Legislation and powers

We are an independent Statutory Authority and are required to administer legislation on behalf of the Western Australian State Government. The legislation that we administer outlines our responsibilities as an Office and the process that we must follow to manage complaints. Our legislative responsibilities directly align to our desired outcome of improved health, disability and mental health service delivery.

We administer the following legislation:

Health and Disability Services (Complaints) Act 1995 (external site)
This Act defines the role of our Office and how we manage complaints about health services.

Part 6 of the Disability Services Act 1993 (external site)
This part of the Act defines how we manage complaints about disability services.

Part 19 of the Mental Health Act 2014 (external site)
This part of the Act defines how we manage complaints about mental health services.

Confidentiality
Section 71 of the Health and Disability Services (Complaints) Act 1995 ensures that the negotiated settlement and conciliation processes are confidential. All oral and written communications aimed at resolving the issues in dispute are confidential. This means that any offers made or positions discussed during negotiated settlement and conciliation cannot be made public, recorded, or discussed with anyone else. Substantial fines can be imposed if these requirements are not complied with. The Act also states that evidence of anything said or admitted during negotiated settlement is not admissible in proceedings before a court or tribunal.

Other relevant legislation

Carers Recognition Act 2004 (external site)
Under this Act, service providers are required to comply with the Western Australian Carers Charter. HaDSCO may manage complaints about health, disability or mental health service providers that do not comply with this Charter.

The Western Australian Carers Charter states:

  • Carers must be treated with respect and dignity.
  • The role of carers must be recognised by including carers in the assessment, planning, delivery and review of services that impact on them and the role of carers.
  • The views and needs of carers must be taken into account along with the views, needs and best interests of people receiving care when decisions are made that impact on carers and the role of carers.
  • Complaints made by carers in relation to services that impact on them and the role of carers must be given due attention and consideration.

 

Declared Places (Mentally Impaired Accessed) Act 2015 (external site)
Under this Act, there is provision for complaints relating to ‘declared places’ that have been established by the Disability Services Commission for the detention and rehabilitation of people who are ‘mentally impaired accused’. HaDSCO has shared legislative responsibility in managing complaints arising from declared places.

Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (WA) 2010 (external site)
In accordance with the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (WA) Act 2010, HaDSCO consults with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) .

Data protection
Protects information held about individuals. HaDSCO may request complainant’s authority to disclose information when discussing complaints. Read about this website’s privacy information.

For all complaints involving an individually registered practitioner, HaDSCO will consult with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (external site) as to the most appropriate agency to deal with the complaint.

If a complaint received by HaDSCO alleges misconduct by a Western Australian public servant the office is required by law to report the allegation to the Public Sector Commission (external site) for minor misconduct and the Corruption and Crime Commission (external site) for serious misconduct.

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