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What you can see at the 2019 Annual Forum


Every year Health Consumers Queensland has an opportunity for staff and partnering consumers to submit their consumer engagement projects through a Call for Abstract Application to present at the Annual Forum. These submitted abstracts go in the running for the Consumer Awards. These applications are then considered and selected by a judging panel which includes Health Consumers Queensland staff, Board, members of the Health Consumers Queensland Consumer Advisory Group and Queensland Health with selection criteria.

The Partnership Award

The Partnership Award recognises how an organisation has meaningfully partnered with health consumers and carers to truly collaborate, which has led to better health outcomes. This award recognises that consumers were involved in the whole process of the project from planning, design, delivery and evaluation and demonstrates the drive, growth and commitment to ongoing partnerships. The Partnership Award represents authentic partnerships that has been respectful, inclusive and made a difference.


It’s a marathon, not a sprint – what will consumer partnerships look like in the next 5 years?

Listen and learn from a thought-provoking panel of “champions of consumers” from across the health system. Each panel member will give a 2-minute flash presentation about their vision of consumer partnerships in 5 years’ time. What will they look like? What decisions will be made together? How will they connect people and the system, and enable innovation that will strengthen the health outcomes and experiences of people receiving the care? What’s your role in making this happen? How do we get there?

Consumers Leading Consultation – Kitchen Table Discussions

Hosted by health consumers and carers, Kitchen Table Discussions are an opportunity for community members who don’t attend formal consultations to influence the health system in a safe, friendly and supported environment. Invited by the host, participants each have a particular interest or experience of the consultation topic. Thirty health consumers and carers have now hosted discussions resulting in 252 community members being consulted on two projects for Clinical Excellence Queensland.

We will share how Kitchen Table Discussions work, how to host them, and why the hosts and their participants would like to see more of this type of consultation. We will also hear about the impact of the consultation to date and opportunities to input further into this work.

From gen z to gen y: transforming youth engagement – Panel

Ever wanted to engage with young people but didn’t know where to start? Been putting youth engagement in the ‘too hard basket’? This lively panel of young health consumers will talk about their personal experiences of engagement – they will give you the lowdown on what helps, what gets in the way and advice for anyone pondering how to involve a diverse range of young people in the development, delivery and improvement of health services.

Bringing genomics to the community – what do you want to know?

Queensland Genomics
Advances in genomic medicine offer amazing opportunities to improve our health and wellbeing. Our DNA is currently being used to predict disease risk, diagnose patients and guide treatment – with use in everyday healthcare expected to grow exponentially in coming years due to advances in science and technology.

This session will provide a background on genomics in healthcare and an update on current Queensland Genomics projects. It’s an opportunity to ask your questions about genomics and find out how personalised healthcare can affect you and your family. Come along to join a robust discussion on personalised medicine in our community.

Next level on the National Standards

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Clinical Excellence Queensland
Hospitals were accredited for six years under the first edition of the Standards, and have been accredited for the last six months under the new second edition. Hear a bird’s eye view from both a Queensland and national perspective about the impact of the Standards to date, and what elements of the new standards are driving change including:
• revised version of Standard 2: Partnering with Consumers
• new actions focused on health literacy, comprehensive care and care for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander consumers
• piloting of short notice accreditation

Meaningful engagement for women and families at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital

The executive team at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) are motivated to include women’s and family’s voices in the design and strategic planning of maternity, gynaecology and neonatology health services. The service line executive group of Women’s and Newborn invited a consumer representative to be a part of their team. Leah Hardiman was recruited into this position in January 2018. However, it was recognized that they wanted more than just a consumer representative at the monthly meetings. They wanted an onsite weekly presence within their hospital.

Disruptors or delegates? Deputy Director –Generals Panel

Senior public servants are responsible for implementing government policy of the day. Their roles provide great opportunities to champion the vital ongoing role of consumers in ensuring it’s implementation, monitoring and evaluation meets communities’ needs. Three of Queensland’s Deputy Director Generals will be put under the spotlight as we challenge them to describe how consumers will be central in them delivering on their 3-5 year legacy.

Consumer champions: challenge the system to “choose wisely”

Choosing Wisely Australia is a campaign that enables clinicians, consumers and healthcare stakeholders to start important conversations about tests, treatments and procedures where evidence shows they provide no benefit, or in some cases, lead to harm. Hear about consumers and clinicians experiences of embedding Choosing Wisely in their health service. And learn how you can become a champion for Choosing Wisely in your health service!

Behind the Wire Engagement

Health Consumers Queensland, Townsville Correctional Centre, Townsville Hospital and Health Service
Each day, the Townsville Hospital and Health Service’s Prison Health staff provide health care and treatment to a patient group with complex needs and a high prevalence of mental health conditions, communicable diseases, illicit drug use, poor oral health, and chronic disease when compared to the general population. These consumers are totally dependent on corrections officers to access health care. Last year we listened to prisoners across Queensland about their solutions which would improve their access to health care. This informed the content of a co-designed training workshop for Queensland Health staff and Queensland Corrective Services staff working within Queensland Correctional Centres, which is leading to opportunities to reduce existing barriers to effective service provision and improve and enhance delivery of patient-centred care.

Address by the Honourable Steven Miles MP, Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services

How did I get here… the story of a consumer’s journey from concerned parent to a consumer advisor

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service
Up until the age of 14 months, Gary and his wife Sharmaine had a relatively typical child. It was then that they noticed things were not quite right, and after multiple tests and years of waiting for a diagnosis, found themselves parents of a child with a rare, complex medical condition. This forced them into a world of healthcare they had never envisaged being a part of. Gary’s story will tell how he began as a farm worker searching for answers, advocating for better care and services for his son, to becoming a Health Consumers Queensland advisor who has sat on State-wide committees such as the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme (PTSS) steering committee, Queensland Genomics and HCQ Consumer Advisory Group as well as numerous service improvement groups at Queensland Children’s Hospital. He was named Volunteer of the Year 2018 for Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service. Gary is still a farm worker, now advocating not only for his son, but for all consumers using the health care system.

Advancing Kidney Care 2026 (AKC2026): A Queensland Collaborative Supporting Improved Kidney Health Care and Patient Outcomes

Queensland Health, Advancing Kidney Care 2026 Collaborative
One in three adult Australians are at risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and one in ten have signs of CKD. This equates to 500,000 Queenslanders. CKD can lead to end stage kidney disease, which has two outcomes: death or the need for dialysis or kidney transplantation. At the end of 2017, there were 5,156 Queenslanders on these treatments. In 2018, Queensland Health established the Advancing Kidney Care 2026 (AKC2026) Collaborative to support improvement in kidney health and in the provision of kidney health services within the public sector. AKC2026 is comprised of consumers, clinicians, Department of Health executives, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners and other representatives from primary care. AKC2026 currently has three workstreams (clinical, funding and information systems), which are working together to develop foundational resources to support a consistent and equitable state-wide approach towards patient-centric delivery of kidney care, now and into the future.

How a Consumer Advocate Connected to Innovate Change

Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service
The Queensland Children’s Hospital Interdisciplinary Feeding Team often provides care to children requiring weans from temporary feeding tubes that have been in for extended periods of time (i.e., greater than 12 months). This is despite resolution of the original reason for the tube’s insertion. This was the experience of Keren Pointon and her daughter, who advocated for innovation and transformation of current management practices through the establishment of the Temporary Tube Feeding Management Project.

It’s all about Community!

Cairns Community Health, Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, Cairns Hepatitis Action Team (CHAT)
The Cairns Sexual Health Service delivers quality sexual health services that are based on the principles of equity, inclusion, compassion, confidentiality and an overall respect for human rights. We will do this by: being responsive and innovative in our planning and provision of services to those with greatest need; working together with our clients, and the communities they come from, in partnership to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes; and embracing research and evidenced-based practice within our service provision. While the clinic is open to everyone, our core client groups are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, sex workers, men who have sex with men, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex people, people who inject drugs and young people. Peer workers play an important role in our community development work and co-design programs we deliver.

Forging Health Literacy Partnerships for Safety and Quality

Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service
A health literacy initiative that began with the Gold Coast Health Consumer Advisory Group (CAG) and led to a service wide health literacy partnership will be discussed. Our partnership and the health literacy journey we are undertaking is still in the early stage of establishing the partnership, reviewing health resources and potential health literacy ideas and practices both locally and internationally and building local networks. The nature and importance of the partnership, together with achievements to date will be discussed alongside consideration of the challenges ahead.

The power of consumer voices: telling our stories to tackle HIV infections among our communities

Queensland AIDS Council (QuAC)
Due to increasing rates of HIV within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD), men who have sex with men (MSM), and transgender populations, a creative, multi-targeted project was required to get vital health information to high risk populations. The #comeprepd Poster Project Phase II, features 15 posters/online stories to connect priority populations to information regarding pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a biomedical form of HIV prevention. The storytelling project promotes empowerment of consumers by sharing real life experiences, that contribute to the reduction of HIV and HIV related stigma. Seven consumers share their PrEP story to feature on posters/condom packs and various online platforms. Across four months, QuAC closely worked with community members to bring personal stories to life. Undertaking this project is expected to increase awareness of PrEP as an effective risk reduction strategy.

Transforming patient experiences through health literacy

Metro North Hospital and Health Service
One of Metro North’s strategic objectives is to embed health literacy in service delivery. The rationale is that well-informed consumers who actively participate in decisions about their healthcare achieve better outcomes. A Health Literacy Project was initiated in February 2018 and from the beginning has engaged consumers, carers and the workforce. Underpinning all of our actions is the philosophy of health equity which is evident in the Metro North Health Literacy Approach. We will explore HOW we are engaging the workforce to partner with consumers, to become agents of change in transforming how healthcare is delivered. From a consumer perspective, we will answer WHY this is important. We will also explore how we have brought the relevant people together to collaborate, learn, share and improve when designing and implementing solutions relating to health literacy – including welcoming and preparing consumers; being active participants in decisions; enabling consumers to feel empowered, confident, in control and able to manage their health and wellbeing.

Challenging the status quo… Co-designing the future of child and youth mental health services with young people

Children’s Health Queensland, Child and Youth Mental Health Service
There is an ongoing development and co-design of a youth mental health peer worker program at Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service that delivers best practice mental health services for young people in Queensland. The project has utilised a participatory action research approach, a ground up methodology which was facilitated by Health Consumers Queensland, and has ensured that the lived experiences of consumers and carers have been an integral part of the project.

Showcase: Driving change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Responding to the Social, Emotional and Mental Health Wellbeing needs of community across the age spectrum: children, youth and adults

Townsville Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service will talk about the different entry points into wellbeing services, specifically looking at how community needs, and ways of engaging with TAIHS – shape the service models. The presentation will focus on the partnerships – internal and external – that support the service model with a focus on early childhood, youth, and health programs, and the way wellbeing services are provided across these different program areas.

Innovative community based palliative care program

Family and Community Services Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation
Caring for community members who require palliative care in remote Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities is a challenging task. Normally this has been the domain of medical staff with patients often transferred to tertiary centres for ongoing care. However, the NPA Communities wanted to begin the journey of creating their own palliative care service so more of their people could spend their last months, weeks and days closer to family on country in their own communities. This led to the development of a partnership and the establishment of an innovative community based palliative care program.

Putting the ‘My’ into consumer’s Advance Care Plans

Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service
To help consumers and staff feel more comfortable having end of life care conversations and documenting their wishes, the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service (TCHHS) Consumer Advisory Committee, which is comprised of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, non-Indigenous and Mental Health consumers, worked with the Office of Advance Care Planning to adapt the Statement of Choices outer coversheet to be more user-friendly and explain Advance Care Planning in a more consumer-centred way. Although the changes were made with Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers in mind, the intent is that this version of the form can be used by anyone regardless of their cultural background.

Leading the Way – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Leaders – Panel

The health experiences and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities across Queensland are significant. Most importantly, much of the work on integrating health care services and strengthening the health of people and communities is being led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders. This panel discussion is a chance to meet some of these leaders and learn what their priorities are, the importance of working with community on meeting these priorities and some of their success stories. These are relatively new roles – strategically influencing decision-making at a high level to ensure the cultural, emotional, social and health needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are at the forefront of decisions and policy.

Yarning Circle – Strengthening Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voices

The Yarning Circle is a name that has been given to the traditional Aboriginal process of sitting down and talking and listening to, and learning from, each other. It is a traditional practice that continues today with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The most important basic principle of Yarning is respectful listening. Respectful listening requires the listener to not formulate a response, verbally or mentally, until they have heard everything the speaker has to say. There is then a process, or series of steps, of being accountable for one’s response.

A Yarning Circle is about being responsible for what we say, being respectful to others when we have something to say and, being accountable for ensuring a safe Yarning Circle environment.

Tjapukai Dancers

Watch Indigenous performers from Tjapukai bring the world’s oldest living culture to life through traditional dance.