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Where to start
Do you have a concern or want to make a complaint?
Most Australian aged care providers do their best to provide quality care and services for older Australians. However, issues can occur so it is important to have a way for people to raise their concerns in a constructive and safe way.
If you have a concern about the care you or someone else is receiving, it is important that you talk about it. Complaints can help aged care providers improve the services and quality of care they provide to you or your loved one, so one complaint can help other people too.
On this page:
- Raising your concern with the service provider
- Lodging a complaint with the Aged Care Complaints Scheme
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- Contacting an advocacy service
- Reforms to the Aged Care Complaints Scheme
- Latest information about the Scheme
- Order printed products and view reports
Raise a concern page on the Scheme’s website to find out how to lodge a complaint. Alternatively, you may contact the Scheme on 1800 550 552. The Translating and Interpreting Service and National Relay Service are available, visit the Raise a concern page for further details.
What can you complain about?We provide a free service for people to raise their concerns about the quality of care or services being delivered to people receiving aged care services that are subsidised by the Australian Government. This includes quality of care, choice of activities, personal care, catering, communication and the physical environment.
We can refer complaints that we are unable to examine to other organisations. If you lodge a complaint with us and we can’t help you, we will tell you why and who you can contact.
Who can make a complaint?Anyone can make a complaint, including:
- care recipients
- their representatives
- family members
- legal representatives
- aged care staff
- health professionals.
What types of services are covered by the Scheme?We examine complaints about the following Australian Government subsidised aged care services:
- residential aged care
- Commonwealth funded HACC
- community aged care packages (CACP)
- extended aged care at home packages (EACH)
- extended aged care at home - dementia packages (EACHD).
What happens after you lodge a complaint?When you lodge a complaint with us, we will explain the process, your options and what can be achieved through those options. You may be asked to clarify your issues, provide more information and discuss your expectations.
Please provide as much information as you can when you lodge your complaint. This helps us to understand all the issues and determine the most appropriate way to resolve your concern.
Asking for a review of a decision or processIf you are not satisfied with the Scheme’s decision or how the Scheme handled your complaint, you can request a review. A request for review can only be lodged after a complaint process has been finalised and must be done within 28 days of receiving our decision letter. Your request must state the reasons why you are asking us to review the decision.
You can request a review by contacting the Scheme by telephone or in writing.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the Scheme’s review, and your complaint relates to a Commonwealth HACC service, you may refer the matter to the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
If your complaint relates to any other type of Australian Government subsidised service, you may ask the Aged Care Commissioner (the Commissioner) to conduct an independent review. Your request must be made within 28 days of receiving our decision letter and you must state the reasons why you are seeking a review by the Commissioner.
For more information about review rights, refer to the article on our website.
Contacting the Aged Care Commissioner:Phone: 1800 500 294 (a free call from fixed lines; calls from mobiles may be charged)
Fax: (03) 9665 8026
go to the Aged Care Complaints Scheme news website.
An advocate can:
- provide you with information about your rights and responsibilities
- help you resolve your problem with the service provider, including speaking for you if you want them to
- listen to your concerns about the complaints process.
You can call Aged Care Advocacy directly on 1800 700 600 or with your permission we can phone an advocacy service on your behalf to explain your concerns and arrange for the service to contact you. To learn more about what advocacy is and what advocacy agencies do, visit the advocacy section of the Aged Care Complaints Scheme News website.
Proposed reforms include:
- expanding the range of resolution options;
- encouraging local resolution, where possible;
- early risk assessment of complaints;
- improved communication;
- improved internal procedures
- the addition of Commonwealth HACC to the types of services we can examine complaints about.
HACC servicesFrom 1 July 2012, the Commonwealth will fund basic community care services in all states and territories, except Western Australia and Victoria. This covers people aged 65 and over and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 50 and over.
Where the Commonwealth is funding HACC, and someone is unable to resolve their concern with the HACC service provider, they can contact the Scheme. The process for resolving HACC complaints draws on the Scheme’s current approach, which includes greater collaboration and more options for resolving complaints.
Go to the Aged Care Complaints News website for more information about the reforms, progress, to provide feedback and to receive regular updates.
The Aged Care Complaints Scheme reforms are part of the Australian Government’s broader national health reform agenda which aims to deliver better health outcomes for Australians. Register on www.yourhealth.gov.au to receive regular updates on the implementation of national health reform.
Aged Care Complaints Scheme News website is your best source for up to date information about the Scheme.
Through this website, we aim to:
- keep aged care consumers, service providers and stakeholders up to date on Scheme reforms progress
- provide easy-to-understand information about the complaints process
- address topics of interest for care recipients, families, representatives, service providers and staff.
You can view and order resources online.
You can view the latest Report on the Operation of the Aged Care Act 1997 (ROACA) and other publications related to the Aged Care Complaints Scheme on the Department of Health and Ageing website.