Complaint resolution and relevant legislation

Complaint resolution can be complex. In busy working environments, experienced in the health, disability and mental health service sectors, complaints management can become second priority, however, it is important to remember why effective complaint management is so vital.

  • It highlights areas for service improvement. Such improvements could provide valuable support to claims for increased funding
  • Highlights improvements which could increase the effectiveness of services and efficiency in their delivery
  • Staff are aware of complaints processes and therefore feel supported in their job

Under the following pieces of legislation consumers can make complaints against individuals or organisations that provide, or claim to provide a health, disability or mental health service.

Complaints can be made about:

Health services:

  • Ambulance service
  • Chiropractors
  • Dentists
  • Hospitals
  • Medical Practitioners
  • Nurses
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Pharmacists
  • Psychologists
  • Screening and immunisation services
  • Social workers in a health setting

Disability services:

  • Accommodation
  • Advocacy services
  • Carer’s respite
  • Day activities, recreation and leisure services
  • Disability Services Commission
  • In-home support
  • Therapy services

Mental health services:

  • Allied health professionals
  • Community mental health services
  • Mental health nurses
  • Non-governmental organisations that are publicly funded
  • Private hospitals
  • Private psychiatric hostels
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Public hospitals

Complaints may include allegations that a service provider has acted unreasonably by:

  • Failing to comply with the Carer’s Charter
  • 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

Complaints can be made by:

  • A relative, representative or carer
  • A representative of a person who has died
  • A recognised advocate of the person who received the service
  • A provider, on behalf of the person who received the service from another provider
  • A carer, about a failure to comply with the Carers Charter as set out in the Carers Recognition Act 2004. See carer complaint.

See tips and advice for effective complaint management.

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