Latest news – how you can be involved in shaping health services relating to overweight and obesity
Health Consumers’ Council is working with the WA Department of Health and the WA Primary Health Alliance on implementing the WA Healthy Weight Action Plan 2019 – 2024. (See below for how consumer input informed the plan that was launched in November 2019.)
We know that lots of people in the WA community have experience relating to the health issue of overweight and obesity (approximately 67% of adults and 25% of children). And we want to make sure that work on changing health services in this area is informed by those diverse experiences.
There are several ways you can stay in touch or get involved in this project.
- We have formed a Consumer and Community Advisory Group, ensuring diverse perspectives and experiences are represented. The advisory group will provide a consumer perspective on a range of activities related to the implementation of the Healthy Weight Action Plan. However, we hope to make more targeted efforts to ensure we get perspectives on people living regionally, children/young people and families, people living in larger bodies, men, and Aboriginal people as we know people with different experiences are impacted in different ways. If you fit into any of the above target groups and want to get involved, please contact Clare Mullen at firstname.lastname@example.org
- There will be opportunities to share your story or experiences of using health services relating to overweight and obesity – sign up to our mailing list to hear about those opportunities as they arise
- You can spread the word about this important topic by sharing our posts on social media – follow HCC’s main public Facebook page for updates and join our private moderated Facebook group Partners in Change – Healthy Life for Longer
- There will be opportunities to be a community champion and take messages out about this work to your communities to broaden the consumer voice – sign up to our mailing list to hear about those opportunities as they arise
- You can provide feedback by participating in online surveys and attending information sessions – sign up to our mailing list to hear about those opportunities as they arise. We have a survey we would love your input in: Weighing in on Weight Talk is a survey that will help us in developing guidelines for engaging people with overweight and obesity and inform health professionals on how to talk about weight. Also, our next community information session is planned for Wednesday 21 April – details coming soon.
- You can attend forums and workshops to discuss specific topics relating to the Action Plan – again, sign up to our mailing list to hear about those opportunities as they arise
Upcoming community events
We will be holding consumer focus groups as part of the Curtin University’s Healthy Weight Action Plan Outcomes Framework project which will take place in early May. Click here to find out more and to register.
Previous community events
We held a community conversation around the draft National Preventative Health Strategy to help get consumer feedback on the Strategy so we can produce a submission with a consumer lens. The summary slides to help explain the Strategy can be found here and we encourage you to make your own submission to this consultation. The deadline for submissions is 19 April. The more community voices we can have in this space the better. For those who couldn’t attend the community conversation but would like to share any comments on the draft strategy, you can complete this survey.
The Obesity Collective hosted a 90-minute virtual event on World Obesity Day 2021 with expert speakers from across the country. This session explored many aspects of obesity through a series of ‘rapid talks’ from consumer organisations and health professionals. HCC’s Deputy Director Clare Mullen presented on involving people with lived experience in planning services. The recording of this event can be accessed here.
We held a community information session with Weight Issues Network and The Obesity Collective in February 2021 about how consumers and community members can get involved. We looked at how to speak up for better services for treating overweight and obesity and the importance of sharing our stories to influence change. The recording of the session can be accessed here.
A community information session in December 2020 provided an update on how consumer perspectives were influencing the implementation of the Healthy Weight Action Plan. You can view the slides here and a recording of the session can be accessed here.
At a community morning tea in October 2020, we met consumers and community members for an informal chat, and these three strong themes emerged:
· costs and accessibility of services
· clarity of information
· links around overweight and obesity with mental health and stigma.
Watch a video update on the implementation of the WA Healthy Weight Action Plan
Helen Mitchell from the Department of Health spoke at a recent virtual consumer representative drop-in session on how the HWAP was developed with consumer input, and how the Plan is starting to be implemented.
Get involved in the next steps
You can join a private Facebook Group here or join the email mailing list – we will continue to share information about opportunities for being involved as the plan moves into action.
If you’ve any questions about this project, contact email@example.com or call reception on 9221 3422.
Healthy Weight Action Plan 2019-2024 implementation
The Minister for Health launched the WA Healthy Weight Action Plan 2019-2024 on Tuesday 26 November 2019.
Since 2018, Health Consumers’ Council (HCC) has been working in partnership with the Department of Health and the WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) to ensure the consumer voice is front and centre of policy and service planning in this area.
Since the Minister launched the Action Plan, HCC staff have been working with the team at the Department of Health and WAPHA on the implementation of the plan.
There are a number of projects in the first phase of implementation:
- WA Obesity Collaborative (Action 1.1) – initial discussions are taking in spring 2020 with people representing health services, policy makers and community. These questions will explore who impacts on overweight and obesity in the WA community and how a collaborative approach could have a positive impact. HCC staff with other community members will be attending to share the diverse feedback we heard from consumers about their experiences.
- Developing quality indicators and an outcomes framework (Action 5.1) – a team at Curtin University are looking at how to develop a set of quality indicators and an outcomes framework to assess what is a quality health service in the area of overweight and obesity. Again, HCC staff have been involved in the development of this project, sharing insights from consumers received so far.
- A pilot of an innovative approach trialling the use of total meal replacement products and telehealth support from allied health staff is being led by Diabetes WA – HCC organised a consumer workshop where consumers shared their experiences using these products and what they would find helpful in such a program. HCC staff are also involved in the project steering committee.
- East Metropolitan Health Service have developed a media guide to support communications staff and journalists to change the narrative on obesity – this will be launched in the coming months. HCC had input into the draft document.
- East Metropolitan Health Service are developing training for health professionals on how to talk about weight and what support services are available. HCC staff are providing feedback on the draft course.
If you’d like more information about any of these projects, contact Clare Mullen at firstname.lastname@example.org
How consumer feedback shaped the Action Plan
HCC believe it is important that the conversations are informed by real experiences of people managing their weight. We sought feedback via a survey as well as holding face to face workshops and inviting people to tell us their stories of managing their weight online. Read a summary of the consumer engagement activities that informed the first phase of this project. HCC also hosted a Community Conversation in February 2019 to look at the work done to date by the Obesity Collaborative. Helen from the Department of Health gave an overview of how consumer input had informed the discussions at the Summit last year, and gave an update about the development of the draft strategies.
A bold plan for change
HCC believes the Action Plan outlines a plan that is not “business as usual” for the health system. We are particularly interested in the inclusion of the actions that recognise a new way of working is needed to really impact on this complex health issue. We look forward to the establishment of the WA Obesity Collaborative and the Community of Change that will provide platforms for people with lived experience, health professionals and policy makers to work together to take positive action.
Stories are powerful
Many people shared their stories of managing their weight with us. Some of these stories were included in the Obesity Collaborative – Partners in Change Summit which took place on 17 October 2018. Here is a copy of the presentation that HCC gave as part of the opening session.
Video 1 – Consumer and Carer Perspectives
Video 2 – Parents and Children’s Perspectives
We will continue to share people’s stories with people in the health system who are working to improve or develop policies or services that will support people to achieve their weight loss goals.
See what people have said in an online brainstorm
We used GroupMap which was set up so that people could anonymously share their feedback about their experiences and comment or like what other people had said.
- View the online brainstorm here – when you first access the link you’ll be asked for your email address. That’s so that you can be sent the link to return and view it again at a later time.