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Health Consumers' Council

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Reflections at a difficult time 

When we first drafted this e-newsletter, we had led with our 2021 Health Consumers' Excellence Awards and planned to lead this newsletter with the announcements of winners. Since that time, the heart breaking death of Miss Aishwarya Aswath on Easter Saturday has been heavy on our minds. 

From the press conference on Easter Sunday to the release of the Recommendations and then the final report, this has been a time of sad reflection. As an advocacy agency, we are continuing to think about how we can redouble our efforts to advocate for the inclusion of the lived experience perspective to drive safety and quality. We believe there is an opportunity to partner with consumers and release the energy and potential in the WA health system to bring about positive and lasting change.

We will have further updates soon, but if there is anything you would like to share with us, please email us on

In this email

Want to get involved?

Nothing about us, without us is a catchcry that emerged from disability advocates and has been embraced by consumer, carer, family and community representatives to highlight that “no policy should be decided by any representative without the full and direct participation of members of the group(s) affected by that policy”.

Your voice and your experiences are important and can help shape what health service in WA looks like. Want to get involved?


There have been a few changes in Perth and Peel in the last month, and you can keep up to date with the details of restrictions at

The Australian Government is rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine free for everyone in Australia, including all Australian citizens, permanent residents, and temporary visa holders.

It’s important to be aware of misinformation and stay up to date using reliable sources only. If you can’t find the information you need online, we encourage you to speak to your GP.

The latest news and information on COVID-19 vaccines in Australia is available here.

Here is the latest AstraZeneca information (official statement about safety) in English

And in 63 other languages

Health Consumer Excellence Awards winners

The Health Consumer Excellence Awards were created to honour the everyday heroes in health in WA, from the administrator to the clinician. We also recognise health consumers who go out of their way to make a difference to our health system.

You can read the details of all the 2021 nominees in the awards booklet.

We were hoping we could all meet together to during Patient Experience Week to celebrate the 2021 Health Consumer Excellence Awards, but yet again COVID had other ideas. After a last minute change of plans, and for the first time in Health Consumers’ Council history, the Health Consumer Excellence Award winners were announced in an online ceremony.

On 29 April we were joined virtually by more than 80 attendees to celebrate the everyday heroes in health in WA.

At HCC we’re dedicated to creating a kinder, more person-centred health system. We share a vision to improve the health care journey for both the patient and valued health care providers. These awards acknowledge the strong link between the morale of staff and how patients experience health care.

Congratulations to the winners, and to all of the nominees – it was fabulous to hear about the important ways you’re all contributing to a good patient experience and better health outcomes. 

Consumer Award

This category is for consumer representatives demonstrating excellence in speaking up for the importance of a kind, patient-centred health care system.  The Award recognises health consumer representatives who have an ongoing commitment to positive partnership with our health system to improve the patient experience.

2021 Highly Commended: Amber Bates
2021 Winner: Rebecca Carbone

Compassionate Care Award

This award is to acknowledge compassionate people working or volunteering in a health service providing support and/or direct patient care. We are looking for compassionate individuals working in any capacity – from cleaner to specialist and everything in between – in the health service or organisation. We are also looking for compassionate teams of health care providers who demonstrate effective multi-disciplinary care. Evidence of compassionate care in the form of feedback letters from consumers and carers will strengthen the nomination.

2021 Winner: Joy Campbell, Bethesda Palliative Care Unit 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award

This award is to acknowledge outstanding service to Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander health consumers. The candidates can be an Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander person – either a health professional, consumer, carer or volunteer – or an organisation creating real change for Aboriginal people.

2021 Winner: Nola Naylor, South Metropolitan Health Service 

Health Consumer Excellence Awards – Care Opinion Award winners

For this award category, Health Consumers’ Council selects stories from the Care Opinion platform that highlight both best compassionate care and best practice responses to Care Opinion.

While WACHS won the inaugural Patient Opinion Award in 2019, we wanted to acknowledge and highlight the work that all Health Service Providers are doing.

This year we reviewed stories from all Health Service Providers and showcased what our panel considered to be the best and in some cases, highly commended, Care Opinion Hero stories or services within that Service.

East Metropolitan Health Service

Winner: Kalamunda Hospital
Special mention: Armadale Hospital

Child and Adolescent Health Service

Winner: Eating Disorder Clinic

North Metropolitan Health Service

Winner: Women and Newborns Health Service

South Metropolitan Health Service

Winner: Fiona Stanley Hospital (Volunteer Program)

WA Country Health Service 

Winner: Bunbury Hospital (Hypnobirthing Classes)

You can click here to read more about the award winners and the Care Opinion stories they were awarded for.

Patient Experience Week 2021

Patient Experience Week (26 April – 30 April 2021) is an annual event to celebrate healthcare staff impacting patient experience every day. Inspired by members of the Institute community, PX Week provides a focussed time for organisations to celebrate accomplishments, re-energise efforts and honour the people who impact patient experience everyday – from nurses and physicians, support staff and executive professionals, to patients, families and communities.

Several Patient Experience Week events were held in WA, including a virtual conference delivered by Care Opinion, the provider of WA Health’s online patient feedback forum. This event brought together world-renowned international quality experts and local presenters to discuss the purpose of patient feedback as a ‘missing link’ in healthcare design. It was great to hear how health services in the UK have really embedded Care Opinion feedback into their improvement culture.  

In addition to announcing the winners of our Health Consumer Excellence Awards during Patient Experience Week, we also held a survey asking what our Patient Experience Week theme, Kindness, connection, community - see the whole person - Djinang Kwop Wirrin (in Noongar) means you in practice.

The survey is still open at and we will continue to feed the responses back to the health system throughout the year.

Please share any practical examples of "kindness" you have experienced when accessing health services 

  • Specialists sought out how family were coping while father was in palliation” 
  •  Reception staff acknowledging and understanding and working with me to make appointments.” 

Please share any practical examples of "connection" you have experienced when accessing health services 

  • “My daughter has developed very positive and supportive relationships with the relevant specialist nurses” 
  • Nurse stating same thing happened to her so I didn’t feel stupid” 

Please share any practical examples of when "community" has been part of your experience when using health services 

  •  “When I had my baby, I had follow ups from nurses at home, from breast feeding consultants and from the child health nurse this felt like a caring community” 
  • The community services available to my daughter including her medical requirements at the Ostomy Association and support groups has been invaluable” 
  • When my wife was discharged from SCGH there was much help offered by the City of Wanneroo” 

Please share any examples where you have experienced being "seen as a whole person" when accessing services 

  • I recently saw a new GP and rather than just treat what I was there for she asked if she could ask me some questions so that she got to know who I was and if any of the other services offered at their clinic could be of benefit to me or my family. She asked about my work, my sleep, anxiety, things that I find stressful, she asked for 3 things that I loved about my life and then for 3 things that if I had a magic wand what would I want to change. It was interesting, we laughed, I felt confident to return and I left with better knowledge of other services available.” 

Patient Experience Week Postcards
Patient Experience Week might be over, but you can still use our postcards to acknowledge staff who have had a positive impact on your experience – click here to read more and download a version of the postcard that you can edit and send to health services where you’ve had a positive experience.

Diversity Dialogues

In 2021 the Diversity Dialogues panel discussions will focus on the topic of sexual health in culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) communities.

The first of two online panel discussions was held on 30 April, exploring the promotion of sexual and reproductive health for CaLD youth. These discussions shared first person experiences around the issues of sex education, access to contraceptives, and reproductive health treatment against a backdrop of diverse and often mixed cultural perspectives.

The theme for the next session is Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Migrant Communities – focusing on help seeking barriers and enablers around diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, including blood borne viruses, in culturally and linguistically diverse (particularly migrant) populations.

When: Thursday 29 July, 10am
Where: Online, via Zoom
Who can attend: Health and community service providers (clinical and non-clinical) as well as consumer representatives who would like knowledge of those close to the issue to enhance the patient experience and assist in the work they undertake

Please register at

Consumers Weigh In On Heart Health

One of our Healthy Weight Action Plan Community Advisory Group members shared her experiences with us for this article in the Medical Forum magazine.

Rachel spoke about her experience with heart health and how a range of factors, including long-term obesity and family history, led to triple bypass surgery. 

Rachel was thankful not to be told “just lose weight and you will feel better” and was instead directed to make personalised health choices that worked with her lifestyle. Her cardiac rehab was made easier because of the education and individual support she received, including around programs to learn what mattered to her. She cited a food label reading workshop which helped her make better food choices as one positive example. 

When asked the one thing she would like GPs to know about obesity and heart health she said, “know who your health professionals are in your area so you can give the right service to your patient. Come from a no-judgment, no-criticism, and supportive mindset, and help your patient want to change.”

You can read the full article at

Weighing in on Weight Talk

For all sorts of reasons, talking about weight, overweight and health can be a sensitive and difficult subject for some people.

We recognise that some people aren’t interested in talking about weight with health professionals. But for those who are, we want to help make these conversations safe, empathetic and helpful, so that you get the right information and support for you.

As part of our work with the Healthy Weight Action Plan, we’re developing a set of guidelines for health services on engaging with people with overweight and obesity.

The first step is to hear from people with firsthand experience of overweight and obesity about the ways you would like to be approached about weight by health professionals and engage in weight-related health activities.

How have you been approached about your weight and health in the past? How would you like to be approached about your weight and health going forward? We want to hear about what works, and what doesn’t, so we can increase health outcomes for everyone. Your personal story is really important to us. 

The feedback you provide will be anonymous and your experiences will not be identified.

You can take the survey here

If you have any questions you’re welcome to contact

Survey closes Sunday 23 May

Connect and share - consumer representative networking 

Come along and connect with other consumer, carer, community, family and lived experience representatives at the second of this year's networking sessions.

Event details

Share success, and ask for help
We know that many of you like to share what is working well, and also to seek ideas for how to address challenges you might face in your role. In this session, we'll do some informal networking using a range of online tools which will give you the chance to connect with old and new contacts and discuss how we can continue to promote consumer, carer, family and community voices as partners for improving health and health services.

If you are unsure about joining a Zoom meeting, please give us a call on 08 9221 3422 and one of our team will talk you through it. If you've any questions, call that number or email

The second edition of the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights

Do you know your healthcare rights? This video provides an overview of the second edition of the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights which describes what you or someone you care for, can expect when receiving health care in Australia.  

For more information about your healthcare rights, speak to your doctor or healthcare service or visit

There are a range of resources available to help people use and understand the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights at

Science on the Swan

Science on the Swan 2021, the Western Australian Health Translation Network’s (WAHTN) annual health and medical research conference, this year highlighted the central theme of ‘Embedding Research and Innovation in Health Care with COVID-19 Insights’.

The event is now in its sixth year and has achieved a high level of success and prominence thanks to the ongoing support from the Western Australian Government and the WAHTN’s Partners.

The Conference was held at The Westin Perth from Sunday 16 – Tuesday 18 May 2021, and showcased the very best of research and scientific endeavour in Western Australia; covering a mix of fundamental, biomedical, clinical, health and social science. It offers linkage opportunities for both industry and researchers, especially connecting early career to more senior and established health science and clinical leaders.  

There was a strong focus on highlighting all the research that is occurring in our hospitals, where research translation really happens. It brought together researchers and clinicians and allowed for important cross-fertilisation and knowledge exchange.

This year for the first time the Consumer and Community Involvement Program (CCIP) held a breakfast event, with a panel of clinician researchers and consumers, to dig in to the topic of the importance of consumer involvement in research. A number of consumer representatives were supported by CCIP to attend.

The event program is available at

Know Your Heart

For many Western Australians, heart failure impacts their daily lives, stopping them from doing the things they love.

On top of this, there is a strong link between heart failure and mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

Know Your Heart is a public awareness campaign currently appearing on television, digital news sites and social media.
It features people with heart failure telling stories about how getting treatment has helped them keep doing the things they enjoy.

Thankfully, the evidence clearly shows that for the half a million Australians living with this condition, early detection and treatment by a GP can keep people out of hospital, improve their health outcomes and give them a better quality of life. 

Further information about heart failure treatment and support is available on the NPS MedicineWise website via

NPS MedicineWise has also developed resources for health professionals to help them identify patients with heart failure and provide effective life-saving therapy. 

Consumer participation opportunities

  • Every week we send out an email with information about consumer consultations, representative opportunities and relevant workshops - if you'd like to sign up for this you can do so at


Continuous Improvement in Care - Cancer (CIC Cancer) and HBF

In partnership with CIC Cancer and HBF, the CCIProgram will be supporting two Community Conversations that will feed important information into the 2021 Value Based Healthcare Conference in May.

Two events will be held - one with rural and remote based attendees, and a second in Perth. The events are open to anyone who has used healthcare services and has an interest in improving quality of care.

The Conversations will provide an opportunity for consumers and community members to discuss key factors related to value based healthcare, its potential impact on health consumers and their priorities.

Pre-Conference Community Conversation
Wednesday, 26 May - 10am-12pm
If you live in the Perth metropolitan area, please follow the link to register your interest. 
Register at

Mental Health Commission Lived Experience Pool

The Mental Health Commission is looking to establish an ongoing Lived Experience Pool to support their growing commitment to lived experience representation across a wide variety of mental health and alcohol and other drug planning and co-design projects. They are keen to know something about you, your interests and experiences so we can best match you to specific engagement opportunities when they arise. The registration process includes 18 questions however only 3 are mandatory, so please only share what you are comfortable with.

If you would like to know more about being a lived Experience representative or have any questions regarding the Lived Experience Pool, then please contact the team at

The link to register is here.

Consultation on a new guide for using social media for consumer engagement in Australian public hospitals

Louisa Walsh, a PhD student from the Centre for Health Communication and Participation (CHCP), La Trobe University, is developing an evidence-based guide for using social media to engage consumers in hospital service design and quality improvement activities. She is current seeking people employed in quality improvement or communication roles in Australian public hospitals to give feedback on the draft of the guide.

For more information about the study, including eligibility criteria, head to the CHCP website: 

Or you can contact Louisa directly via email:

If you are interested in the PhD project as a whole, you can read a summary of the research and access published articles and presentations here:


East Metro Health Service Aboriginal Health Community Advisory Group Membership - deadline 1 June


East Metropolitan Health Service (EMHS) is calling for membership for its Aboriginal Health Community Advisory Groups which include:
  1. Royal Perth Hospital
  2. Bentley Health Service
  3. Armadale & Kalamunda Health Service
  4. St John of God Hospital (Midland)

EMHS are looking for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people who are proactive in the community to join the EMHS Aboriginal Health Community Advisory Groups.

Click here to find out more, including how to apply. The deadline for submission is Tuesday 1 June

If you have any questions about this role, please contact Robert Morrison at or call 0434 603 645


Consumer rep opportunity - St John of God Midland: Falls committee - and other opportunities


The Patient Experience Team at St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospitals is looking for a consumer representative to assist the committee when there are new policies, procedures or other changes that relate specifically to patient care.

The team are interested in gaining the consumer perspective on relevant topics to assist us continuously improve the patient experience.

The committee meets on a monthly basis, usually on the third Tuesday each month from 2pm-3pm.

Consumer representatives are paid $35 per hour for a minimum of 2 hours.

Meetings are held at St John of God Midland.

The Patient Experience Team is the initial central point of contact for all consumer representatives. The team will take you through the hospital orientation for consumer representatives and assist set you up to receive payments. The team will then link you in with the key hospital contact person for the more role specific training and ongoing support. However, the Patient Experience Team continue to provide support throughout the consumer representative’s journey.

For the Falls and Safety Sub-Committee the team are seeking one consumer representative, however they are looking to recruit more consumer representatives for other consumer engagement opportunities within the hospital. So if you are interested in being involved in some of these opportunities, please get in touch with the team.

Ideally candidates will have an interest in how patients interact with the hospital system, with an understanding of barriers and practical issues. No specific experience is required however the team love to learn about their consumer representative’s skills, interests and experience so they can be matched to a committee or consumer engagement activity that is mutually beneficial.

Hannah Stewart, Patient Experience Officer: or call 9462 5782

Closing date for applications
  • For the Falls sub-committee, please apply by 28 May
  • For other general roles, please contact Hannah Stewart at any time.


Expression of Interest - Consumers, Carers and Lived Experience Representatives for Partnerships Co-Design group at North Metropolitan Health Service


North Metropolitan Health Service (NMHS) are inviting consumers, carers and those with lived experience to be representatives on their Consumer and Carer Partnerships group.
Successful applicants will be invited to attend a series of three workshops to co-design the consumer and carer partnership model that will be implemented across the organisation.

Find out more including how to apply by reading the Expression of Interest form online.

Representatives will receive $35 per hour or part thereof, for attendance. Catering will be provided at workshops and free site parking is available.

Applications close 26 May 2021.

If you have any questions, contact the team at or call Freya Davies 6457 3476.



Have your say on outpatient services in WA public health services

The team at the Consumer and Community Involvement Program at the WA Health Translation Network are hosting a number of community conversations to find out consumer views on outpatient services.
  • Ellenbrook - Tue, 8th June, 6pm - 8pm
Light refreshments and a small payment will be provided.

To find out more and to register for these events, go to
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