Stragetic Plan 2008 -2010
HCQ's Strategic Plan 2008-10 was launched at the Parliamentary Annexe on 11 February 2009. The Minister for Health, the Hon. Stephen Robertson and his Parliamentary Secretary, Karen Struthers, both spoke and stressed the importance of the consumer voice in the health system.
The plan provides a framework to inform health consumers; community organisations; key health bodies; and Queensland Health in relation to HCQ's aspirations and activities. It responds to HCQ's terms of reference, delivering on the key areas of ministerial advice; consumer engagement and capacity development; and a framework around health advocacy and support.
The plan identifies HCQ's priority areas of quality and safety; equitable access and targeted responses; and participation and engagement. It will underpin HCQ's development of an operational plan, outlining specific initiatives, timeframes and resource implications for HCQ.
In his message in the strategic plan, the Minister said, "Health Consumers Queensland Strategic Plan 2008 - 10 outlines how this state-wide body will work collaboratively with government and communities to strengthen the consumer perspective in health policy, planning and service delivery."
This plan reflects the contribution of a broad range of passionate and committed health consumers, setting the direction health consumers can all work towards.
During his speech at the strategic plan's launch, HCQ's Chairperson, Mark Tucker-Evans, stated, "The importance of the consumer voice should not be underestimated. Consumers engaging with government, service providers and community organisations bring another perspective - their personal experiences with the health system. By being actively involved in their health care, consumers identify greater satisfaction and confidence in the system, and health professionals have better understanding of their needs."
HCQ was established to contribute to the continued development and reform of health systems and services in Queensland, by providing the Minister for Health with information and advice from a consumer perspective and by supporting and promoting consumer engagement and advocacy. HCQ's aim is to strengthen the consumer perspective in health services policy, systems and service reform and improvement.
HCQ will operate, initially for a two-year period with a planned review at the end of the two years to determine whether HCQ would be better positioned within the community sector or Government. During the initial period, HCQ will sit within the Director-General's Office of Queensland Health. It will develop close working relationships with the independent Health Quality and Complaints Commission, local Health Community Councils, other key statutory agencies, consumer and community organisations and Queensland Health.
Official launch of Health Consumers Queensland Strategic Plan 2008-10 on Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at, The Parliamentary Annexe
Topic: Health Consumers Queensland as "your voice in health"
Good afternoon everyone. Thank you for taking the time to share this historic occasion with us.
I would like to acknowledge the original owners of this land and the elders who are present with us today.
Since its inception in mid-2008, Health Consumers Queensland's mission has been to support the voices of Queensland consumers to achieve better health outcomes. By sharing their experiences with policymakers and service and program planners, more effective, person-centred and responsive health outcomes can be achieved for all Queenslanders.
My committee colleagues and I are committed to the consumer perspective in the development and delivery of health services. The committee represents a state-wide diversity of health consumers from different life stages and social and cultural situations; diverse health populations as well as rural and remote, Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse communities, women and people with a disability. Their collective knowledge and experiences as health consumers are varied and add considerable value to the work of Health Consumers Queensland. Some committee members have literally traversed flooded creeks and plains, to be with us this afternoon. Please let me introduce my colleagues: Sherry Kaurila - Ingham, Alan Neilan - Mt Isa, Myra Pincott - Emu Park, Janelle Colquhoun - Brisbane, Adele Gibson - Gin Gin, Melissa Fox - Brisbane, Brendan Horne - Brisbane, Mary Martin - Brisbane, Beryl Crosby - Bundaberg, Odette Tewfik - Brisbane, Agnes Whiten - Brisbane.
Jeff Cheverton sends his apologies as he has another commitment in Canberra this afternoon and unfortunately, Gwen Schrieber is affected by the North Queensland weather.
The importance of the consumer voice should not be underestimated. Consumers engaging with government, service providers and community organisations bring another perspective - their personal experiences with the health system. By being actively involved in their health care, consumers identify greater satisfaction and confidence in the system, and health professionals have better understanding of their needs.
Health Consumers Queensland was born out of the 2005 Forster review into Queensland Health's systems; heightened community concerns about the events at Bundaberg Hospital; other health service issues; and the need for a consumer body to represent the rights and interests of Queensland health consumers.
In our Strategic Plan 2008-10, we outline the mission, guiding principles, goals and strategies that will enable us to act as your voice in health, focusing on consumer engagement, capacity building and advocacy support. By complementing the work of and collaborating with key consumer and community groups and health bodies, many who have representatives here today, Health Consumers Queensland is building an active, statewide network of consumers to participate in the development of responsive prevention, early care and new and innovative forms of health service provision.
Health Consumers Queensland's aspirations are to engage, empower and give a voice to consumers through individual and systems advocacy and to work collaboratively with governments, the 36 Health Community Councils, the Health Quality and Complaints Commission, the community, consumer organisations, statutory bodies and other stakeholders to ensure relevant and timely advice on health policies and initiatives is provided to the Minister from the consumer perspective. In particular, we work collaboratively with Health Community Councils to strengthen consumer involvement in local health services.
Our key priorities are quality and safety; equitable access and targeted responses; and participation and engagement. Our work is informed by, and builds on the work of existing health consumer groups and community organisations as well as government agencies and health professionals. To this end, we are working with the Queensland Council of Social Service on a project around the current need for, and provision of health advocacy in Queensland. The development and promotion of an advocacy framework to inform and strengthen consumer health advocacy activities in Queensland is one of Health Consumers Queensland's five terms of reference.
The project will inform the committee, community organisations and government agencies about the advocacy currently available to health consumers and ways that Health Consumers Queensland can foster and promote a useful and relevant system of advocacy support for people at the grassroots level. QCOSS' work included a survey of the various understandings and definitions of health advocacy as they are used in current government and non-government practice in Queensland and other jurisdictions. It reviewed and documented best practice health advocacy models locally, nationally and internationally. Stage one of the project concluded at the end of December 2008. Project outcomes will now inform Health Consumers Queensland's work in relation to advocacy support by presenting best-practice approaches to health advocacy support for Queensland consumers.
On our website, Health Consumers Queensland has listed a number of submissions we have made, informed through consultation with consumers and community organisations. We have submitted two papers to the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme around proposed registration arrangements and the handling of complaints and dealing with performance, health and conduct matters. Another paper was in response to the Australian Medical Council's consultation on Good Medical Practice: A Draft Code of Professional Conduct. We are currently working on a response to the Department of Health and Ageing's Primary Health Care Strategy. We also have had dialogue with Queensland Health about our views on primary health care to inform their response to the national strategy.
Health Consumers Queensland is currently working to finalise a Consumer Network Register of nominees interested in being involved in health consultations. More information will be available on our website shortly, or you can complete the expression of interest form which was handed out to you at the registration table.
We believe, consumers having a voice in the health system that looks after them and their loved ones, is essential in the promotion of systemic change within the health system. Health Consumers Queensland has already provided Queensland Health business units with health consumers for a number of key consultation initiatives. Members of the Committee have also provided the consumer perspective on the Rural Nurses Advisory Committee; the Multicultural Health Steering Committee; the Demand Management Steering Committee; and on a Statewide Stroke Clinical Network interview panel.
In summary, 2008 was a formative year for Health Consumers Queensland. The Committee and Secretariat worked industriously to develop terms of reference and set the strategic direction of the organisation. In line with the strategies set out in the Strategic Plan 2008-10, in 2009, Health Consumers Queensland plans to host a number of community engagement events around Queensland, to listen to the voices of Queensland health consumers in urban, rural, regional and remote areas where possible. We are hoping to work collaboratively with local Health Community Councils to make contact with interested health consumers and representatives of consumer and community organisations.
I encourage you to read the Strategic Plan 2008-10 and help us to raise the profile of health consumers and their involvement in health policy, planning and service delivery processes.