Kitchen Table Discussions and Consumer Consultation

Kitchen Table Discussions are a consumer engagement methodology used in many different ways to hear community views on varied subjects. Health Consumers Queensland has refined the methodology to ensure diverse voices are heard accurately and clearly.

Since October 2018, Health Consumers Queensland has successfully used Kitchen Table Discussions to hear the voice of health consumers and carers who do not normally participate in formal consultation, or feel they have the opportunity to have a say in healthcare policy, decision-making and design. They have also been enablers to reach diverse groups of people, including hard-to-reach and those who are sometimes disadvantaged.


  • Consumers lead the consultation not consultants or staff
  • Hear directly from the community and in particular, opportunity to hear from those who do not normally participate in health consultation
  • Enables access to a broad and diverse cross-section of community
  • Consumers feel their voice is heard, and their views valued once feedback loop is closed
  • Alleviates consultation overload on consumers
  • Allows for impartial discussion and feedback
  • Participants and hosts enjoy the process and constantly ask for more of this type of consultation
  • Provides valuable stories and comments as part of participant feedback
  • Can increase consumer knowledge and awareness of services, as well as supporting their health literacy.

The power of Kitchen Table Discussions is that they are facilitated by consumers, giving the consumer host the opportunity to lead consultation within their own community in a safe, friendly and supportive environment. Health service staff and consultants are not in attendance which allows community to speak openly.

Kitchen Table Discussions also enable individuals and small groups to participate at a time of day, and in a venue that suits them. The host decides the venue, the date and time.

I’ve also heard through the small town feedback loop that the ladies who met for the Kitchen Table Discussion about end of life [… ] are still talking about how meaningful that experience was for them. What a wonderful experience it was for us all!

Kitchen Table Host

I wanted to let you know that the attendees thought this was the best & most enjoyable session we have had. We had tears & enjoyable conversation but all present thought it was very good & together we all said “let this lead to change”

Kitchen Table Host

The session this morning was wonderful! It’s so exciting to be engaged in something SO meaningful and timely. Many thanks to you for your excellent support!!!

Consumer participant

How we can support you

We can help you use Kitchen Table Discussion methodology in your organisation.

Health Consumers Queensland is available to design and deliver Kitchen Table Discussion projects for health-related organisations in Queensland and nationally. We provide consultation and services in all aspects of the Kitchen Table Discussion process including:

  • Full project management
  • Host toolkit preparation (including support in writing discussion questions and host briefing paper)
  • Training, mentoring and support for consumer hosts
  • Outcomes data analysis and report writing
  • Remuneration and reimbursement of hosts and participants

Please contact us to discuss your needs. Phone: 07 3012 9090 or email