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Gaining a shared understanding to create change

Reflections on a pain care workshop in Hobart

Renate Hughes was one of several health consumers bringing their voice and personal experience with pain and the health care system in Tasmania to the Local Pain Educator workshop in Hobart. Here are her reflections on the day.

The aim of this workshop was to identify strengths and barriers, unique to Tasmanian communities, in driving change in persistent pain models of care.

The idea was to harness collective knowledge, insight and understanding regarding persistent pain issues in Tasmania, by bringing together clinicians and consumers from across the state, researchers and health care governance.

The workshop included a strong consumer voice alongside other stakeholders, to better inform how we understand our local pain care system and where the opportunities for creating change exist.

My workshop group chose to look at building community-based health literacy. We were tasked to create a prototype solution, of actions, possible ripple effect, unintended consequences and first steps.

We started by discussing the resources needed to make community-based health literacy work in action, who could be involved and the benefits of this involvement. We also looked at when and how long it might take to see benefits and where this action would have most impact.

Overall we talked about why building community-based health literacy would help in the prevention and management of chronic health conditions in Tasmania.

This workshop expanded the work of the Pain Revolution, their partners and supporters with a focus on rural and remote areas in Tasmania. Local partnerships supported by a strong consumer voice can help build an effective and equitable health system in Tasmania and provide evidence-based approaches to support and empower people living with chronic health conditions.

Thank you to Primary Health Tasmania, its partners in health and Pain Revolution for the opportunity to participate in this workshop. I hope our participation has contributed to knowledge, insight and understanding regarding persistent pain issues in Tasmania and opportunities for creating change and new models of care for chronic health conditions.

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Renate is a Consumer Health Leader and Representative with the Health Literacy Working Group (DHHS), Health Consumers Tasmania, and Flourish (Mental Health in Our Hands).

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