Learning and development needs for partnering in quality improvement

Learning and development needs for partnering in quality improvement

Following on from a report in the September 2022 issue of HCQ’s e-Alert, yet another paper by the research team of Ruth Cox, Director of Occupational Therapy at QEII Jubilee Hospital and a PhD candidate at Griffith University; consumer co-researchers, Elizabeth Miller and Bernadette Tanner; Associate Professor Melissa Kendall; and Professor Matthew Molineux, has just been published in the Australian Health Review.  It’s called Learning and development needs for successful staff and consumer partnerships on healthcare quality improvement committees: a co-produced cross-sectional online survey.

Full Reference: Australian Health Review, Online Early https://doi.org/10.1071/AH22266

Elizabeth, who is a consumer co-researcher said “in this study, we conducted a learning and development needs analysis of quality improvement (QI) capabilities for staff and consumers on partnership committees at an Australian metropolitan HHS.  We compared their self-rated responses against capability importance and performance which demonstrated their learning needs. We also investigated whether the number of years of partnership experience influenced the ratings and which learning strategies or methods were preferred by both groups”.

The major findings of this research were that:

  • The Capability Development Framework (shown below) is a useful tool to guide learning and development for successful QI partnerships.
  • Staff and consumers should continuously develop QI partnership capabilities together, and through multiple learning approaches.
  • Increased exposure to innovative co-design strategies is needed to enhance capabilities and influence on organisational systems and policies.
  • Sharing power and leadership was a high learning need.
  • Self-reflection is very important, but it was not recognised by staff and consumers as a preferred learning strategy, so this needs more research.

This learning and development needs analysis provides direction for effective design of education and support programs.

If you would like more information and/or a copy of the paper and framework, please contact Ruth Cox via ruth.cox@health.qld.gov.au

Read the full Capability Development Framework, including the capability descriptions- https://www.publish.csiro.au/AH/acc/AH22266/AH22266_AC.PDF

Additionally, you can go to these links to get a free open access copy of the scoping review and eDelphi study related to this research project.



Celebrating consumer appointments to roles across the health system between January and March 2023 

Congratulations to all the consumers and carers from HCQ’s network who have been appointed to consumer partnership roles on long-term, system-wide committees, focus groups or working groups as well as other activities with Queensland Health and other health organisations. 

We received over 100 expressions of interest for 19 opportunities. More than 30 consumer and carer representatives have been appointed to roles so far with some selections still to be finalised. We’ve also seen a strong increase in the numbers of consumers applying for roles who bring an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island, disability, culturally and linguistically diverse or rural and remote perspective and voice. Some of the new roles include:


Wishing Anne Curtis and Reema Naresh well as they move on to pastures new

In February and March, we said farewell to Anne Curtis, Senior Engagement Consultant and lead of our fee-for-service work and Reema Naresh, Engagement Advisor and our Training Lead as they moved on to explore new opportunities.

Anne Curtis
During her time with Health Consumers Queensland, Anne has always been passionate about the voice of ALL consumers being heard and valued at all levels of the health system.

After joining HCQ in 2015, Anne adapted the Kitchen Table Discussion (KTD) methodology for Health Consumers Queensland in 2018 so consumers could lead conversations with consumers. Since that time, she has empowered many who had never had a voice in healthcare before to lead and participate in consultation on important health issues within their own communities in a safe and supportive environment.


Introducing the new members of the Health Consumers Collaborative of Queensland

In early May the Health Consumers Collaborative of Queensland met together face to face in Brisbane and online to welcome and onboard its new consumer members.

Our new members come from as far north as the tip of Cape York at Seisia and as far west as Roma. Together with our existing members, the Collaborative’s consumers span the generations, include two First Nations representatives, and consumers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds as well as those who have strong knowledge on international health systems, and are involved in their local Hospital and Health Service. This diversity of consumer perspectives will contribute to the strength and quality of their conversations in session.


HCQ supports consumers and health staff in Mackay, Rockhampton and Cairns

During February and March 2023, Senior Engagement Advisor, Jo Smethurst and Engagement Advisors, Reema Naresh and Chelsea Gourgaud travelled to Mackay, Rockhampton and Cairns to facilitate tailored braining for Hospital and Health Service consumers, Executive and Board which meets their individual partnering needs.

Chelsea headed to Rockhampton to support staff and consumers and co-facilitate the Consumer and Community Advisory Committee Planning Day with Central Queensland’s Hospital and Health Service Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Executive Director, Donna Cruickshank and Patient Experience and Consumer Engagement Practice Lead, Stacey Butler. 


Introducing Cassandra Nest, HCQ’s new First Nations Consultant – Engagement and Partnership

Health Consumers Queensland is delighted to introduce Cassandra Nest, HCQ’s new First Nations Consultant – Engagement and Partnership! 

Cassandra or Cas, is a proud Pajong Fish River woman of the Ngunnawal Language group. Cas is a mother to two and midwife by trade.  Born and raised on Bundjalung and Kombumerri Country of Northern NSW and the Gold Coast. Cassandra comes from a long line of healers, Traditional Birth attendants and nurses.  

Cassandra was the first First Peoples graduate of Griffith University’s Bachelor of Midwifery and is currently studying a Master of Primary Maternity care by dissertation which is due to be completed in 2024. 


HCQ’s Annual Forum 2022

“Inspirational, connected group of passionate people making a difference in healthcare makes the HCQ forum excel. It is fabulous to see expansion and growth in consumer engagement and partnership practise across the state. Well done.” (Forum attendee)

It was wonderful to be finally reunited with so many consumers and health staff and to welcome new faces both online and on the Sunshine Coast for our long-awaited Annual Forum on 13-14 October 2022. 

Held across two days, it gave an opportunity for more than 200 people to gather face to face (and more on-line), to share insights and learn from others, with workshops, panel discussions, presentations and an evening networking event.  


Consumers tour Seqwater Advanced Water Treatment Plant

In late August 2022, consumer representatives and HCQ network members, Anh Tho Tien and Rajini Eschwarachar Shankar joined our new Project Support Coordinator, Declan Winterton at Seqwater’s Luggage Point Advanced Water Treatment Plant for a tour of its recycled water facility.

The tour is a follow-up to the work HCQ undertook for Seqwater in 2021 which included Kitchen Table Discussions and a short-term communication co-design consumer reference group. Tho and Rajini were involved in the project and were keen to take the offer of a tour of the Seqwater facilities.