Date: Friday April 5, 2019
Location: Citadines on Bourke, Melbourne.
With the conclusion of the Senate Inquiry into transvaginal mesh and the subsequent response by the Federal Government, many among the general public assume that the tragedy of the mesh crisis has been addressed and future injury averted.
Thousands of mesh injured women would disagree, and the emerging crisis of injury related to hernia mesh suggests the worst may still be ahead. The National Forum on Mesh Implants is the opportunity for those who have been affected by mesh to have their collective voices heard and their concerns finally addressed.
The National Mesh Implant Forum is our opportunity to address the unfinished business of mesh.
Pelvic and hernia mesh-injured consumers and carers will have the chance to meet face-to-face with the TGA (Australia’s medical device regulator), health authorities from each state, policy advisors and clinicians across a broad range of relevant disciplines and to thrash out solutions to this ongoing crisis.
The forum will be held just weeks before a likely Federal election in May and provides a real opportunity to influence the health policies of all major parties and independents. With the right people in the room, this forum is a unique, national opportunity to bring about real change.
The event will include a series of concurrent, targeted workshops on harm prevention and treatment, device regulation informed consent and building a unified community response.
The forum will strive for four major outcomes:
1. Post-operation treatment pathways:
State health departments are at different stages of designing and implementing treatment pathways for mesh-affected consumers. Consumers will work alongside health officials at the forum, to compare state responses with a view to developing best-practice guidelines and to ensuring that treatment pathways consider not only the clinical impact of mesh but the economic and social costs.
Outcome: Co-designed national best practice guidelines for post-operative treatment and care.
2. Regulation and policy
Six months after the Federal Government’s response to the Senate Inquiry, the forum will evaluate progress. The workshop will also look more broadly at the systemic failures that enabled the mesh crisis to persist undetected for almost two decades. This includes device regulation, registration, adverse event reporting, credentialing, complaints processing, product withdrawal and regulation of device manufacturers.
Outcome: Scorecard on the Government’s response to the Senate Inquiry and a blueprint for reform.
3. Informed consent
75% of mesh injured consumers believe they were not informed of the potential risk of adverse outcomes and may have made different decisions had they been. The workshop will consider decision making tools could better enable informed consent based on a full disclosure of risks, benefits and options.
Outcome: to create a new, national standard on informed consent.
4. A unified community response
Pelvic and hernia mesh injured consumers and carers will come together at this workshop to consider affiliation between various mesh bodies and define relationships between states and federal jurisdictions.
Outcome: Creation of a unified response to the mesh crisis and the needs of mesh impacted consumers
The Forum is proudly convened by the Health Issues Centre and Health Consumers NSW, Health Consumers Queensland, Health Consumers’ Council (WA), Health Consumers Alliance of South Australia, Health Care Consumers (ACT), Health Consumers Tasmania.
To apply for suuport for travel please complete the EOI Consumer Travel Support Survey
In 2017, Health Issues Centre Victoria (HIC) initiated a public investigation into the unintended injuries caused to thousands of women through the use of trans-vaginal mesh implants as the preferred treatment for pelvic prolapse and urinary stress incontinence. This research has led to far reaching reforms with changes to the information provided to women considering corrective measures, the establishment of care pathways for injured women and changes to the risk rating applied to mesh by the regulator of medical devices, the Therapeutic Goods Administration. HIC is now conducting a public consultation to identify other patterns of malfunction in medical devices and implants. This is a national consultation and the aim is to ensure that faulty devices are removed from the market, and that consumers who have suffered injury are provided with adequate care and remedy.
You can find out more on the HIC investigation here.
You can take the survey here.
HCA in collaboration with the Nation's state’/territory peak health consumer organisations have released a joint media statement in response to the Government’s response to the Senate inquiry into trans vaginal mesh and Minister Greg Hunts apology to women affected by trans vaginal mesh implants. You can view the release below.
You can visit the website here.
HCA’s Chief Executive, Julia Overton was invited to attend a morning tea held in SA Parliament House and hosted by the Pelvic Mesh Awareness Group. The morning brought people with lived experience together with members of parliament, industry experts and SA health. Thank you to the mesh affected women who attended and shared their experiences with us.
There is a SA Health Transvaginal Mesh Strategy in place now which includes:
- a free consumer support line 1800 666 374, staffed 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday
- establishment of The Consumer Advisory Group
- distribution of information via GP newsletters
- commencement of medical record audit
- establishment of The Executive Advisory Group and Clinical Reference Group.
You can find out more here
Pelvic mesh has been used in the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence since the ‘90s and the majority of women who have had surgical treatment continue to have a good long-term outcome; however, some women have experienced complications. As a result the State Government has established a contact line for women concerned about the safety of pelvic mesh. SA Health has established a governance framework to support affected women & clinical referral pathways are being developed. Consumers can be directed to the Pelvic Mesh Consumer Support Line 9 - 4 Mon-Fri via 1800 66 MESH (1800 666 374). You can find out more here.
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care hasfinalised a number of resources and guidance documents to improve health care for women considering the use of transvaginal mesh for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI), and for removal of transvaginal mesh. Find out more here.
HCA are reviewing the way we use social media and how to make sure you get the most out of the information we share and so we can gather your feedback and opinions. We want to know what you want to see on our social media and what engages you the most. Social media is a great way to inform and engage with the community and we think we could be using it better! We would really appreciate your feedback.
Please complete our one minute survey here to help us improve our social media engagement.
Cancer Voices SA - Raising a Voice for People Affected by Cancer Annual Report 2018.
The Board has held its first meeting for 2019 (4 February). Directors and staff have been working out of session since our last meeting (17 December 2018) to progress interim and longer-term business plans. Our plans have changed because our government funding for systemic advocacy ends 30 June 2019. Our planning focus is on both the financial sustainability of the organisation and on maintaining our mission and vision and our commitment to equity in health service access, quality and outcomes.
Our vision: Consumers at the centre of health in South Australia
Our mission: We engage consumers and health services to achieve quality, safe, consumer-centred care for all South Australians.
The Board is very clear that HCA is here to stay and we are thinking well beyond 1 July 2019. We are working with staff to scope opportunities and options. We are also reaching out to stakeholders and supporters. As advised last year, we anticipate calling a Special Meeting of members next month to seek guidance on the options that the Board and staff are proposing.
The Parliamentary Committee on Occupational Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation is conducting an inquiry into Workplace Fatigue and Bullying in South Australian Hospitals and Health Services. HCA was invited to make a submission in contribution to the inquiry. Studies have shown that health services working effectively and using a person-centred care approach can lead to improved workforce attitudes and job satisfaction, decreased emotional stress, decreased workforce turnover, and absenteeism and improved overall workforce wellbeing.
Read our submission here
HCA, along with industry stakeholders and consumer and community representatives and organisations, was invited to participate in a workshop to discuss a proposed Caring Futures Institute. The proposed vision of the Institute is to create the first ever fully dedicated research institute for the study of self-care and caring solutions leading to better lives, better communities and better health systems. The Institute foresees four key themes of focus including Better Systems – health and social care systems and processes eg new models of care, new approaches to residential aged care; Better Communities – community involvement and participation eg working with disadvantaged groups, innovative technology; Better Lives – health and wellness eg healthy aging, babies and families, frailty and Better Care – care interventions – eg palliative care, integrated care models, relationship-centred care.
The workshop raised interesting challenges for discussion including establishing strong sustainable community partnerships, innovating funding models, priorities for action and codesign of this proposed new research institute.
HCA will continue to be part of this discussion to support consumer and community engagement and codesign of this new Institute and will provide ongoing information as it progresses. A copy of their brochure can be downloaded here.
The National Mesh Implant Forum will be held in Melbourne on Friday April 5, 2019, to consider all aspects of Australia’s mesh implant crisis.
The event will bring together mesh injured consumers, carers, regulators, politicians, health officials and consumer advocates to collaborate to consider best practice treatment models and explore regulatory changes to the way medical devices such as mesh are approved and monitored.
The forum will consider not only the impact of pelvic mesh implants, but the emerging parallel crisis involving men and women who have received mesh implants as treatment for hernia.
It is hosted by the Health Issues Centre, a not-for-profit organisation advocating to ensure the health system serves the best interests of consumers, and jointly convened by State Consumer Health Peak bodies and supported by State Health Departments.
Find out more about the event and register here
The Bleeding Edge Screening
When: Wednesday 1 May 2019 1pm to 4pm
Where: The Science Exchange, 55 Exchange Place, Adelaide
HCA are proud to host a screening of the award winning documentary, The Bleeding Edge.
The film looks at the $400 billion medical device industry and the profit-driven mind-set that rushes implanted devices into the marketplace without proper clinical trials. The screening will be followed by a panel and question and answer session. Afternoon tea will also be provided.
You can register for the event here.
Thursday 11 April 2019
9.30am to 4.00pm
SACOSS, 47 King William Rd, Unley
HCA's Engagement and Advocacy for Influence training is suited for experienced consumer advocates or representatives who have undertaken the Introduction to Consumer Advocacy course. Participants of this course will learn strategies to improve their effectiveness and develop confidence to take on leadership roles or opportunities to participate at a more strategic or governance level. Consumers completing this course will be eligible for endorsement for national consumer roles.
Register for training here.
Wednesday 27 March
11.00am - 3.00pm
Sonder, in partnership with the Adelaide Primary Health Network, is hosting the Closing the Gap Day at the Adelaide Showground. Admission is free for all ages. It aims to bring together people from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to share information and take meaningful action in support of achieving Indigenous health equality by 2030. The event will also feature plenty of free activities for children, including a petting zoo, jumping castle, face painting and much more.
Find out more here.
Thursday 30 May 2019
The 2019 annual Choosing Wisely National Meeting will bring together policy makers, consumers and other health care stakeholders for an interactive discussion on the opportunities, challenges, and highlights of the Choosing Wisely initiative as it continues to grow. Early bird registration is open until Thursday 18 April.
Find out more and register here.