Category: Events

Supermarkets like casinos?

(by Clare Mullen, 10/11/22)

I’m really enjoying Magda Szubanski’s ABC series – Australia’s Big Health Check. She’s looking at how easy – or not – it is to be healthy in Australia.

She highlights that poor nutrition and obesity are taking over from tobacco and smoking as the leading cause of ill health and death in Australia. One of the doctors on the show comments that when it comes to our health

genes are what load the gun, but then it’s our lifestyle that pulls the trigger… the important thing here is, that you can do something about this…

What Magda goes on to show, is how determined we have to be in order to do what we can to avoid harmful foods when we’re out shopping! Dr Sandro Demaio, Chief Executive of VicHealth comments that

With the lack of natural light and no clocks, supermarkets are more like casinos than traditional markets

And shares that the prime “real estate” of the ends of aisles are sold to food companies by the supermarkets. As one of the community members in the show says

When you’re going in for a quick shop, it’s hard not to buy that end of aisle stuff…

And of course, that “end of aisle stuff” is often the low nutrition, high calorie, high sugar option.

But as Magda shows in the program – there are people fighting back. And we think WA health consumers, carers and community members can be involved in that work too.

Come along to our events this month and be part of the discussion – share your thoughts on how we can all play a part in a healthier WA!

A picture of Magda Szubanski with a blue rubber glove on one hand and a blue bandage on her forehead. The wording says Let's Fight For a Healthier Us

Connecting and communicating consumer perspectives on cancer care in WA

 

Has cancer affected your life – currently or in the past? A desire to connect with others who have similar lived experiences is the drive behind the upcoming community conversation welcoming consumers affected by cancer in WA. Health consumers’, carers, family, and community are invited to join “Connecting and communicating consumer perspectives on cancer care in WA“.

Be part of the conversation to discuss progress on the 2020-25 WA Cancer Plan. Discuss opportunities for future consumer and community connections.

Date and time

About this event

The WA Cancer Plan guides cancer care in WA: find out about progress on the 2020-25 plan and discuss opportunities for future consumer and community connections

Health Consumers’ Council (HCC) WA and the Consumer and Community Involvement Program (CCIP) are hosting this community conversation for people with experience of cancer – either for themselves, or for a loved one.

In this session, consumer representative Susannah Morris, the HCC WA consumer representative in cancer involved in work relating to the development and now implementation of the WA State Cancer Plan, will give an update on work so far as background for the conversation. Cancer care is delivered in the states and so state plans provide important context that guides care and affects consumer experiences and outcomes. Unlike some other jurisdictions, WA does not have a readily identifiable network of cancer consumers: we are fragmented between our cancer types and our treating locations and so this community conversation provides a space for us to come together.

This will be an opportunity for attendees to discuss their interest in people with experience of cancer in WA connecting with each other in order to influence the scope, design and delivery of health services and health research in relation to cancer and survivorship.

(NB This information session is being hosted independently by HCC and the CCIP to provide an opportunity for people with experience of cancer to connect with each other and learn about work relating to cancer care and services in WA. This is not a Department of Health event.)

This conversation will be held online, via Zoom – details will be sent out in the week before the session.

 

About the organisers

We are (Health Consumers’ Council WA) an independent charity that exists to support and promote consumer, carer and community perspectives in the WA health system.

The Consumer and Community Involvement Program (CCI Program) is an activity of the Western Australian Health Translation Network (WAHTN). The CCI Program (CCIP) supports consumers, community members and researchers to work in partnership to make decisions about health research priorities, policy and practice with the aim of improving health outcomes and ensuring community involvement becomes standard practice.

BACKGROUND: Cancer Care and the WA Cancer Plan, launched 2020

The WA Cancer Plan was released in February 2020 setting out the next five years of strategy in relation to cancer services. This work was undertaken by the WA Department of Health, and the Health Consumers’ Council supported the project through running a community survey and developing consumer videos reflecting consumer patient journey experiences. A summary of survey results is available here. The launch event featured a moving and articulate presentation from Advisory Group member Susannah Morris, who ensured the consumer voice was at the heart of the plan as much as possible.

(An abridged version of Susannah’s speech is in Health Matters (pages 10-11: March 2020 issue) on the Health Consumers’ Council (WA) website, titled “A new plan for cancer
care in WA“)

REGISTER FOR THE COMMUNITY CONVERSATION HERE:

https://bit.ly/WA-Cancer-Plan-Community-Conversation-Consumer-Perspectives

(LinkedIn: for Dr Susannah Morris)

A wild reflection from digital health summit

 

With the Wild Health Summit in Melbourne 18 October 2022, we are inspired by the idea that digital health could improve the patient experience even while the services themselves are quite fragmented. We need to continue to champion consumer voices in this space – too often they can be an after-thought.

We asked one of our consumer representatives, Robert McCormack, if he has any key questions or reflections to bear in mind for this upcoming Wild Health Summit event, having recently attended as a HCC consumer representative at the Digital Health Institute Summit (Perth 2022) held in August at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Q: What were your highlights that might be of interest to health consumers?

A: I met a number of healthcare and IT professionals but did not see another health consumer.  However in conversations with these professionals, several times they relayed personal experiences as either patients or as carers.  Nonetheless, there is a case to have more consumers at the table.

Q: With no other consumers, do you have any comment on that – i.e. would it be of interest to consumers in future? Should we be advocating for more consumer places?

A: the need to engage widely with all stakeholders was emphasised by the keynote speaker, and I am of the view that the patient/carer/consumer needs to be seen as the principal stakeholder.

Q: any comment you might have on the value of you being there with a consumer lens?

(Mr McCormack was generous to provide us with a report on his experience at Digital Health Institute Summit (Perth 2022), which is summarised, below…)

Some Key Observations

The participation of over 200 delegates suggests there is substantial interest across the State in the potential benefits that could be delivered from the implementation of a solid digital health strategy.

The delegates comprised a good cross-section of health professionals including nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, and general practitioners through to senior executives from WA Health, and IT professionals with only a few health consumers.

The opening address by Simon Millman, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health; Mental Health suggests the Western Australian Government has some commitment to digital health as also evident in its budget commitment to the first phase of developing a digital health record.

In conversation, most delegates acknowledged that while there has been some useful progress in rolling out aspects of digital health, considerable work needs to be done to achieve substantial potential benefits. One speaker described the current progress as additive rather than transformative.

Dr Helen Bevan, the keynote speaker, emphasised, with reference to her experience in the English National Health Service, the need to engage fully across the widest net possible of stakeholders to gain acceptance for proposed change, and this engagement needs to be done in the formative stages.

She particularly emphasised the need to identify and engage the key players, the “super-connectors”, in informal networks as well as dealing with the formal networks.

I note this approach contrasts with the experience of many health consumers in that they are too often ignored locally in the early developmental phases of most healthcare projects.

I am of the view that consumers as the clients of healthcare should be the primary stakeholders consulted in any proposed development of initiatives.

The fragmentation of responsibility for health across federal and state governments and the delivery of services across multiple providers presents particular challenges in assembling fragmented data.  While the My Health Record potentially brings data together from a number of providers, the record for each patient is mainly incomplete and may not have up-to-date information.

Hospitals use a myriad of systems that don’t automatically share data although some progress is being made as evident in a presentation by staff from Fiona Stanley Hospital.

The development of artificial intelligence tools is seeing the improved diagnosis and management of healthcare.

For example (of the above), as evident in the Health in a Virtual Environment (HIVE) project at Royal Perth Hospital and research undertaken by the CSIRO in diabetic foot ulcer diagnosis and management.

The need to think beyond the current paradigms in healthcare delivery was highlighted in a presentation on delivering chemotherapy in the home by Lorna Cook Company Director & Co-Founder, View Health Chemo@home.

In a similar vein, it should be noted that COVID has caused a rethink on service delivery models which has seen, for example, the development of telehealth options and electronic prescriptions.

Digital health innovation has the potential to improve the patient experience in booking appointments, such as the Health Engine system developed by Dr Marcus Tan.  In contrast, while the WA Health Department has invested in developing the Manage My Care app and is working on further enhancements to this app, this system is currently of limited use in that not all outpatient appointments are recorded on this system and patients have no opportunity to choose appointment times.

The trade stalls were mainly commercial IT companies who have had experience in developing and implementing systems across healthcare systems.  We can expect some of these companies will have opportunities to roll out digital systems across the WA health service providers.  It will be interesting to see the extent pre-existing systems will be adopted and the degree of customisation of these systems to meet our requirements versus bespoke development of new systems.

Concluding Remarks

While there have been several useful developments in the digital health space,

to realise the substantial benefits of a comprehensive integrated digital health strategy will require wider engagement of the broadest possible group of stakeholders at the earliest stages of the project with a particular focus on consumers/patients as the primary stakeholders together with the substantial investment of resources and talent over a prolonged period.

The Health Consumers Council can potentially play a key role in shaping the digital future of healthcare delivery by providing a broad range of consumer insights required for the critical success of the digital health strategy.

(This article/report is courtesy of Robert McCormack, HCC consumer representative.)

Consumer update on Sustainable Health Review workforce recommendations

Sustainable Health Review – update on health workforce issues

The Sustainable Health Review is a wide reaching and ambitious reform program. After an extensive consultation process the Review was published in 2019 and includes 30 recommendations, organised into eight enduring strategies.

Some of the work was paused as the health system responded to the COVID pandemic, but as we move towards living with COVID we’re starting to see action and progress on a number of the recommendations. You can see more about HCC’s involvement in this work at https://www.hconc.org.au/what-we-do/policy-development/sustainable-health-review-consumer-view/

Issues relating to the workforce and culture of the health system were included in the Review, and there are five recommendations that cover these issues.

Find out more about health workforce issues

Health Consumers’ Council hosted a consumer information session to share what we know about work that is happening as part of the Sustainable Health Review on workforce issues.

  • Click here to see the slides from that information session
  • Click here to view the Zoom recording of that information session

Consumers have their say

Health Consumers’ Council hosted two consumer consultations for the Department of Health on one of the recommendations on this topic on 26 July 2022.

Recommendation 26 – Build capability in workforce planning and formally partner with universities, vocational training institutes and professional colleges to shape the skills and curriculum to develop the health and social care workforce of the future.

You can view the post-its that were created as part of these online discussions

Session 1 – focus on regional perspectives

Click the links below to see the dot points for these topics

 

Session 2 – focus on metro perspectives

Click the links below to see the dot points for these topics

 

To be added to a mailing list to be kept informed about this work, contact Clare Mullen clare.mullen@hconc.org.au

(Last updated 29/07/22)

 

Consumer Representative Sundowner

Tuesday 12th June 2018, 5-7.30pm

HCC Invites all Community Advisory Council (CAC)/Consumer Advisory Groups (CAG) members to a sundowner to thank you for your efforts as a consumer representative. CACs/CAGs are an important part of the continuous improvement of the health care system and we believe you should be congratulated!A relaxed, informal event with nibbles and drinks supplied. A great opportunity to meet and share stories with other consumer representatives.

Click here to book

Patient Experience is the Human Experience…

PXW Community Conversation Snapshot!

On Thursday April 27, 100 people representing consumers/carers, not-for-profits and health professionals in WA worked together to improve the Patient Experience by exploring the question “What Matters To You?” about our health system.

The Health Consumers’ Council event was opened by the Director General of WA Health, Dr David Russell-Weisz who assured the audience they were in the right place “to make the patient experience better”, and this is the most important work we need to do together.

Pictured: Jason Wolf, President of the Beryl Institute

Our keynote speaker was Jason Wolf, President of the Beryl Institute and international patient experience expert. Jason flew all the way from the USA to address and inspire our community about what works and what’s next in the global patient experience movement. And inspire he did! Jason highlighted that ‘Patient Experience is the Human Experience’. He highlighted that Patient Experience is a movement – not a specific set of activities with an end date. A video of his powerful presentation will be posted as soon as it is available.

Following Jason’s presentation the whole room set to work at their tables, exploring the question “What matters to you?” and even though we responded from our different perspectives, the themes we identified were the same. We then explored what practical patient experience improvement priorities using the interactive platform, Group Map. We were able to see other’s priorities and ‘like’ them in real time. The priorities developed are noted in the preliminary report as outlined below.

Pictured: NMHS Disability Liaison Project

A special thank you to LotteryWest, our sponsor for this event, the members of the Steering Committee and our Table Champions for your valuable contribution. We would also like the thank the hospitals and health services who provided a poster on the Patient Improvement Priorities they are currently working on. Click here to read about the projects and initiatives that are making a difference in WA Health. Click here to find out how you can submit your patient experience initiative.

 

PXW Community Conversation Preliminary Report

Pictured: Page 1 of the Preliminary Report

Click here to download the Preliminary Report. The full report will be available in the coming weeks.

 

PXW Health Leadership Breakfast Snapshot!

Pictured: Dr Simon Towler & Jason Wolf President of the Beryl Institute

Our 2017 Patient Experience Community Event was designed with the end in mind – how we would feed back to health leaders about the patient experience improvement priorities identified at the Community Forum.

Health Consumers’ Council partnered with the Australasian College of Health Service Management to hold a Health Leadership Breakfast On Friday April 28, 2017. Jason Wolf, our keynote speaker and President of the Beryl Institute presented the patient experience priorities to a packed room of WA health leaders.

Jason co-presented with WA’s Dr Simon Towler who provided a moving and grounding testimonial of his own lived experience of the moment he stopped being the Chief Medical Officer and became a cancer patient. His presentation highlighted  the consumer perspective, both the negative and positive moments and highlighted the importance of keeping the patient at the centre.

A video of the Breakfast will be made available on our website in the coming weeks.

A special thank you goes out to HESTA, our sponsor for this event, and to the Australasian College of Health Service Managers, such wonderful and supportive partners in putting this event together.

 

Health Consumer Excellence Awards 2017

Pictured: Pip Brennan, Hon Alanna Clohesy MLC, Award Winner Caz Chisholm & Jason Wolf

The Health Consumers’ Council  and the Western Australian Department of Health are pleased to present the winners and finalists for the ‘Health Consumer Excellence Awards’ 2017!

The Awards were opened by the Hon Alanna Clohesy MLC Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Premier; Health; Mental Health, standing in for Roger Cook MLA, Deputy Premier.

These awards were created to honour the everyday heroes in health in WA, from the administrator to the clinician and to recognise health consumers that go out of their way to make a difference.

A special thank you to our sponsors LotteryWest and the Western Australia Department of Health and our judges; Cheryl Holland, HCC Chair; Richard Brightwell; Karen Bradley, Chief Nurse; Dr Bernadette Wright, Clinical Psychologist; And Yvonne Parnell, South Metropolitan Health Service Board Member.

Congratulations to our winners! …And the winners are…

Health Organisation Award – Moorditj Djena

Health Professional Award – Elaine (Ellie) Newman

Health Consumer Award – Carolyn (Caz) Chisholm
Health Consumer Award, Highly Commended – Petrina Lawrence

Rosemary Caithness Award – Carolyn (Caz) Chisholm
Rosemary Caithness Award, Highly Commended – Janice (Jan) Thair

Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander Health Award – Aboriginal Health Liaison Service – Royal Perth Bentley Group
Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander Health Award, Highly Commended Boodjari Yorgas Family Care Program – Armadale Health Service

Compassionate Care Award – Fatima Edward

Click here to read about the winners and finalists of the Awards.

Pip Brennan | Executive Director & Lucy Palermo | Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Cover Picture: Pip Brennan, HCC Executive Director; Jason Wolf, Beryl Institute President; And Steph Newell, HCC Consumer & Community Engagement Coordinator