News, Updates and What's On

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.

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HCQ involves nearly 4,000 people in Queensland Health’s COVID-19 response

At the end of July 2022, HCQ submitted our report on the COVID-19 additional funding we received at the start of the pandemic from Queensland Health’s Community Services Funding Branch.

During the past two and half years, this additional funding enabled HCQ  to support Queensland Health’s COVID-19 response in the following ways by enabling:

  • 3,974 health consumers, carers, health staff and NGO partners to engage with Queensland Health’s COVID-19 response (HCQ supported QH by finding consumers and often facilitating focus groups).

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Celebrating consumer appointments between January and July 2022

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.

Between January and July this year we received a record number of expressions of interest – 253! – for consumer partnering roles and opportunities and a substantial increase in the number of consumers being accepted for these roles with 195 consumers accepted!

Consumers are now involved and influencing many different areas right across health including:

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Radical thinking by consumers and clinicians leads to innovative solutions

Radical thinking has led to innovative solutions and recommendations for the delivery of high quality and safe health care, following Queensland Clinical Senate’s* latest meeting series Reimagining healthcare: for the next phase and beyond  which was held between March and June 2022.

Twelve consumers worked together with clinicians from across the health system to identify what access to quality care could look like in the near future.

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health consumers inform their HHS Health Equity Strategies

Health Consumers Queensland is undertaking a project on behalf of the Queensland Health Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Division supporting consultation with community for participating Hospitals and Health Services.

To date, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health consumers have hosted yarning circles with their community members in Townsville, Mackay, Metro South, West Moreton, Gold Coast and for Children’s Health Queensland. Through the yarning circles, community members are able to share their stories and recommendations to inform their local HHS Health Equity Strategies.
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Watch Reimagining Healthcare for Young People Webinar

A diverse group of young health consumers came together on the 23 June 2022 to lead a discussion on what “Reimagining healthcare for young people” looks like, what matters to young people and what barriers need to be removed to get there.

If you are a young person or from a health service or health organisations and want to hear and learn from young leaders in health creating change in health care, young people’s experiences of healthcare or would like tips on innovative ideas to engage with young people.. watch the recording and read about the panelists here.

The Queensland Child and Youth Clinical Network (QCYCN) in partnership with Health Consumers Queensland (HCQ) hosted the “Reimagining health care for young people” online webinar on Thursday 23 June 2022 with over 100 people attended.

Issues Paper: Making sense of Omicron

Key topics in this issue:

  • System capacity is a concern for many consumers, with ramping, backlog of delayed treatments and screening, and underutilization of the surge workforce 
  • COVID Information is still challenging, although improved Consumer and clinicians are often not finding the information they need. 
  • Complacency: There is a perception that the public consider Omicron no more dangerous than a cold, and this is leading a relaxation of precautions.  

Read the Issues Paper >

Issues paper: We are still feeling lost and we still have questions.

What consumers told us during the week ending 25 February 2022.

This week, we were all reminded by a long-standing consumer, that we are lucky in Queensland. He asked us where else in the country are consumers at the table, asking questions, being heard, and getting the chance to help work with staff to improve our health system. So if we don’t say this often enough, here it is again, loud and clear. Health Consumers Queensland and our statewide network of consumers are grateful we are in Queensland and grateful to be working with people who understand the importance and value of consumer partnerships.

As always, there are things we can do together to make a great health system even better. So in this spirit, we offer this week’s Issues Paper – a 2 pager.


Improving health outcomes and experiences for people living in rural and remote Queensland

Queensland Health has released two new strategies to improve health outcomes and experiences for people living in rural and remote Queensland: the Rural and Remote Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2022-27 and the Digital Strategy for Rural and Remote Health

The Rural and Remote Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2022-2027 was developed as a result of engagement and consultation with key stakeholders including health consumers, Hospital and Health Services, not-for-profit organisations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Organisations, Queensland’s education sector and the primary health sector.  Thank you to the consumers who were involved.

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Issues Paper: We are not just statistics. We are people.

Key topics in this Issues Paper:

  • People with disability and other ‘at risk’ people are feeling a sense of abandonment and disregard for their lives.
  • Consumers are concerned about how backlogs and waiting lists are being managed
  • Telehealth and virtual care have huge potential but is it always safe, consultative and high quality? 
  • Consumers have an expectation that the same mistakes are not repeated, so are keen for lessons to be learned for future COVID strains.

Read the Issues Paper

“Working together for the best care possible” – What health consumers and carers are saying on Friday 4 February 2022

During a conversation with Torres Strait Islander Elders this week, one of the Elders asked: “Are we doing the best we can?”

HCQ asks each of us to consider that question. Are we working together with the right people, inside and outside our organisations/networks, to do the best we can?

Key issues for health consumers and carers this week focus on what’s working well with communications about COVID-19:  improvements to Queensland Health’s website are much appreciated; HealthDirect’s information is hitting the mark but needs better promotion and telehealth information and experience is a plus.

Consumers still need tailored advice from hotlines and now that schools are back to face-to-face lessons, consistent and accessible information would be valued.

Read the full summary in our latest issues paper >