On the evening of 21st February 2014 the Newcastle City Hall played host to the first of many forums for The Hunter Alliance. Attended by 140 enthusiastic clinicians, health staff and community members the forum was the start on an ongoing consultation to look beyond the challenges we collectively face in our health care community around three common problems – diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and care in the last year of life.  

Film footage is available from the forum.

The Hunter Alliance is pooling the skills, knowledge, and collective wisdom of Hunter ML, HNE Health and Little Company of Mary Health Care to work together to try to find solutions to these three seemingly intractable chronic health problems.  

Many ideas were generated on Monday evening and
these are being collated and will be directed to the Alliance Workstreams and clinical leadership team.



There forum used a "World Cafe Style" structure and had a number of tables with facilitated discussions.  Ideas being generated were documented on "sticky notes". 

There were 1092 "sticky note" ideas taken away from the evening. 

  • Care in the last year of life has 454 "sticky note" ideas
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease has 243 "sticky note"
  • Diabetes has 395 "sticky note ideas".

Each of the priority "sticky note" ideas have been collated and mapped against driver diagrams.  Problem specific driver diagrams are being used to guide the work of the alliance.  The initial analysis of the the ideas captured are available for each priority area: diabetes; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; and care in the last year of life.  These documents are helping the workstreams to identify initial priorities.


Many people at the forum shared ideas and stories through chalk boards.
Click here to see more chalk board messages.


Further suggestions were also submitted via an online survey. About 230 people have completed the initial survey to date, and the comments and ideas generated will also be included in the mix.

The forum was filmed and is being produced into three webinars to ensure rural consumers, health professionals and staff are also able to contribute and participate. The Diabetes Alliance Webinar will be held on the 8th of April and the Care in the last year of life web Alliance Webinar will be on the 9th of April.  For further information please contact swhite@hunterml.com.au.

Good feedback was received by a number of participants following the forum which will assist in preparation for any future forums.