Chronic conditions self management project

2008 - 2010

Health care for consumers with chronic conditions is a key priority area for the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF).

Chronic conditions can affect anyone, but disproportionately affect disadvantaged members of our communities, which heightens health inequalities already experienced in Australia. Consumers with chronic conditions may find themselves needing to forgo basic services and needs, such as heating, food and medicines, in order to pay for the substantial out of pocket costs of their health care.

CHF has long advocated for consumer networks to be involved in the development and implementation of chronic conditions self management (CCSM) initiatives to complement existing initiatives, such as the Flinders Model, that focus on the role of health professionals in this area. CHF successfully secured funding under the Australian Better Health Initiative to undertake a two year project on CCSM, which focused on encouraging active patient self management of chronic conditions.

The project established links between health consumer networks, health professionals, service providers and other interested groups to achieve a sustainable network-based model for consumer engagement at a local and a national level to implement chronic conditions self management initiatives.

CHF worked with the Australian General Practice Network (AGPN) and State Based Organisations (SBOs), through which three local Divisions of General Practice were selected to partner with CHF in this project.

Guidance for the project

The project was informed by consumer and health professional involvement with chronic conditions self management and professional development initiatives, and the guidance of the CHF chronic conditions self management reference group.

A liaison officer from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing was an observer on the reference group to facilitate communication between the Department and CHF.

Funding

The Chronic Conditions Self Management project was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing under the Australian Better Health Initiative.

This project concluded in May 2010.