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Wednesday 5 December 2018
Welcome new Board Directors

HCA members elected four new Board Directors at our AGM on 19 November. The existing Board and HCA staff would like to formally welcome Paul Laris, Victoria Bedford, Dianne Neale and Meg Lewis as our newest Directors. You can read more about their journeys in health and consumer advocacy here.

Our board members volunteer their time and the hard work they do enables HCA to operate and stay involved with all the important work that we do. Thank you to all of the nominees that registered for positions on the board, we are very grateful for your time and support. We look forward to working with our new board into the new year. 
SA Health Awards - Celebrating 10 Years

Board Deputy Chair Jane Marshall and CE Julia Overton attended SA Health's Awards Ceremony on 30 November at Adelaide Town Hall. The SA Health Awards showcase excellence in the public health sector. The Awards recognise and reward individuals, teams, programs or projects that have significantly improved the delivery of health services to the South Australian community. They also honour the commitment of those who work to improve the performance of the public health sector.

HCA was honoured to be a part of the judging process for the Improving Safety and Quality and the Partnering with Consumers, Carers and Our Community awards. Congratulations to Northgate House who won the Improving Safety and Quality award. Chris McGowan, Chief Executive of SA Health who presented the award, acknowledged the outstanding work of South Australian Ambulance Service who was also nominated for the Improving Safety and Quality award for their NSQHS Standards - SAAS Accreditation project. We are also proud of the work that WCHN's Consumer and Community Engagement Strategy 2015-2018, this project was the winner of the Partnering with Consumers, Carers and Our Community award, this work is an incredible example of consumer and community engagment. 

Congratulations to all those nomiated for these awards, it shows a real dedication to genuine consumer engagement for quality health outcomes. To see the full list of winners you can visit SA Health's website here

HCA calls upon health consumers in South Australia, as well as health consumer organisations, to help us have a stronger voice to inform our advocacy. We encourage you to become members of HCA.  Your membership will help strengthen the influence of consumers in South Australia and nationally.  It will also ensure that our unique and diverse perspectives continue to shape health policy, planning, research, service delivery and evaluation.

Individual members can sign up here.
Organisational members can sign up here.

The membership fee is small but your support via membership is priceless.
Better management of Type 2 Diabetes in Hospitals 

Closes: Friday 7 December 2018

SA Academic Health Science and Translation Centre is hosting a focus group to inform the ‘ Designing better in-hospital care for patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D)’ project. These are small focus group sessions to help shape and improve how diabetes services and care is delivered within hospitals, from admission through to discharge to community-based services and resources.

They are seeking consumers with Type 2 Diabetes over the age of 18, who have been admitted to hospital. You can find out more here.
Community Workshop - Establishing the new Adult Safeguarding Unit
Thursday 6 December 2018
10.30am - 1.30pm
Adelaide Pavilion

The Office for the Ageing invites community members to attend a workshop on establishing the new Adult Safeguarding Unit. This Unit, expected to begin operations in mid-2019, will be a one-stop shop - responding to reports of abuse or neglect of vulnerable adults, and providing safeguarding support tailored to the needs and wishes of the person experiencing the abuse. This is an opportunity to provide feedback on the draft Charter of the Rights and Freedoms of Vulnerable Adults, and to share your views about how the new Unit can keep the rights of vulnerable adults at the centre of its operations. You can find out more and register here.
Borderline Personality Disorder
Centre of Excellence

Thursday, 13 December 2018
10:30 am - 1:30 pm
Glenside, South Australia

The Borderline Personality Disorder Centre of Excellence invites child and adolescent or youth mental health professionals, young people and their family members to a workshop on emerging Borderline Personality Disorder.
You can find out more and register to attend here. 
Health Issues Centre: Medical Devices Investigation

Health Issues Centre (HIC) are currently investigating patterns of complaints with medical devices. As reported widely on the ABC this week, the failure of a variety of medical devices features in the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) Adverse Event Register. However we know that the Register grossly understates the number of consumers who have been impacted by consequent injury and suffering.

HIC is seeking consumer feedback about medical devices, implants and fixtures that may have malfunctioned, failed or led to unintended complications. You can read more about this investigation here.

If you would like to provide feedback you can complete the survey here

The SA Health Mental Health Services Plan

The SA Health Mental Health Services Plan will chart the future direction for State Government-operated and commissioned mental health and wellbeing services that deliver prevention, early intervention, acute care and rehabilitation, and will apply to all age and population groups.
You’re invited to a forum to share your thoughts and ideas on the State’s new Mental Health Services Plan, and hear from the writers of the plan on community feedback received so far on the following six themes:
  • Access to Services
  • Rehabilitation and Recovery
  • Service Excellence
  • Wellbeing and Prevention
  • Workforce
  • Continuity of Service
You can find out more here. To give feedback you can contact the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist via or the SA Mental Health Commission via
Research on Communication in Healthcare Settings

Closes: December 31st

Research on communication in healthcare settings is being undertaken by Queensland University of Technology's School of Psychology and Counselling with an anonymous online survey open to all Australian residents over 18 years of age. The survey is part of PhD research by Michelle Lum, and the purpose of this research is to determine how people experience communication with healthcare practitioners in primary healthcare settings, such as medical and dental services.

You can find out more information about participating in this research here

Productivity Commission inquiry into private health insurance in Australia

HCA was proud to contribute to a joint letter, initiated by Choice, to the Members of Parliament seeking committment for a Productivity Commission inquiry into private health insurance in Australia to address the need for fairer and more affordable private health insurance. 

You can find read the letter and find out more about the joint campaign here
Privacy Protections in My Health Records Act 2012 
The Australian Parliament has passed legislation to strengthen privacy protections in My Health Records Act 2012 without debate or division. The new legislation means that you can opt in or opt out of My Health Record at any time in your life. Records will be created for every Australian who wants one after 31 January 2019. After then, you can delete your record permanently at any time.

Briefly, the changes will:
  • Allow Australians to permanently delete their records, and any backups, at any time.
  • Explicitly prohibit access to My Health Records by insurers and employers.
  • Provide greater privacy for teenagers 14 years and over.
  • Strengthen existing protections for people at risk of family and domestic violence.
  • Clarify that only the Agency, the Department of Health and the Chief Executive of Medicare (and no other government agency) can access the My Health Record system.
  • Explicitly require law enforcement and other agencies to produce a court order to access information in My Health Records.
  • Make clear that the system cannot be privatised or used for commercial purposes.
This is backed up by harsher penalties and fines for inappropriate or unauthorised use of My Health Records.

A summary of the changes is available here and the media release is available here.
24-7 Stroke Support for Country Hospitals
The Royal Adelaide Hospital, supported by SAHMRI and The South Australian Academic Health Science and Translation Centre, is providing life-saving support to rural consumers that have experienced strokes. The video link service allows for stroke specialists at the Royal Adelaide Hospital to diagnose and offer help with treatment for consumers in remote areas. This allows faster and more accurate treatment to delay further damage occuring. 

You can find our more about the story here.
Shifting Gears - Consumers Transforming Health
The Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) has published a white paper titled Shifting Gears: Consumers Transforming Health.The paper on future directions has been developed with input from over twenty well-placed advisers to mark over three decades of advocacy by CHF on behalf of consumers and national patient organisations.

Shifting Gears sets out the transformational changes needed to deliver a person-centred health care system and a program for training and developing health consumer leaders in a range of roles which would foster more dynamic and responsive health care.
You can find our more about the story here.

HCSCC Social Media Pages

The office of the South Australian Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner (HCSCC) is an independent statutory office established by the Health and Community Services Complaints Act 2004 (the Act). HCSCC assists service users, carers and service providers – this includes government, private and non-government health and community services – to try and resolve complaints.

To keep up-to-date with what's going on with the Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner, follow their facebook here and twitter here
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Our mailing address is:
PO Box 2248, Adelaide SA 5000
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