26 October 2021 Submission
Consumers Health Forum

The Consumers Health Forum has called for an enhanced focus on the central role of consumers in its submission to the Review of the National Medicines Policy.

That is a development in which CHF has played a leading part and we are now urging that this momentum is maintained in the NMP Review. The interests of the patient and consumer provide an anchor and compass when it comes to policy directions involving clinicians, industry and government.

That is why we have recommended in our submission that rather than merely including consumer-centricity as one of the principles it should be an overarching focus of the entire policy.

18 October 2021 Position Statements
Consumers Health Forum

Statement of Collaborative Intent

This Statement of Collaborative Intent reflects a partnership that respects the roles and responsibilities of the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) and the Health Consumer Advocacy Network of South Australia (Health CAN SA). It underpins how CHF and Health CAN SA work collaboratively in our commitment to shared values, goals, beliefs and practices that act to place consumers at the centre of health, care, research and policy, that prioritise consumer-centred care to achieve quality outcomes.

Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF)

The Consumers Health Forum of Australia is the national peak body representing the interests of Australian healthcare consumers. CHF works to achieve safe, quality, timely healthcare for all Australian’s supported by accessible health information and systems.

Health Consumer Advocacy Network of South Australia (Health CAN SA)

The Health Consumer Advocacy Network of South Australia is a group of health consumers who believe the people, who pay for, fund and use health services in South Australia, should be able to inform and influence how those services are designed and delivered. The Network provides an independent health consumer voice in South Australia to inform government, service providers and policy makers about the experiences, issues and concerns of health consumers and contribute to shared planning and problem solving.

We believe

Healthcare policy, services and research must reflect genuine and active partnerships between health professionals and providers, and consumers. Consumers are best placed to decide what health care and services they need to meet their health goals, preferences and values. Engaged consumers have more information and better understanding of their health and how to manage it. Engaging with consumers improves health outcomes, reduces adverse events, increases staff wellbeing and retention and reduces costs through better resource use and more targeted services. The lived experience and expertise of consumers contributes to building a sound evidence base and educating researchers and care providers on effective consumer-centred care practice.

We will recognise and support Consumers (as patients, families and carers):

  • Through their lived experience, to evaluate the care and services they receive, whether their care goals, needs and expectations have been met and self-report their outcomes of care at the point of care
  • Involvement in partnerships at the organisational level with those who provide care, conduct health and medical research and design services to improve safety, quality and innovation in health care
  • To actively partner with policy makers and governments in healthcare policy at the system level.

We will work in partnership to:

  • Identify and report - on emerging health issues and concerns
  • Actively promote - the value and benefits of consumer engagement and participation
  • Advocate for access and equity - in addressing the needs of health consumers and communities
  • Build the capability of health consumers - to effectively represent community views and perspectives
  • Provide opportunities - for learning, networking & growth to increase health consumers circles of influence
  • Identify partnering opportunities - to promote health consumer rights, consumer engagement and advocacy
  • Advocate for the health and human rights consumers

CHF will recognise Health CAN SA as the state-based consumer network and provide opportunity for its members to participate in national policy consultations, opportunities to nominate consumer advisers to national committees and Consumer Link, our skills development and knowledge translation webinar series for consumer representatives.

11 October 2021 Submission

The Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy (Strategy) is determined by the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB). The Strategy ensures a coherent and consistent approach is adopted in the funding of medical research and innovation from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). The current Strategy covers the period 2016-2021, with the next Strategy (2021-2026) to be registered before 8 November 2021.

The Medical Research Future Fund Act 2015 (MRFF Act) required AMRAB to undertake a consultation process before determining a Strategy. The consultation opened on 20 September 2021 and ended on 11 October 2021.

This consultation was an opportunity to ensure that an updated Strategy is meeting its purpose as described in the MRFF Act, accounting for critical current and future issues and factors (e.g. primary prevention), and will continue to allow the MRFF to fund research to address national health priorities and deliver practical benefits from medical research and medical innovation to Australians.

The Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) is the national peak body representing the interests of Australian healthcare consumers and those with an interest in health consumer affairs, including health-based research. We have over 250 members reflecting a broad spectrum of organisations including state-based consumer peaks, condition-specific groups, volunteer patient groups, professional associations, Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and the research community.

We work in collaboration with our members, national partners and research collaborators to influence policy, programs and services to ensure they are in the consumer and community interest. CHF is pleased to make this submission in to this AMRAB Consultation on developing the MRFF 2021-2026 Strategy.

Note that this consultation was administered as an online survey and this document has been adapted from the CHF submission to that survey.


9 October 2021 Consumers Shaping Health
Consumers Health Forum

Diving deep into high level strategy to help consumers get the best from their healthcare

In the Oct 2021 edition of Consumers Shaping Health, we discuss the high level Policy advocacy positions CHF is taking during Policy and Strategy Reviews for Medicines Policy and for Australia's largest Medical Research Fund, the MRFF.  

  • Our friends at the George Insitute will present a webinar on the Join Us - Medical Research Register
  • TIna, a long term resident of the remote town of Kimba, discusses how the covid vaccination roll-out worked in her region 
  • We invite consultation on the National Obesity Strategy  and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care launches the Primary and Community Healthcare Standards 
  • We look ahead to anti-poverty week  17 - 23 October 2021

view the newsletter

14 September 2021 Fact Sheets

The presentation slides for the webinar with; 

  • Helen Milner OBE, Group CEO Good Things Foundation, (UK) 
  • Jess Wilson, CEO Good Things Foundation, (Aust) 
  • Liz Jones, Good Things Foundation, (Aust) 
7 September 2021 Consumers Shaping Health
Consumers Health Forum

Youth Health Summit a timely forum

In the September 2021 edition of Consumers Shaping Health, we .....

  • Our friends at headspace have launched a new campaign to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people with their social and emotional wellbeing
  • Share the Youth Health Forum registration details.
  • Hear from Hamza on the Gold Coast who talks about his family's experience with COVID-19 vaccination,

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30 August 2021 Submission

This response advocates that the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ASQHC) co-design the new Standards with consumers of mental health services.  This means not only consulting and engaging with consumers, but offering consumer led development of the Standards. 

Consumers should be directly involved and engaged at every stage of the project.  CHF recommends that ACSQHC work with consumers – including carers and families of people with mental health conditions – to understand their “journeys” and their needs along the way, for example, using personas to understand and respond to varying conditions, co-morbidities (including the combination of mental health, physical conditions and disabilities that may be experienced by many consumers), and medical and non-medical services that may be used in combination.

CHF consultations with members and other consumers also identified subjects for the Commission’s consideration when developing domains and actions for community managed organisations.

30 August 2021 Submission

CHF broadly supports the findings and recommendations of the findings and recommendations made in recent and previous years over many years. They confirm that consumers and carers experience a mental health system that fragmented, difficult to understand and navigate, and is not serving mental health care consumers or the community well.  This consistency also makes it clear that the failings of the mental health system are widely understood and recognised.  Because these failings are complex and systemic, they will be difficult and costly to address but, with increasing mental illness in the community and a cost that has more than tripled over the last three decades, it is becoming more and more critical to fix the system.

This submission relates the lived experience of mental health consumers to:

  • the findings of the recent reports and reviews, including those of the Productivity Commission and the Victorian Royal Commission
  • strategies for encouraging emotional resilience building, improving mental health literacy across the community, reducing stigma, increasing consumer understanding of mental health services, and improving community engagement with services
  • the use, safety and regulation of telehealth services.

Added to the recommendations made in the reports being considered in this Inquiry, CHF made the following recommendations to better support consumers of mental health services.

  • Establish an independent national mental health consumer and carer organisation.
  • Integration of other systems, including primary health care and aged care to provide seamless, holistic care.
  • Implement structures to monitor and independently report on progress and achievements.


26 August 2021 Submission

As a member of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Health Statistics Advisory Group, CHF was asked to provide comment on a draft Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) completed by Maddocks to inform the National Health Measures Study (NHMS) scheduled to take place in 2022.

6 August 2021 Consumers Shaping Health
Consumers Health Forum

Young people incubating ideas for healthy lives

In the August 2021 edition of Consumers Shaping Health, we announce the successful applicants for the Youth Health Incubator Grants, awarded to young people and youth health organisations with projects designed to help address the “missing middle” concerns of young Australians in healthcare. The grants support community activities led and inspired by young people.

  • View the program and register for the Youth Health National Summit in September 2021
  • Join the new Mental Health Consumer Special Interest Group - applications are open until 15 August.
  • Hear from Brad Rossiter OAM, about his Covid-19 vaccination journey.

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