Carer complaints

This section includes details about:

HaDSCO’s definition of a carer

The Carers Recognition Act and the Carers Charter

How to make a complaint

Online complaint form

What information is required when lodging a complaint

Time restrictions

Alternative support for carers

View the HaDSCO Brochure for Carer's (PDF 294KB) and Helpful tips: raising a complaint information sheet (PDF 398KB).

A Carer, the Carers Recognition Act and Carers Charter

HaDSCO recognises the definition of a carer provided with the Carers Recognition Act 2004. Broadly speaking, a carer is a person who provides ongoing care or assistance to another person who has a disability, a chronic or mental illness, or who is frail. This definition excludes persons paid to provide care services and those working as volunteers.

Many fail to identify themselves as a carer, believing they are merely helping a family member or friend. HaDSCO can help people to recognise their carer status and the legislation in place to support them.

The Carers Recognition Act 2004 (external site) aims to change the culture of service providers so that the impact on carers is considered when services are assessed, planned, delivered and reviewed.

A key part of the Act requires service providers to comply with the Western Australian Carers Charter.

The 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

For more information about the Carers Charter contact:

Policy Officer Carers Department of Local Government and Communities
Gordon Stephenson House
140 William Street

Phone: (08) 6551 8700
Fax: (08) 6551 8556

Web: (external site)

How to make a complaint

Carers may make a complaint on the behalf of the person for whom they provide care and also on their own behalf under the Carers Charter. Complaints may include allegations that a health, disability or mental health service provider has acted unreasonably by:

  • Failing to comply with the Carer’s Charter (outlined above)
  • Refusing to provide a service
  • The manner a service was provided
  • Providing a service
  • Denying or restricting the user’s access to records
  • Breaching confidentiality
  • Charging an excessive fee
  • Not effectively dealing with a complaint

In order to raise a complaint, first read the information on this page. Information supplied here outlines who/what can be complained about and when. Once familiarised with this information, either:

Completing a complaint form

Complaints must be lodged in writing. It is recommended, where possible to utilise the HaDSCO complaints form as it provides an easy to follow structure.

Download a complaint form (PDF)

Complete a form online

It is important to note that work cannot begin on a complaint unless all information and signed authorisation statements are supplied to HaDSCO.

Complaint forms are designed to provide support when lodging a complaint. Each section requires specific information that is important to the resolution of the complaint. Please ensure forms lodged to HaDSCO are completed in full. This will ensure the HaDSCO Assessment Team is equipped with all the information required.

For help completing the form, contact HaDSCO.

HaDSCO, by law, is required to consult with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency (AHPRA) (external site) when complaints relate to a registered health professional. This will determine which agency is the most appropriate to deal with the complaint. Further information is available within the Memorandum of Understanding between AHPRA and Health Complaint Entities (PDF) (including HaDSCO).

This MoU document outlines:

  • The statutory roles and the relationship between HaDSCO and AHPRA
  • Sections 149 and 150 of National Law
  • Agreed procedures

Preparing a written complaint

If a complaint form cannot be completed, please submit a complaint in writing. Ensure the following information is provided.

  • The name and date of birth of the person who received the service
  • The name, date of birth and contact details of the person making the complaint
  • If relevant the relationship between the person who received the service and the person who is lodging the complaint (the person lodging the complaint cannot be paid to make the complaint)
  • The name and contact details of the person or organisation who provided the service
  • The date the service was provided
  • Details of any attempt that has already been made to try and resolve the complaint
  • Details of the complaint
  • The desired outcomes and what is hoped to be achieved by making the complaint

Ensure any complaint submitted to HaDSCO includes the following two authorisation statements. These statements must be signed and dated.

Authorisation to refer. ‘I authorise the Director of the Health and Disability Services Complaints Office to send a copy of my complaint to the health or disability service provider and/or any other relevant body.’

Signature: _______________________________________ Date:               /           /

Authorisation to access information. ‘I authorise the Director of the Health and Disability Services Complaints Office to access information relating to this complaint.’

Signature: _______________________________________ Date:                /          /

Alternative support for carers

HaDSCO is an independent statutory authority providing an impartial resolution service for complaints relating to health or disability services provided in the State of Western Australia. Further carer support services including counselling, advice and peer support are available from organisations such as Carers WA (external site) on 1300 227 377.

Carers WA
182 Lord Street
Perth WA 6000
Ph: 1300 227 377
Fax: (08) 9228 7488
Web: (external site)

View more links to other organisations providing alternative services.

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