerships are a powerful, meaningful and integral part of the way the health system in Queensland designs and delivers its policies, services and outcomes.

This year has presented more challenges, opportunities and innovations for our public health care system and for consumer partnerships than at any other time in our history. Although our survey touches on our work during COVID-19, we will soon be commencing a more in-depth external evaluation of the roles of consumers in supporting the response to COVID-19.

Our Annual Survey is open from today until Monday 23 November and should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Click on the button below to start.

If you would like assistance completing the survey please contact us on 07 3012 9090 or email info@hcq.org.au

Thank you for your time and support.

Start survey >

eAlert: What do consumers need to feel safe in our public health system?

Thank you to the many consumers and carers, and Dr Jillann Farmer, the Deputy Director-General of Clinical Excellence Queensland who contributed to such a powerful and open Consumer Conversation about feeling safe in our public health system this week.

We heard loud and clear how much safety matters to all of us who access health care. We also learned that what it looks, feels, sounds and tastes like for each of us is so unique – and extends far beyond a single perspective of clinical safety.

You shared what safety means to you if you identify as LGBTIQ, if you are from a culturally or linguistically diverse background and no one speaks your language, if you are challenging a senior clinician, or a carer having to point out a problem with the care of a loved one, if you have to invoke Ryan’s Rule or another review / complaint protocol, or if you feel very unwell or vulnerable.

Continue reading eAlert

eAlert: An inclusive Qld, Treating people who test positive to COVID, and more

An inclusive Queensland matters for all Queenslanders

Health Consumers Queensland was one of eight state-wide organisations who co-hosted the Make Disability Count 2020 State Election Virtual Forum last Thursday, 8 October.

Over 200 people registered to attend and five political parties joined us to answer questions that are important to people with disability, their families and the organisations that support them.

Together with Queenslanders with Disability Network, ADA Australia hosting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Disability Network of Queensland, National Disability Services, Queensland Alliance for Mental Health, Community Services Industry Alliance, Queensland Advocacy Inc., and the Queensland Collective for Inclusive Education, we all called on political parties to commit to seven priority policy areas:

  • Independent individual and systemic advocacy
  • Investment in frontline community services
  • Disability leadership, governance and accountability across mainstream services
  • A dedicated Minister for Disability and Inclusion;
  • Human Rights
  • Workforce
  • Sector capacity
  • Inclusive education.

read more…

eAlert: Culturally and linguistically diverse consumers, are you having your needs met during COVID-19?

Welcome back to everyone after the September school holiday break. We hope many of you feel refreshed and revitalized as we head towards the end of this long year.

We kicked off our return to ‘’business as unusual’’ this week by hosting an important conversation with more than 40 people: Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and non-CALD consumers, NGOs representing the interests of CALD consumers including World Wellness Group and the Refugee Health Network, and staff from Queensland Health’s Disability and Multicultural Health Unit, the Social Policy Unit, the Statewide Lead for COVID-19 for Aged Care and Disability and the Strategic Communications Branch.

Since April 2020, the Department and stakeholders representing CALD communities in Queensland have been working together to develop policy and action plans for a COVID-19 response that meets the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse people. Throughout this time, Health Consumers Queensland has also been listening to culturally diverse consumers who have shared their experiences of accessing health care during the pandemic and expressed their concerns and views about what is still missing the mark. read more…

Groundbreaking appointment of consumer representatives to Queensland Health Tier 2 Committees

Health Consumers Queensland is delighted to announce that, for the first time in our public health system’s history, consumers are sitting across almost all the key governance committees in the Department of Health (known as Tier 2 System Advisory Committees).

Eight out of the nine committees have representation from consumers, clinicians and First Nations people as well as an organisational representative from Health Consumers Queensland. The System Management Advisory Committee is the only exception, with a decision by the Chairs to have clinicians and First Nations people on the Tier 2 committee, and consumers on their Tier 3 sub-committees.

Continue reading eAlert >

eAlert: A marathon not a sprint

Do you remember back in April, when Annastacia Palaszczuk was telling Queenslanders that containing COVID-19 was going to be “a marathon, not a sprint”?  Fast forward to the last few weeks in August, we are watching what is unfolding in Victoria and New South Wales, continuing to have concerning cases appear in Queensland and coming to accept that this is not all going to be ‘all over by Christmas’.

Indeed, one consumer remarked how people keep talking about ‘’post-COVID”, when really we all need to be focusing on how the health system and consumers can be supported to maintain and access regular health services and care, alongside sustaining a constant state of readiness for COVID-19 outbreaks, care and containment.

Continue reading eAlert >

A COVID-19 vaccine: What would help you decide?

A vaccine for COVID-19 remains keenly anticipated by many Australians as a way of releasing us from ongoing restrictions and protecting us from infection outbreaks.
According to peer-reviewed research published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal, a vaccination rate of 80% is needed to ensure herd immunity to COVID-19.  A motivated population is clearly vital to an immunisation programme’s success, yet the scale, urgency and unknowns of such a programme are causing concern to some health consumers as they consider choosing to have a vaccine if and when one becomes available.

Consumer engagement in Victoria and NSW during COVID-19: Lessons learned

Here in Queensland, Health Consumers Queensland is uniquely positioned to amplify the consumer voice. We are fortunate to work with a Government, health department and health services that welcome consumer engagement and values the consumer voice.  Importantly, this commitment is matched by action, not just lip service, with consumer/HCQ participation facilitated at almost every level of decision making in health, and our organization being funded to pivot our work to support the response to COVID-19.
While this engagement and action has by no means been perfect and in every part of the system, it has been this openness by those in the health system to listen to consumers and act, which has set our State’s response apart from the majority of the rest we heard at this week’s Consumer Conversation.
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