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What is self-advocacy?

If you want to exercise your right to complain or are thinking about making a complaint, this section will provide you with some helpful tips and contact details.

How can making a complaint help?

Making a complaint and providing comments about your experience is an important way of improving the quality of services.

Most consumers who make a complaint say they don't want what happened to them to happen to someone else. Consumers usually find it helpful to have an acknowledgement of what happened, as well as an explanation and an apology.

Most providers find it helpful to know about a consumer's concern so that they can take action to sort it out. Sometimes this can lead to changes in practice and in the way services are provided that will benefit other consumers.

Making a complaint

You have the right to make a complaint about a provider in the way that is easiest for you. You can make a complaint verbally, in person or by telephone; or in writing by letter, fax or email. You can give your complaint to:

  • the person or people you are complaining about;
  • a person in the same practice, facility or organisation who is responsible for receiving complaints (eg. the supervisor/manager of a residential facility or the quality manager or complaints officer in a hospital or organisation);
  • an independent health and disability advocate;
  • the Health and Disability Commissioner.

You can also send copies of your complaint to other people or organisations. For example, if you complain directly to the person who provided the service, you might send a copy to their manager, supervisor or their professional body if they belong to one.

Even though you are dealing with the matter yourself, you might also send a copy to the local advocate and/or the Health and Disability Commissioner if you want to let them know about what happened.

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