In this issue:

  • Partnering with Consumers
  • 2017 Annual Forum update
  • 2015-16 Annual Report
  • Consumer Networking Sessions
  • Consumer Training
  • How do you make your ward the most popular in the hospital?
  • Asking the right healthcare questions

…and more.

Partnering with Consumers

Mark Tucker-Evans

Every day thousands of Queenslanders touch the health system in one way or the other as consumers or carers.  The core purpose of Health Consumers Queensland is to facilitate two-way partnerships between health organisations and the consumers, carers and families who use their service (or would potentially like to use their services).

This year we have plenty of new initiatives planned to support both health consumers and staff in health organisations to be even more effective in their partnerships. We are planning webinars and new on-line training modules will be rolled out in the second half of the year.  In March, we will be launching the revised Consumer and Community Engagement Framework which was developed with the support of a consumer and health staff reference group and input from many individuals and organisations across the State.  Work will now commence on the development of two supporting toolkits.

In the meantime, you may like to read about Health Consumers Queensland’s achievements during 2015-2016 in our Annual Report.

We look forward to continuing to work with all of our key stakeholders to strengthen the consumer voice in our health system, driving better health outcomes for all.


Health Consumers Queensland 2017 Annual Forum Update

Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit an abstract for our 2017 Power and Passion: Culture change through consumer engagement and partnerships annual forum.  We’re very excited by both the number of abstracts we received and the exceptionally high standard of work from health consumers and carers, Queensland Health staff, Primary Health Networks, community members and community organisations.  With this exciting program, the 2017 Annual Forum will be a learning and networking opportunity not to be missed.


Have you registered yet?  Head to the registration page to secure your place or contact Chelsea Gourgaud at or phone on (07) 3012 9090 for registration details and to find out if you are eligible for free discount codes.

Support for Consumers to attend the Annual Forum

Health Consumers Queensland have allocated a number of consumer registrations to health organisations including each Hospital and Health Service, Primary Health Network, Private hospitals and community organisations.

Speak to the engagement staff or key contact at the health organisation with which you are currently engaging with, about their supporting your attendance with travel assistance.

If you have made contact with your Hospital and Health Service or Primary Health Network and they are not able to cover your travel costs, please complete the Expression of Interest and Travel Application Form if you require travel support to attend.

We have some funds to support consumers to attend the forum who would otherwise be unable to participate due to the cost of travel. This expression of interest process helps us to distribute the travel funds fairly and openly.

Promote the Annual Forum throughout your workplace by printing copies of the poster and share with your workmates.

Call for office volunteer

Are you interested in supporting our work?  Health Consumers Queensland is seeking a volunteer with some regular free time to help us in the office, including with preparations for our upcoming Annual Forum.

Your tasks won’t be sexy, but they are essential!   Ranging from helping with mail-outs, photocopying, data entry, just to name a few.  Some basic office skills would be preferred but not essential.

Please email or phone 3012 9090 to have a chat.


2015 – 2016 Annual Report

We are delighted to release our first Annual Report as a health promotion charity.  We trust you will enjoy reading about our organisation’s achievements during 2015-2016.

The outcomes of our activities and partnerships between consumers, carers and health staff have been facilitated through the hard work of our small team and Board, supported by our 3 year funding commitment by the State Government.

View the 2015-16 Annual Report

Health Consumers Queensland Consumer Network Sessions

Health Consumers Queensland hosts networking sessions in Brisbane and around the state, to help connect health consumer representatives so they can share their successes and achievements, seek support and assistance to overcome any challenges, and share information.

Our first networking session this year was held in the Community Meeting Room at the Brisbane Square Library (across the road from our office) this week.  The new venue provides us with more room and seems to work really well.

Our next networking session will be held on 23 March in Mackay, with time and venue to be confirmed. Keep your eye on our eAlerts for details

Consumer training: Fundamentals of partnering with consumers

This year we’ll be offering to consumers and carers on our network the chance to do our consumer training: Fundamentals of partnering with consumers.  This training is for consumers and carers who have been unable to attend a training organised through their health organisation and places are limited.

The next opportunity to take part in this training will be on Friday 21 April 2017 at Brisbane Square Library 12.30pm – 4.00pm, following the April Consumer Networking session.  Watch for registration details in our eAlerts.

Not on our network yet? Join here

How do you make your ward the most popular in the hospital?

How do you make your ward the most popular in the hospital? Getting to know the end user is a good start, according to Kelsie Dummett.

Kelsie is one of the founding members of Mater Youth Consultancy, Mater Hospital’s initiative to design better services for patients making the transition from paediatric care to adult health services.  Mater Youth Consultancy (MYC) was founded in 2013 in recognition of the poorer health outcomes for people in those transition years.

Mater Youth Consultancy, is a group of 14 young people, some of whom had lived experiences of health care, some local students, and also a small group from the local refugee community.  They worked hand-in-hand with the Mater to design the Mater Young Adult Health Centre.

The initiative is certainly paying off: the Young Adult Ward has the highest consumer satisfaction rating of all Mater wards, and satisfaction with nursing care is 15% higher than any other ward, a fantastic result that hopefully inspires other health services to more fully engage with their health consumers.


Like to know more? Listen to Kelsie Dummett and Greg McGahan’s full presentation on Soundcloud, or view their presentation slides.

This is only one inspiring presentation from the Health Consumer Queensland 2016 Annual Forum – see them all here.


Australians encouraged to ask the right healthcare questions

Not everyone has the confidence to ask the right questions of their doctors, but Choosing Wisely Australia is encouraging Australians to do just that to avoid unnecessary medical tests and treatments.

Dr Robyn Lindner of Choosing Wisely Australia said it was important for people to take a fresh look at their healthcare needs and to understand the risks and benefits of the care being recommended.

“This isn’t about second guessing GPs or other health providers, it’s about encouraging people to be active participants in the management of their own healthcare.

“It’s about you feeling confident and comfortable in making decisions about your health and managing your condition in partnership with your healthcare providers, because there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

“Make sure you are having good conversations with your doctors and other health professionals so you receive the care most appropriate for you.”

Read more at Choosing Wisely Australia

Consumer Opportunities

Mental Health Act 2016 consumer and carer info day

In preparation for the commencement of the Mental Health Act 2016 on 5th March 2017, Gold Coast Mental Health Service is hosting a FREE information session especially for consumers (people with a lived experience of mental illness), families and carers.

This is a great opportunity for people to enjoy a light lunch, learn about the new Mental Health Act, meet the new Independent Patient Rights Advisors and ask any questions about the new Act.

Date: 1st of March 2017

Time: 12:00pm – 3:30pm

Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, E-Block (PED Building), Gold Coast University Hospital, Hospital Blvd, Southport, 4215

RSVPs by 23rd February would be appreciated for catering.  The email address to RSVP to is


The Consumer Expectations & Experiences of the Health Care System Survey

University of South Australia is conducting an exciting new study that is examining the expectations and experiences of health consumers in order to better understand the health care needs of health consumers, how responsive the health system is to health consumer needs, and identify areas where health systems could improve to better serve consumer needs.

The study is a large international online survey of health consumers, and is open to persons over the age of 18 years, have used a health care service or received any health intervention within the last 12 months, live in Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom or United States of America, have internet access, and are able to read and understand the English language.

For more information, or to complete the survey, head to the project page.

Helpful Resources

Learning in your everyday life

Learning about consumer engagement and health is a lifelong undertaking, and there are a variety of great ways to do it.  There are some excellent social media accounts that can help you develop your consumer knowledge, all in the course of your everyday life.

A few Twitter accounts that you might find useful:

  • We Public Health: @WePublicHealth

This is a rotated account with a public health focus, curated by Crikey’s health arm, Croakey.  Every week, a different person – including community members and public health professionals – is asked to tweet-report and investigate public health matters.

  •  Health Consumers Queensland: @HCQconsumerorg

And of course, Health Consumers Queensland.  An easy way to stay up to date with what Health Consumers Queensland is up to.

Is there a social media account that you find informative? Let us know!


Patient Experience Journal

Patient Experience Journal (PXJ) is an international, multidisciplinary, and multi-method, open-access, peer-reviewed journal focused on the research and proven practices around understanding and improving patient experience.  PXJ is designed to share ideas and research, and reinforce key concepts that impact the delivery of service, safety and quality and their influence on the experience of patients and families across healthcare settings.

PXJ is published in association with The Beryl Institute, the global community of practice and premier thought leader on improving the patient experience in healthcare.  The Beryl Institute serves as an independent, non-vendor or provider-related community dedicated to bringing together the many voices, views and perspectives on improving the patient experience.  Visit the Patient Experience Journal

Your input into the e-News

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.