How to make a complaint about aged care

Everyone has the right to provide feedback and make a complaint about aged care services they are receiving.

Making a complaint is not ‘being difficult’.

Aged care providers are required by the aged care standards to take all feedback and complaints seriously and provide mechanisms to receive and act on feedback and complaints in order to improve the services.

Most aged care providers do their best to provide quality care and services for older Australians. However, issues can occur, so we need to ensure that people can raise their concerns in a constructive and safe way.

Often the best way to have an issue resolved quickly is to raise it directly with the aged care provider.

If you feel comfortable, you should raise your concern with the staff or managers of your service provider first.

All service providers are required to have a complaints system in place. In most cases, you will be able to resolve your concern with them.

Making a complaint to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission
The role of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission is to protect and enhance the safety, health, wellbeing and quality of life of people receiving aged care.

The commission independently accredits, assesses and monitors aged care services subsidised by the Australian government. They also seek to resolve complaints about these services.

Through their engagement and education work they aim to build confidence and trust in aged care, empower consumers, support providers to comply with quality standards, and promote best practice service provision.

The commission has replaced the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency and the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner.

If discussing your concern directly with your aged care provider does not work or you don’t feel comfortable to do so (even with the support of an advocate), you can contact the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission on 1800 951 822.

The commission can support you to resolve your concern with the service provider. They provide a free service for anyone to raise a concern or make a complaint about the quality of care or services provided to people receiving Australian government funded aged care. This may be aged care services people are receiving for help in their home or in an aged care home, including:

– residential aged care services, including permanent care and respite care
– Home Care Packages delivered on a Consumer Directed Care basis
– flexible care, where a person is receiving ‘residential care’ or ‘home care’; this includes services provided through transition care, innovative care or multi-purpose services (MPS)
– Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)
– National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program.

The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) can continue to provide you with advocacy support alongside the ongoing process of submitting a complaint through the commission. OPAN can also assist with you making the complaint to the commission at your direction.

Have you ever had to make a complaint about aged care? Was it resolved adequately?

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Written by Ben

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