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

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

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Consumers at the centre of health
in South Australia

2018/19 has definitely been an interesting year in the history of Heath Consumers Alliance of SA. 

The news of the cessation of our grant funding from SA Health has not slowed us down! 
In addition to our normal activities we have:

  • delivered on two major projects with Local Health Networks to support them to embed consumer and community engagement through developing Consumer and Community Engagement Strategies, 
  • nearly finalised a project with SA Health to develop the Consumer and Community Engagement Strategic Management Framework which will assist Local health Networks to deliver on their legislated responsibility to develop Consumer and Community Engagement Strategies as well as demonstrate commitment to the National Safety and Quality Health Care Standards, 
  • commenced a yearlong project with SA Health to develop a Consumer Feedback and Complaints Management Strategic Framework.

We have also been involved in ensuring the consumer voice is heard through submissions on a range of topics including, most recently, a joint submission to the Health Care (Governance) Amendment Bill 2019. This submission was a collaborative response coordinated by the South Australian Council of Social Service and included contribution from Aboriginal Health Council of SA, Lived Experience Leadership & Advocacy Network, Australian Association of Social Workers (SA), SA Network of Drug and Alcohol Services, Australian Health Promotion Association SA, Public Health Association of Australia SA and Mental Health Coalition. You can read the submision and ammendments

We have also been working on developing a new business model to meet the vision of HCASA – Consumers at the Centre of Health – through making sure we are responsive to the needs of health consumers and health services while ensuring we have the capability to undertake systemic advocacy for health consumers. HCASA is also excited to be able to start the new financial year launching our new professional training which you can read more about in eNews. 

Your membership of HCASA is very important, especially this year! It shows your commitment to strengthening the health consumer voice in South Australia and demonstrates your support for consumer-centred care and consumer engagement. Current members have recently been sent their renewal notices and we have been overwhelmed with your rapid response to re-joining. If you aren’t an existing member, or you are an individual member and you would like your organisation to also show support, you can join using this link. We offer a range of membership options including Individual (full), Individual Associate (open to any individual who is practicing or representing the role of a health professional, provider or for-profit interests and is not eligible to vote), and Organisational (full) and Organisational Associate (open to any organisation that is a commercial for profit health care provider, a government department, statutory authority, agency or service provider and is not eligible to vote).

Another way you can show your support for HCASA is through a donation, as a registered charity your donation over $2 is tax deductible.

We look forward to working with you, and for you, in 2019/2020.

Julia Overton
Chief Executive
Health Consumers Alliance of South Australia

The Patient-centred research (PACER) Network and the Sydney School of Public Health (SPH) travel grant provides support for patients/caregivers for domestic (within Australia/New Zealand) and international travel for research-related activities (including but limited to scientific conferences, research workshops, research fieldwork). Applications are now open and will close 15th September 2019.
Many healthcare organisations are increasing their focus on delivering patient-centred care, which is one of the core academic areas of The University of Sydney. The PACER network, a joint initiative of The University of Sydney, Kids Research at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Westmead Hospital, and the Westmead Institute for Medical Research, was launched in 2018 to facilitate knowledge exchange, collaboration, and innovation in conducting and implementing patient-centred research. The PACER network also provides training and opportunities to strengthen patient involvement in research.
The PACER Network and the Sydney School of Public Health recognises the value of patient involvement in research. Patient involvement across all stages of the research process can ensure that the evidence addresses the values, goals, and priorities of patients to inform decisions and improve care and outcomes. Travel support can provide patients/caregivers with an opportunity to develop research skills, network, collaborate, and to contribute their experiences and perspectives in research activities.
To provide support toward costs of domestic and international travel for research-related activities. The travel must be completed by 31st December 2019. The funding scheme is intended to assist with travel and/or accommodation costs to:
• Attend and/or present at conferences or other research meetings
• Attend research training workshops
• Conduct research fieldwork
The value of the award is up to $1000 for domestic travel, and up to $2500 for international travel. At least two grants are available, however the number of travel grants will depend on the number of applications received.
Applicants must be patients or caregivers who are registered with the PACER network ( and are involved in health research activities related to a disease, disability or health condition. Applicants must be residing in Australia.
Procedure for reimbursement
The award will be provided through reimbursement (a copy of the receipts must be provided). The request for reimbursement must be made within 60 days of travel completion.
Application process
All applications must be submitted using the online form at by COB 15th September 2019. Applications will be assessed based on the following criteria:
• Current involvement and contribution to research
• Opportunities to present research (accepted or invited to attend and give a presentation)
• Potential benefits of travel
Successful applicants will be responsible for obtaining travel insurance. A short (one page maximum) report is required within three months of returning from the travel, which summarises the impact and benefits of travel. Applying to the Scheme acknowledges this requirement and indicates agreement of fulfilling this requirement. Excerpts from the submitted report may be used for PACER/SPH promotion activities. Support allocated via this scheme will be determined by a sub-committee of PACER Network/SPH.
If you have any questions, please contact Amanda Baumgart (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) on behalf the PACER Advisory Group and Coordinating Committee.

SA Pathology has connected to the My Health Record System, this will mean that consumers can access their pathology reports via their My Health Record account, giving consumers timely access to pathology reports.

You can read more information and the media release here;  

Media Release SA Pathology and My Health Record

The March HCASA Board meeting recently confirmed our capacity to continue our work well into 2020. HCASA is here to stay. We had expected to call a Special General Meeting at about this time to ask our members to consider the organisation’s future. After careful consideration of our financial position, our capacity and the importance of our work we are instead scheduling the launch of our new business prospectus. This is planned for Monday 17 June, Save the date.

You will have read in eNews that we have moved our offices upstairs from level 1 to 3 at 12 Pirie Street. Our team continues to do an amazing job building a viable and sustainable business future. You’ll hear more about this on/after 17 June. We would not have been able to consider such an optimistic future without the pragmatic and moral support of our members, partners and supporters. Thank you.

We encourage organisations and individuals who believe in our vision of ‘consumers at the centre of health’ to make sure they have current membership of HCASA. As you know, we are a state-wide, member-based incorporated association with no political affiliations. We provide the information, training and services people, services and policy makers need to ensure consumers have a powerful influence on the health services that they pay for, use and expect to support the health and wellbeing of all South Australians. This work must and will continue.

Debra Kay PSM
Board Chair HCASA
On behalf of the HCASA Board and Staff Team

In 2019 HCA will work with consumers, partner agencies and other stakeholders to develop more focused training modules for consumers on topics such as:

  • clinical governance
  • health literacy
  • document review and
  • quality improvement processes and service redesign.
  • If you would to participate in this process, please contact Kathy Mickan on 8231 4169 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

One of the changes of not having a core funding base is that we will now be charging for our training, including consumer training. Fees will be kept as low as possible, and opportunities for subsidised training will be made available to consumers who do not have the capacity to pay.

Back to eNews here

This year HCA is moving from weekly to fortnightly eNews, with more regular updates on our website and across our social media. If you would like to provide your feedback on the changes we would love to hear your input. You can email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 8231 4169. It was an incredibly busy year for HCA in 2018, with the development of new training modules, and a variety of HCA consumer engagement events that provided opportunities for consumers to be informed and have their say on a variety of issues. 2019 is shaping up to be another busy year as we move toward a new way of working as a result of last year's budget announcement that our core funding from SA Health will cease effective 1 July 2019. Stay tuned for further updates on the activities of the HCA team.

If you have an item you believe would be of interest to HCA eNews subscribers, please email the details to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Back to eNews here.

The Third Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation, released 11 December 2018, investigates healthcare use in four clinical areas: paediatric and neonatal health, cardiac tests, thyroid investigations and treatments, and gastrointestinal investigations and treatments. It also examines national patterns in medicines use over time for four common groups of medicines: antipsychotics, opioids, antimicrobials and medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A more detailed exploration of these data will be published in 2019.

Find out more here

Back to eNews here

Advance Care Planning Australia (ACPA) has developed a 30 minute educational video for volunteers (and managers of volunteers) in the health/community/aged care sectors, due to their role and importance in providing care and information to the Australian community. This video provides an introduction to advance care planning, and the information our ACPA volunteers use to support people in their community with advance care planning.

View the video here 

Back to eNews here. 

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