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Consumer and community

Consumer and community

The National Health and Medical Research Council’s Statement on Consumer and Community Involvement in Health and Medical Research (2016):

Consumers, community members, researchers and research organisations working in partnerships, to improve the health and well-being of all Australians through health and medical research.

Health Translation Queensland recognises consumer and community involvement as an area that it can assist across our partnership. Our vision for consumer and community involvement is for researchers to involve consumers in decisions throughout the process: from research priority setting, to project ideation and design, to project delivery and evaluation.

The activities we offer are informed by a focused consumer engagement audit and needs analysis across our partnership, which involved background research and reading, one-on-one interviews and surveys with clinicians, researchers and consumers active in consumer and community involvement.

Our CCI program currently includes:

  • Consumer and Community Involvement (CCI) advisory service
  • Consumer and Community Involvement (CCI) microgrants
  • Training for researchers and clinicians in consumer and community involvement
  • Curating CCI information, tools, and resources

Other initiatives we are exploring for our future offering include:

  • Establishing a Consumer and Community Involvement (CCI) network or community of practice
  • Establishing a database of consumers

Ways you can involve consumers and community

We recognise that many researchers would like to engage with consumers and community but are not sure how and where to start.

Some ways to involve health consumers include:

  • co-designing your project with a range of your stakeholders—clinicians, researchers, health consumers etc.
  • inviting consumer advocates to join project steering committee
  • establishing a community advisory group (needs to be resourced)
  • establishing a panel of consumers
  • conducting focus groups
  • getting to know your relevant patient advocacy group
  • recruiting consumers for interviews or other involvement through Health Consumers Queensland or your relevant patient advocacy group
  • conducting broad surveys through Health Consumers Queensland or your relevant patient advocacy group
  • conducting consumer forums
  • working compensation for consumer time into your project budget. See Queensland Health rates and Health Consumers Queensland rates.

Microgrants for consumer and community involvement

Stakeholders identified that a barrier to consumer and community involvement in the early stages of research project planning and design is the absence of funding to pay consumers for their time. So in 2021, Health Translation Queensland piloted a microgrant program to support consumer and community involvement in research. After the success of the pilot, the microgrants program was launched for the Health Translation Queensland partnership.

The Health Translation Queensland Consumer and Community Involvement (CCI) microgrant program is designed to support research projects to fund consumer involvement in project design and research priority setting. 

If you are from a Health Translation Queensland partner organisation, if you are from an underserved community or your project aims to support an underserved community, or if you work in Primary Care, you are eligible to apply.

Contact consumers@healthtranslationqld.org.au for more information or for the EOI form.

*Please note, micro grant applications take approximately 2-4 weeks to assess once submitted. Please be mindful of this timeframe in relation to your project deadlines.

Consumer engagement training for researchers

Health Translation Queensland is working with various suppliers including Health Consumers Queensland to deliver free Consumer Engagement Training for Researchers. The training program has included:

  • Health Consumers Queensland: An Introduction to Involving Consumers in Research
  • Health Consumers Queensland: Involving Consumers in your Research: Master Class
  • Consumer Co-design Training

Sign up for our eNewsletter to stay up-to-date on future training opportunities.

Curating CCI information, tools, and resources

In our consumer and community involvement audit and needs analysis, we identified that there is no shortage of tools and resources to support consumer and community involvement. Some of those resources are listed in our CCI resources section.

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