Consumer Conversations

During COVID-19, Health Consumers Queensland is running regular Consumer Conversations to hear directly from consumers.

Often in a single week, we may have a number of conversations with a diverse group of consumers. We summarise the key themes from these conversations and produce an issues paper. We share it here, as well as with key leaders in Queensland Health.

We would like to thank each and every one of the amazing consumers who have joined one or more of these conversations. Your insights and perspectives are valuable and help us to influence and shape the system.

Issues Papers

Are culturally and linguistically diverse consumers having their needs met during COVID-19?

Health Consumers Queensland facilitated a conversation between culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and non-CALD consumers*, NGOs representing the interests of CALD consumers and staff from Queensland Health’s Disability and Multicultural Health Unit who have been leading engagement with CALD communities on the health response to the pandemic, the Social Policy Department, the Deputy...

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Face masks: What more do consumers need to know

Recently the Chief Health Officer confirmed that Queenslanders should wear face masks when we can’t socially distance.  However, wearing face masks continues to be a topic of discussion and confusion amongst consumers. Eleven consumers from Health Consumers Queensland’s COVID-19 Community of Interest joined Jordan Medlock from the Strategic Communications Branch’s Project Team to explore the...

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A COVID-19 vaccine: Health consumers’ views

Although a vaccine for COVID-19 is not yet available, it’s high on the news agenda this week and keenly anticipated. According to peer-reviewed research published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal, we need up to 80% vaccination to ensure herd immunity.  Yet the results of an Australian study in April showed that 14% of Australian adults would reject or were unsure about...

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

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...

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Encouraging COVID-19 testing throughout Queensland

Testing remains one of Queensland’s best defences against a sustained outbreak of COVID19.   A Consumer Conversation on Tuesday 28 July 2020 focused on the top barriers to testing, how the process can be made easier and what the key messages are that would motivate people to get a COVID-19 test.  Fear, uncertainty, confusion, mis-interpretation of information and complacency are currently the...

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Consumer experiences of health services as COVID-19 restrictions ease

In late April 2020, Health Consumers Queensland asked consumers about their experiences of healthcare during the very first easing of the COVID-19 lockdown. Procedures that had been delayed or cancelled were restarting, but consumers shared that they were unsure about accessing care safely. Many reported feeling uncertain and confused about when, if and how they could have their healthcare needs...

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Looking Back: How effective has the Queensland COVID-19 response been?

We asked consumers for their reaction to the COVID-19 response from Queensland Health, and from us, Health Consumers Queensland. We were very pleased to hear that consumers were impressed with Queensland Health's response. Particularly compared to other states, consumers felt that Queensland Health has done very well to involve consumers to such a high degree, to listen and act on their views...

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A mental health system for everyone: Integrated, strong and tailored to our individual needs and circumstances

COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on mental health service provision in Queensland like never before, as people grapple with prolonged social isolation, fear and uncertainty, unemployment, restricted access to health care, home-schooling, withdrawal of support and services, with many reporting feeling forgotten by the government and its pandemic responses. Currently Queensland Health provides...

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COVID-19 Testing: Straightforward, or difficult to access?

The message from Queensland Health is that we need more people tested for COVID-19, but consumer continue to be unclear about eligibility for testing, what testing entails, and what measures need to be taken either side of having a test. Many are reluctant to seek out testing if they are only showing mild symptoms, with the thought of isolation another disincentive. While the Queensland Health...

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Harnessing the benefits of telehealth and virtual care

5 June 2020 Rapid expansion of telehealth and virtual care has emerged as one of the positive outcomes from COVID-19. Consumers shared key insights including: Everybody is doing it differently. Let’s make it simpler, easier and less complicated for all consumers and health care providers to use telehealth. Let’s ensure there is public awareness and system-wide acknowledgment of when and where...

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Qld Health funding priorities 2020/2021

While talking about funding priorities for the next financial year, it was clear that health consumers have an appetite for major changes in health.  Consumers have suggested major reforms to long-held ways of providing health care.  Identified reforms are: to the way patients are categorized for care re-imagining HHS borders funding healthcare collaborating with consumers to design new models...

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Priority Queensland populations – consumers and carers at risk of being left behind

19 May Consumers identified health consumers and carers at risk of being left behind during COVID-19. This helped form their views on who should be included in priority Queensland populations and what healthcare should look like for them. Consumers also saw the value of focusing on the commonalities between these groups as their challenges may be similar e.g. accessing healthcare, navigating...

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Being safe and feeling safe when receiving healthcare

From what consumers shared, a picture emerged of mixed messaging, inconsistent application of protective and safety measures, and varying levels of confidence in the health system’s ability to keep patients safe from potential infection. Some people feel frightened, vulnerable and forgotten. Read the Issues Paper >

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Positives and innovations consumers want to keep after COVID-19

Consumers outlined the positives and innovations they would like maintained during COVID-19 and beyond including improved consumer engagement, the collaborative, timely and effective decision-making at both the system level and at point-of-care, telehealth and virtual care, and that mental health is given equal weight alongside physical health. Read the Issues Paper >

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Re-balancing the health system: Consumer perspectives

When contemplating re-balancing the health system by bringing some elective surgeries back on-line, consumers identified key conditions that must be met in order them to feel safe when receiving their needed healthcare including: Prioritising care for vulnerable consumers first Addressing gaps in communication Tailored conversations versus blanket-wide policies Clear and early conversations...

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Delaying Healthcare Due to COVID-19

Consumers told us they were delaying their regular healthcare due to COVID-19. There was uncertainty about what healthcare was still available and what wasn’t, and concerns about how all of this is being communicated. Read the Issues Paper >

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