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Phone: 08 8231 4169
Find HCASA on FacebookFollow HCASA on Twitter

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Consumers at the centre of health
in South Australia

HCA is working with the Women’s and Children’s Health Network to develop an innovative and evidence-based Consumer and Community Engagement Strategy for the Network.  This will be a strategy and plan that contains many quality improvement activities to encourage consumers and community representatives to participate in decision making.

A wide range of research indicates that involving consumers in their own care, as well as in the design of services, results in improved health outcomes.

The project has been guided by a Project Advisory Group (PAG) which includes consumers, community members, WCHN staff and project leaders. There is also a Project Management Group (PMG) consisting of HCA and WCHN staff to complete the detailed work of developing the Strategy. The Project Sponsor is Adjunct Associate Professor Naomi Dwyer, Chief Executive Officer of the WCHN. Dr Anne Johnson, well known to many HCA members, is a consultant to the project and working alongside Michael and myself within the HCA team.

So far the PAG and PMG have:

  • identified research literature to understand the best activities for supporting and engaging consumers and community representatives in health service planning and providing feedback, including a focus on diversity and children’s engagement
  • reviewed publically available Consumer and Community Engagement Strategies prepared by other Australian health services.
  • Interviewed several health services about lessons we can learn from their experiences.
  • reviewed the  consumer and community engagement activities in place across the services of the WCHN  and looked at what is working well and what we can learn for strengthening activities.
  • heard the views of over 230 people through their participation in interviews, group meetings and in online surveys. This included consumers, community organisations/groups and WCHN staff.
  • consulted with Children of the Hospital Education School through an art-project to gain their views on how they would like to be talked to and what about.
  • Held a very successful Consensus Conference on April 22 for key stakeholders to decide on principles and priority actions for the Strategy.  81 participants attended.

HCA is now assisting the Network in writing the Strategy and Implementation Plan. This will also include a range of activities for building the capacity of staff and consumers in engagement practices. The Strategy will have a strong focus on information and communications which is vital when considering the diversity and statewide nature of services delivered by the Network.

Latest news

HCA Social Media Review

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. 

You can view our Facebook here and Twitter here

Cancer Voices Annual Report

Cancer Voices SA - Raising a Voice for People Affected by Cancer Annual Report 2018.

Cancer Voices Annual Report 2018

Board Communique

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.

Workplace Fatigue and Bullying in South Australian Hospitals and Health Services

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

Flinders UniversityProposed Caring Futures Institute

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

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Latest eNews


Unfinished Business - National Mesh Implant Forum

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

The Bleeding Edge Screening

When: Wednesday 1 May 2019 1pm to 4pm
: 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

Engagement and Advocacy for Influence Training 

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.

Closing The Gap Day

Wednesday 27 March 

11.00am - 3.00pm
Adelaide Showgrounds

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.

2019 Choosing Wisely Australia National Meeting

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. 

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