Complaint Policy Statement
- We aim to provide a service that meets the needs of our consumers, and we strive for a high standard of care.
- We welcome suggestions from consumers and from our clinicians and staff about the safety and quality of service, treatment and care we provide.
- We are committed to an effective and fair complaints system; and
- We support a culture of openness and willingness to learn from incidents, including complaints.
- Consumers are encouraged to provide suggestions, compliments, concerns and complaints and we offer a range of ways to do this.
- Consumers are encouraged to discuss any concerns about treatment and service with their treating clinician [or alternate].
- All complainants are treated with respect, sensitivity, and confidentiality.
- All complaints are handled without prejudice or assumptions about how minor or serious they are. The emphasis is on resolving the problem.
- Consumers and staff can make complaints on a confidential basis or anonymously if they wish and be assured that their identity will be protected.
- Consumers, clinicians, and staff will not to be discriminated against or suffer any unjust adverse consequences as a result of making a complaint about standards of care and service.
- All clinicians and staff are expected to encourage consumers to provide feedback about the service, including complaints, concerns, suggestions, and compliments.
- Clinicians and staff are expected to attempt resolution of complaints and concerns at the point of service, wherever possible and within the scope of their role and responsibility.
The process of resolving the problem will include:
- An expression of regret to the consumer for any harm or distress suffered.
- An explanation or information about what is known, without speculating or blaming others.
- Considering the problem and the outcome the consumer is seeking and proposing a solution; and
- Confirming that the consumer is satisfied with the proposed solution.
Our clinicians and staff will consult with their manager if addressing the problem is beyond their responsibilities.
If the complaint is not resolved
Complaints that are not resolved at the point of service, or that are received in writing and require follow up, are regarded as formal complaints.
Our clinicians and staff refer complaints to the Clinic Manager if:
- After attempting to resolve the complaint, they do not feel confident in dealing with the complainant; or
- The outcome the complainant is seeking is beyond the scope of their responsibilities; or
- They or the complainant believe the matter should be brought to the attention of someone with more authority.
If the complaint is not resolved at the point of service, clinicians and staff are expected to provide the complainant with the formal complaints policy.
The Clinic Manager coordinates resolution of formal complaints in close liaison with the treating clinician and other staff who are directly involved.
The Clinic Manager is responsible for;
- Coordinating investigation and resolution of formal complaints, conducting risk assessments (in consultation with clinicians), liaising with complainants, maintaining a register of complaints and other feedback, providing regular reports on informal and formal complaints, and monitoring the performance of the complaints policy and procedure.
- Investigation and review of complaints and follow up action for serious complaints, or where complaints result in recommendations for change in policy of procedures.
- Ensuring appropriate action is taken to resolve individual complaints.
- Acting on recommendations for improvement arising from complaints.
- Ensuring there is meaningful reporting on trends in complaints.
- Ensuring compliance and review of the complaints management policy.
- Notifications to insurers; and
- Consultation with professional registration boards, and others where necessary.
- Formal complaints are acknowledged in writing or in person within 5 working days.
- The acknowledgment provides contact details for the person who is handling the complaint, how the complaint will be dealt with and how long it is expected to take.
- Formal complaints are investigated and resolved within 28 working days.
Investigation and resolution
The Clinical Manager carries out investigations of complaints to identify what happened, the underlying causes of the complaint and preventative strategies. Information is gathered from:
- Talking to clinicians and staff directly involved;
- Listening to the complainant’s views;
- Reviewing medical records and other records; and
- Reviewing relevant policies, standards or Guidelines.