Consumer Voices and COVID-19

Health Consumers’ Council WA has been holding a number of consumer conversations to discuss people’s experiences of living with COVID. See the consumer feedback below.

 

Consumers Health Forum – Consumer Commission – Beyond COVID-19

Our national peak consumer forum has instituted a Consumer Commission – a consumer-led thought leadership project on health policy after COVID-19. Workshops have been held with Consumer Leaders exploring key questions – see the timeline below and the Communiques from the four workshops held. The aim of the Commission is to develop a policy paper that will be presented to the Federal Minister for Health and relevant Government departments. CHF will also use the paper to shape their advocacy and policy work post the pandemic. HCC’s Representative is Susannah Morris, and the full list of members is here.

Questions explored in the workshops:

1. Which, if any, measures introduced during the pandemic response should be retained to help address issues of inequity over the long term?
2. What policy areas, if addressed, are most likely to create equitable access to healthcare and reduce disadvantage across the Australian community?
3. What structural changes are needed to address the underlying causes of inequity in Australia?
4. What consultation and engagement mechanisms can best support disadvantaged communities and individuals to be involved in decisions that affect their lives?

Communiques from workshops:

Statewide Network

If you would like to be a part of a statewide network of consumers and carers who are interested in being involved on COVID-19 responses, please register your details via the link below. We are still planning how we will organise this, but we can start collecting the names of those people who are interested. We imagine that this group will be a ready source of consumers and carers to call upon should COVID-19-related opportunities arise at short notice.

Register to join the COVID-19 Community of Interest

EVENTS TO DATE

  • Health Issues Centre convened an online event entitled Who Makes The Call? which focused on ethical decision making when care may need to be rationed. You can read the report here or watch a video of the event here.
  • The health consumer peak organisations across Australia worked with Health Issues Centre to bring together a second forum entitled Will Technology Save Us? focusing on both the COVIDSafe App and Telehealth. You can see the video of the event here. (Note it is one hour 11 minutes.)
  • Will the Road to Recovery be paved with casualties? This event was held on 16th June 2020 and the Event Summary report is available here, and the video is available here. A full report is available here.

Fireside Chats

Virtual Q&A virtual sessions with WA Health Leaders

Our Fireside Chat series gives you the chance to hear directly from medical experts and have your questions about Covid-19 answered.

You can view recordings of our pervious sessions here.

SURVEYS AND CONSULTATIONS

Borders Opening January 2022

The Health Consumers’ Council has held meetings with active consumer representatives to hear concerns, issues and recommendations in advance of WA borders opening.  Summaries of the January 2022 meetings are available here.

It only took a Pandemic…. Caring after COVID-19

  • It’s an understatement to say that things in our health system have changed during COVID-19. For example, Telehealth implementation has soared with the introduction of a Medicare Number for GPs, and also for outpatient appointments. Visitor numbers were restricted, although these restrictions have eased now. We undertook a survey to reflect on these questions in relation to changes in our health services –
  • What STARTED during COVID that we want to KEEP ON GOING?
  • What STARTED during COVID that we want to STOP?
  • What STOPPED during COVID that we want to RE-START?
  • What STOPPED during COVID that we NEVER WANT TO SEE AGAIN?

Att#3 It Only Took A Pandemic Responses

  • Community of Interest Survey conducted in April on elective surgery, consumer engagement and communications. Read the summary here.
  • A survey we conducted on 23/3 “How will you manage the Coronavirus” shows great confusion in relation to information about the virus, what they needed to do to avoid it, and fear of financial impacts. Read the summary here.
  • We repeated this survey and the results highlighted that as the situation has evolved, people have expressed concern about separation from loved ones, and impact on their mental health of social distancing. Read the summary here.

Care in the time of COVID-19

  • The WA Department of Health is conducting a survey in relation to people’s experience of cancer care in the time of COVID-19. Responses will help inform the implementation of the WA Cancer Plan 2020-2025 and guide future initiatives across WA Health with the intention of improving the care of people diagnosed with cancer. Click here for their survey. Click here for their new resources – Cancer care during COVID-19 and COVID-19 Travelling for medical treatment.
  • There has had to be a range of changes made to clinical services, the up to date clinical guidelines are here:
  • https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Coronavirus/COVID-19-clinical-alerts – We hope to be able to help create consumer-friendly explanations of what these service changes mean and what may need to be adjusted as the scale of the pandemic alters.