July 2016

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Haemochromatosis Awareness Week, 8-14 August 2016

You know too little iron can be bad for your health. But did you know that too much iron can also be bad for you?

Iron overload may lead to serious medical problems including diabetes, liver cancer and cirrhosis, heart failure and osteoarthritis. The good news is that it is easily treated if detected early and is no barrier to a normal, healthy life.

During Haemochromatosis Awareness week there will be many activities designed to raise awareness of haemochromatosis and improve the rate of early diagnosis to prevent much ill-health. For more information, visit

If you know that someone in your family has haemochromatosis, or you have been feeling tired and aching for an extended period, talk to your GP about haemochromatosis.
Personal and consumer stories
"What matters to me" - the new vital sign

In this thought-provoking talk, Jason Leitch encourages health staff to gather more than just your typical vital signs of patients when admitting them to hospital - it could make a huge difference to their treatment and recovery.
People with Dementia share memories

In this touching video shedding light on Dementia, we are reminded that moments with loved ones should be cherished.
Slippery When Wet

Carla Robinson shares her struggle with anxiety and depression and challenges one of the major stereotypes on mental health. No, you can't just "just snap out of it".

Healthy approaches to rare conditions

Polly Moyer offers encouragement for doctors feeling overwhelmed when a patient has a condition they've never come across before.
News and current affairs
45 and Up Study: a valuable tool for local health service planning

Data from the Sax Institute’s 45 and Up Study could be valuable in supporting the work of Local Health Districts (LHDs) and Primary Health Networks (PHNs) in local health service planning and improving the integration of care, a new study suggests.

While the 45 and Up Study ‒ which includes more than 267,000 participants from across NSW ‒ was established to investigate healthy ageing, it could also provide valuable information about local communities and their use of health services, according to the paper published in Public Health Research & Practice.

The study authors said health services were working to improve access to quality healthcare and reduce costs through providing seamless transitions between primary and secondary care, and by strengthening preventive care services to reduce the need for acute care.

However, they said it was challenging for PHNs and LHDs to measure progress on these aims, because many of their evaluations are based on data from patients who used services, rather than the broader community.

Read more

Download the The 45 and Up Study Paper.

Australia’s first national health report card

The Australian Centre of Health Research (ACHR) has backed the Australian-first national health report card on preventable chronic diseases, conditions and risk factors that has been released by the Australian Health Policy Collaboration (AHPC) at Victoria University.

There is some good news but much to do if we are to prevent poor and inequitable health outcomes.

Australia’s-Health-Tracker (PDF) is supported by 50 health and welfare organisations, including the Australian Centre for Health Research, shows increased rates of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.

The results are also worrying for young adults with a quarter overweight and a staggering 90 percent not doing enough physical activity,

Director of the Australian Health Policy Collaboration at Victoria University, Rosemary Calder, said “We simply cannot accept that we are now one of the world’s fattest nations, with very high rates of heart disease and diabetes. Nor should we accept such high levels of risk among Australia’s children, knowing that this will lead to chronic yet preventable illness in their futures.”

Australia’s Heath Tracker – the first assessment of its kind – was launched in an effort to warn Australians, governments and industries that immediate and significant action is needed to fight diseases crippling the health system

Read full article and learn about the key findings of the national health report card.

Download Australia's Health Tracker report card
Amputations - 4,400 reasons to take diabetes seriously

More than 4,400 diabetes-related amputations are performed at Australian hospitals every year, most are preventable, and these contribute to the increasing cost of diabetes complications which threatens the long-term viability of Australia’s health system.

Diabetes Australia CEO A/Professor Greg Johnson revealed the worrying statistic at the launch of National Diabetes Week (10-16 July).

Read full article
Back to 1980s for GP research

Due to recent federal axes to core research programs such as Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health (BEACH) and Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute (APHCRI) and with Primary Health Care Research and Information Service (PHCRIS) also being under threat, Primary Care research in Australia is in grave danger of wasting decades of investment.

Medical Journal of Australia (MJA)'s Nicole MacKee explains.
Google launches new feature to give better medical advice

Whether it’s a tummy ache or back pain, Dr Google is often the first “go-to” for many internet users seeking to diagnose a symptom. Vanessa Brown reports on Google's launch of a new health feature called ‘Symptom Search’ in collaboration with Harvard Medical School and the Mayo Clinic. Read article.

Your postcode shouldn't determine your health or whether you're admitted to hospital

People ending up in hospital for diabetes, tooth decay, or other conditions that should be treatable or manageable out of hospital is a warning sign of system failure. And Australia’s health system is consistently failing some communities. Stephen Duckett reports.
Have your say
Invitation to comment on the costs and benefits of implementing the revised NSQHS Standards

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) is inviting comment from interested individuals or organisations on the consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) regarding the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards.
The consultation RIS describes three options for maintaining the NSQHS Standards, which includes the Commission’s recommended option.
The Commission is seeking feedback on your preferred option as well as the costs and benefits to you of implementing version 2 of the NSQHS Standards. The information collected from this consultation process will be submitted to health ministers along with the final version of the NSQHS Standards for their consideration.
For further information about this consultation, please visit the NSQHS website.

All submissions must be received by close of business on Friday 5 August, 2016.



Calling all Australian young adults living with type 1 diabetes, aged 18-35 years! This survey is looking to find out the usefulness and effectiveness of an online diabetes service on diabetes self-management during life transitions in young adults with type 1 diabetes.

You also get the chance to win one of two Coles-Myer gift vouchers valued at $50!

As part of the study, you will get...

  • Access to a website specificially for young adults with type 1 diabetes

  • Access to an online peer support group to meet other young adults with type 1 diabetes

All you need to do is... Answer three questionnaires over 12 weeks!

To take part in the study, or for more information, contact Ashley at:

Do you know a consumer rep for 2017 Australian of the Year?

Nominations for the 2017 Australian of the Year Awards are now open. Select 'Nominate Online' now to have your say and nominate a consumer rep who you think is doing an amazing job. There are four following categories:
  • Australian of the Year
  • Senior Australian of the Year
  • Young Australian on the Year
  • Australia's Local Hero
                                               Nominate now!
Resources and events

Consumer Engagement Workshop: How can PHNs & LHNs involve consumers in co-creation to improve healthcare?

The Consumers Health Forum (CHF) and the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) are pleased to present an interactive workshop on consumer engagement in innovation and value creation in health care.

Look out for the talk by HCNSW Project Manager Serena Joyner who will be presenting with WentWest colleagues on the HCNSW-WentWest Consumer Engagement Model and how it can be put into action.

When: Thursday 25 August, 9.00am - 5.00pm
Where: The Sydney Boulevard Hotel, 90 William Street Sydney NSW
Cost: $190 - CHF & AHHA Member / $300 - Non-member

Who Should Attend?
Anyone interested in developing their skills in engaging meaningfully with consumers and particularly those involved in creating health services will find this workshop of interest. Specifically:
• Primary Health Network staff and hospital executives responsible for planning and commissioning;
• Consumer advisers to PHNs and hospitals including staff as well as committee or councils representatives;
• Consumer directors on PHN and hospital boards;
• Chairs and other representatives of PHN and hospital consumer and community advisory committees;
• Researchers with an interest in co-creation approaches to health system and service development would be other interested parties.

More information and registration at


Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity Annual Forum

The Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity, UNSW, will be holding its Annual Forum on Wednesday 24 August 2016, 9.00am - 1.30 pm, followed by lunch, in the Galleries of the John Niland Scientia Building at the University of New South Wales.

This year Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO of ACOSS, will present the Ian Webster “Health for All” Oration. There will also be presentations and discussion on new and current directions in CPHCE research.

The Annual Forum is a rare opportunity for friends and colleagues to catch up with CPHCE’s research, provide input into our future directions, and network with primary health care professionals from all over Australia.

The forum is free to attend and registrations are now open online.

Sharing Your Health Care Story to Improve Quality

This interesting guide from Patients Canada provides some great tips for consumers on how to share their healthcare stories and help improve safety and quality in healthcare.
Make Healthy Normal - a 'healthier' normal starts here   

With over half the adults in NSW overweight or obese, we are living in an environment where being unhealthy has become normal.

The good news? It's never too late to make a change, We need to change normal. We need to make healthy normal. 

NSW Health have developed a website "Make Healthy Normal" to help people make lifestyle changes that can make a big difference to their health. It includes tips on being active, eating healthy and links people to free Health Programs such as digital tools and community initiatives.

It also features a 10 Week Make Healthy Normal Challenge. People can take the quiz and then set and monitor their own healthy activities and goals and receive info and tips to help keep motivated along the way.

Take the quiz
FREE Online course - Making Sense of Health Evidence: The Informed Consumer

How do you understand whether health evidence is likely to be reliable or not? Find out in this free four-week online course starting Monday 26 September. Certificates available.

Read full course information and enrol now!


12th Annual National Disease Management Conference
"Person-Centred Healthcare: Achievements & Challenges"

The 12th Annual Australian Disease Management Association (ADMA) Conference will be held on Thursday 20 - Friday 21 October, 2016 at Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre. Confirmed International keynote speakers include:
  • Dr Ellen Nolte, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK "Managing Chronic Disease: Experiences from Europe"
  • Prof Frances Mair, Head of General Practice and Primary Care, University of Glasgow, UK "Minimally Disruptive Medicine Should Be Our Goal"

Also presenting is HCNSW's very own Serena Joyner, who will be giving a talk on "Consumer engagement: when patients become partners in improving health outcomes”.

Download the flyer for more details and the registration form.

For further information, please contact Kathryn Ryan, / 03 9076 4125.

Indigenous Health Conferences - 1 - 3 December, 2016, Cairns QLD 

Indigenous Conference Services is proud to simultaneously host the 5th National Closing the Gap Indigenous Health Conference and the 2016 World Indigenous Allied Health Conference on Thursday 1 - Saturday 3 December, 2016 at Pullman Cairns International Hotel, Cairns QLD. This is a unique opportunity for delegates to attend two conferences with one registration!

The conferences feature a great line up of First Nation's speakers not only from all around Australia but also from Canada, New Zealand, USA, Scandinavia, Asia and Africa. The event is based upon the principal belief that Indigenous health must be approached from a holistic view, which encumbers body, mind and spirit; thus, leading to the fundamental rights of self-determination.

The conference will enable you to discover new strategies for better serving your clients and experiencing unparalleled professional and personal growth. The event offers more than 60 sessions with engaging and inspiring keynote speakers, workshop sessions and unparalleled networking opportunities. 

Register before Tuesday 30 August for $1,100 and save up to $250.


New I'm Okay website

The Physical Disability Council of NSW have partnered with NRMA to develop an emergency readiness website designed to help people with disability be emergency ready in the face of an emergency situation or disaster. It includes a step-by-step Action Plan and Tools and Resources to help reduce the vulnerability of individuals with disability. Visit to find out more.

Get certified in Consumer Engagement - course returns by popular demand!

Due to the overwhelming response to our Graduate Certificate in Consumer and Community Engagement course, we are now accepting expressions of interest for a second course to be held later in the year.

This accredited program is designed for people with responsibility for consumer and community engagement. It is relevant for staff in government, private and NGO health services, as well as health consumer and community organisations, including: consumer and engagement staff, quality managers, health service education officers, complaints managers, clinical staff and experienced consumer representatives.

The upcoming course will run over four (4) days on 8-9 September (Thursday-Friday) and 22-23 September (Thursday-Friday), here in our CBD offices.

Please visit the training section of our website for full course information. Enrol now!
I want paper

Would you prefer to receive The Wrap as a printed hard-copy via post? Or do you know someone who would like to read it but doesn't have email?

If so, please write to us - or HCNSW, Suite 3 / Level 8, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000 - and we will send you a printed version of The Wrap going forward. 

Did you know you can book us for customised training?

Health Consumers NSW runs individualised training courses for health services interested in supporting their consumer representatives to be the best they can be. The training is also useful for staff to understand how to engage the community and consumer representatives and fulfill Standard 2 obligations. 

There are two-day comprehensive programs or one-day short courses available, both of which can be tailored for your organisation depending on your needs. 

Contact us on 02 9986 1082 or to make a booking or enquiry.
Research and academics
Australian Burden of Disease Study: impact and causes of illness and death in Australia 2011

This report analyses the impact of nearly 200 diseases and injuries in terms of living with illness (non-fatal burden) and premature death (fatal burden). The study found that chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, mental and substance use disorders, and musculoskeletal conditions, along with injury contributed the most burden in Australia in 2011. Almost one third of the overall disease burden could be prevented by removing exposure to risk factors such as tobacco use, high body mass, alcohol use, physical inactivity and high blood pressure.

Download the report
A snaphot from our twittersphere...
25 Jul - Health Consumers NSW @HCNSW
You look good,but how do u feel? chronicpain doesnt just affect the body. help @ChronicPainAust de-stigmatise chronicpain #nationalpainweek

Retweets by Health Consumers NSW
19 Jul - Health Consumers NSW @HCNSW
@ We launched the CCP Framework with great success thanks to @HCNSW, carers & community representatives!

22 JulHealth Consumers NSW @HCNSW
Thanks for info on @HCNSW by @aj_brown68. Important to understand how to develop #research with patients as partners


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