In partnership with patient representatives

The International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare welcomes patients, patient representatives/with lived experience, carers and service users to the conference.

Below you will find some of the opportunities we are offering at this year’s International Forum in Melbourne.

Patient and consumer representation at the International Forum in Melbourne

BMJ, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and our 2023 International Forum partners have a strong commitment to meaningful consumer and community engagement. This aligns strongly with the conference theme of People Powered Change.

Our aim is to ensure that the voices of people with lived and living experience and consumer representatives are heard at the conference and beyond, that their presence is visible and their contribution to this important conference is meaningful.

As such, we have ensured there are opportunities for this important group of people to get involved in the planning and delivery of the International Forum in Melbourne. These opportunities include:

Speaker submissions and presenting in sessions

This year, every submitted speaker proposal for the conference has been required to state how patients/people with lived experience have been involved in the work reflected in the proposal. We have provided travel grants and registration support to enable consumers and community members to attend the conference. As a result, there will be a record number of conference sessions that will be co-presented in Melbourne. See the full programme.

Session W4: Patient representation and lived experience – breaking down barriers

This workshop on Monday, 30 October will provide the starting point for consumer and community collaboration throughout the International Forum. Attendees will be part of a discussion about true partnerships with consumers/people with lived and living experience – what does that mean and how might that be demonstrated during the conference. Read more about the workshop.

The Health Issues Centre Stand

In this dedicated meeting place in the conference venue, attendees can meet with patient and consumer representatives, to share experiences and build relationships.

The Forum Discussion Group

Patients, patient representatives/with lived experience, carers and service users have been invited to a Forum Discussion Group hosted on the event app and virtual platform in the lead up to and during the conference. Open to all in-person and online attendees, this group will be a place to share thoughts, hopes, expectations and insights from the conference sessions, as well as highlight examples of true partnerships with people with lived and living experience.

Conference Closing Address

During the conference wrap up addresses on Wednesday 1 November, attendees will hear insights shared by consumers and community members. These will inform the conference and programme planning for the International Forum in Brisbane in 2024.

The language we use

No single set of definitions can describe how every person experiences their health and wellbeing, or how they define themselves.

Language is a powerful tool and we acknowledge that not everyone will agree with the terms we have chosen to use despite our intention to always be inclusive and respectful. 

Consumers: People with lived and living experience of health conditions, care, harm and recovery including carers, family members and supporters. 

Community: People with an interest in improving the health system, including potential health service users and volunteers.  

Engagement: People working with consumers and community members to listen, collaborate, partner, inform and create change. 

The Melbourne programme theme

Our theme at the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare in Melbourne 2023 is People powered change – a healthier life, a fairer system, a sustainable future.

This year’s Melbourne programme will show how transforming healthcare is only possible when everyone comes together to power change. We will:

  • Learn how to involve, inspire, and innovate across borders and organisations
  • Explore how senior leaders can support people, places, and systems to mobilise for change
  • Learn how to equip people closest to the issues to develop capability for sustainable, spreadable innovation
  • Create lasting improvements suited to the needs of everyone’s lives now and in the future



BOOK YOUR PLACE ONLINE (Our in-person delegate packages are sold out)

Podcast: Patient Safety and co-creation

Join Deon York (Director of Consumer Engagement at Te Tāhū Hauora Health Quality & Safety Commission New Zealand) and Ashfaq Chauhan (Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University) in this short podcast where we can hear about their upcoming sessions at the International Forum in Melbourne 2023.

Deon and Ashfaq will be leading sessions which will investigate how co-creation can reduce health inequalities. Deon will explore expertise by experience: A national code of expectations for consumer engagement and Ashfaq will discuss co-designing a medication safety intervention with service users.

For more information on these sessions, and other scheduled sessions highlighting the importance of equity in healthcare, see our programme.

Podcast release: September 2023