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Shifting Gears Summit: a user’s manual in ten parts

Croakey is closed for summer holidays and will resume publishing in the week of 10 January 2022. In the meantime, we are re-publishing some of our top articles from 2021.

This article was first published on Wednesday, March 31, 2021


Hopefully you caught some of Croakey’s coverage of the recent Consumers Health Forum of Australia Shifting Gears Summit, particularly Jennifer Doggett’s action packed reports from days one and two.

It was a multilayered online event, with much of each day running in six different “streams”, several panels, a robust rolling “chat”, poster presentations, breakout sessions and of course Twitter commentary.

In the post below, Jennifer Doggett spotlights 100 insights, moments and facts that will make you feel like you were there, as well as prompting reflection and further reading.

And please don’t miss the first of our two Croakey Voices podcasts, in which Cate Carrigan takes the opportunity to go a little deeper with several of the presenters and delegates.


Jennifer Doggett writes:

If you’re looking to catch up with what happened at the recent #ShiftingGearsSummit, here are some highlights, hidden gems and tips for further reading, in the Shifting Gears Summit 10 top 10s.

10 Summit locations

Warragul, Australia


Montreal, Canada


Bass Coast, Australia


Canterbury, New Zealand


Toronto, Canada


Ararat, Australia


Copenhagen, Denmark


Glenn Innes, Australia


Taranaki, New Zealand


Devon, UK


10 Memorable Summit Quotes

It’s now or never.”

Vincent Dumez, Keynote speaker and co-director of the Centre of Excellence on Partnership with Patients and the Public at University of Montreal


The health system needs to be shaken not stirred.”

Louisa Walsh, Presenter, PhD candidate and consumer advocate


We have lived all, we hear all, we see all and we can influence all.”

Kellie O’Callaghan, speaker and consumer advocate


Kindness is a meta value – you can’t be kind to others if you’re not being kind to yourself.”

Ashley Bloomfield, speaker and New Zealand Director-General of Health


Not including consumers in health care is like throwing someone a birthday party and not inviting them.”

Anne MacKenzie, Presenter and Community Engagement Manager, Telethon Kids Institute


Care cannot be safe unless it is culturally safe.”

Jennifer Zelmer, Plenary presenter; President and CEO at Healthcare Excellence Canada


Community trust will be the oil of the future.”

Kate Mulligan, Keynote speaker and Director of Policy and Communications at the Alliance for Healthier Communities, Ontario.


Equity should be in the DNA of our health system.”

Jeffrey Braithwaite, Speaker and Director, Australian Institute of Health Innovation


We may all be from the same cookie machine but we are all different cookies.”

Mary Lynne Cochrane, Presenter and consumer advocate


Consumer engagement grows at the speed of trust.”

Peter King, Presenter and consumer representative


10 Key Summit tweets









10 Summit Tweeters to follow

Renza / Diabetogenic, @RenzaS

Roxxanne MacDonald, @roxxmacdonald

Dr Penelope, @RedFiddler

Kellie O’Callaghan, @KellieOc

Tara Dimopoulos-Bick, @DimopoulosTara

Priyanka Rai, @priyankarai113

Ruth Armstrong, @DrRuthAtLarge

Lou Walsh, @laqwalsh

Tammy Wolffs, @TammyWolffs

Brett Scholz, @brett_scholz

10 pithy comments from the online delegates’ chat

Patient voice, patient choice.”

Gary Sutcliffe


‘The patient will see you now’ takes on a broader meeting.”

Jo Root


There are two ways of talking to people. One identifies their deficiencies and the other looks for their strengths, resilience and experiences. It’s important to use the latter method.”

Christine Walker


The whole family is impacted when someone is ill; has an accident – no matter what the outcome. Being in a rural or isolated area is so challenging.”

Jane Synnot


One of our consumer reps said to use the word “input” rather than “feedback” when asking them.”

Lidia Najbar


Navigation through systems is important but systems must always be reflective about their processes and systems. Consumers advocate out of necessity and that itself creates inequity – not all consumers can advocate. Systems, policies and processes need to be strong enough to respond to consumer needs without them having to advocate.”

Nicole Mills


Dismantling medical hegemony is taking time. I think we are very fortunate to have the Tiriti here in NZ ( although much work to implement the Tiriti still) which is about partnership and this lets the concept of cross sectorial rights to partnership to increase in the health space.”

Frank Bristol


Consumer leaders can be champions for health professionals – and health professionals can be champions for consumer leaders. We need buddy systems.”

Melissa Cadzow


Sometimes it seems that we ask for information from our community before we are ready to do something with it. We then get all this valuable feedback, and don’t have anywhere to go with it.”

Christine Chandler


Huge thanks to CHF to host Big ideas, it shows what the grassroots consumers are capable of and how the policymakers are so wary of them.”

Shyamsundar Muthuramalingam


10 pieces of wisdom from presenters

Consumers are the only people with a full view of the health system.”

Vincent Dumez


We’re all in this together.”

Craig Cooper


‘Mark Doughty’ the person and ‘Mark Doughty’ the patient are very different people to the health system.”

Mark Doughty


We need clinically literate managers and managerially literate clinicians.”

Leanne Wells


Evidence is important but it doesn’t always leave much room for the patient’s voice.”

Jeffrey Braithwaite


The response that consumers get from health professionals and services when they first give feedback or tell their story determines how confident consumers feel about engaging in the future.”

Louisa Walsh


I often have discussions with people in position of power about the difference between power and influence. The health system in my experience is keen to allow space for consumers to influence, but not so keen to allow to share decision making power, particularly around priorities and resourcing.”

Ester Vallero


The key challenge is building capacity amongst leaders to really cede power. And that’s not easy to do in a system that likes project scopes and clear deliverables.”

Clare Mullen


We need to move beyond EBM in our teaching and include SDM – shared decision-making – with patients.”

Yvonne Zurynski


Indigenous communities across Canada are at much higher risk and face barriers to health access, including historic and present day racism. That said, they have self-organised tremendously well to ensure protection from Covid. A key challenge is serving urban Indigenous populations equitably.”

Kate Mulligan


10 important statistics mentioned at the Summit

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia have experienced no deaths from COVID-19 and have only had 150 cases.

Emily Phillips


Around 60 percent of health care is in line with evidence, around 30 percent is wasted and 10 percent comes with some adverse outcome or near miss.”

Jeffrey Braithwaite


Māori are twice as likely to die of cancer than non- Māori.”

Dr Chris Walsh


Almost 50 percent of Australians surveyed reported that fundamental changes are needed to make our health system work better.”

Yvonne Zurynski


Avoidable patient harms are one of top ten causes of deaths – the most common of these are due to medication errors, unsafe surgical care and hospital-based infections.”

Dr Chris Walsh


2.5 million Australians don’t have access to the Internet.”

Stanislav Minyaev


Musculoskeletal conditions affect over seven million Australians (more than any other national health priority area) and are the leading cause of disability worldwide.”

Rob Anderson


50 percent of aged care workers in Melbourne were born overseas.

Nicole Allard


A social prescribing program in Toronto resulted in a 49 percent decrease in loneliness in the target population.”

Kate Mulligan


89 percent of health occurs through our genetics, behaviour, environment and social circumstances.”

Tina Janamian


10 resources mentioned in presentations/chat

Collaborative practice and patient partnership in health and social services, Centre of Excellence on Partnership with Patients and the Public


The ‘Real People, Real Data’ project, Consumers Health Forum of Australia


Health Care Opinion: patient stories


Loneliness Thought Leadership Roundtable report, Consumers Health Forum of Australia


The Indigenous Genomics Health Literacy Project Queensland Genomics Advisory Group


The “Join Us” national disease-agnostic research register, The George Institute