Carer complaints

This section includes details about:

HaDSCO’s definition of a carer

The Carers Recognition Act and the Carers Charter

How to make a complaint

Online complaint form

What information is required when lodging a complaint

Time limitations

Alternative support for carers

View the HaDSCO Brochure for Carer's (PDF 294KB) and Helpful tips: raising a complaint information sheet (PDF 398KB).

A Carer, the Carers Recognition Act and Carers Charter

HaDSCO recognises the definition of a carer provided in the Carers Recognition Act 2004. A carer is a person who provides ongoing care or assistance to another person who has a disability, a chronic illness (including mental illness), or a person who, because of frailty, requires assistance with everyday tasks. This definition excludes persons contracted to provide care services and those working as volunteers.

The Carers Charter states:

  • Carers must be treated with respect and dignity
  • The role of carers must be recognised by including carers in the assessment, planning, delivery and review of services that impact on them and the role of carers
  • The views and needs of carers must be taken into account along with the views, needs and best interests of people receiving care when decisions are made that impact on carers and the role of carers
  • Complaints made by carers in relation to services that impact on them and the role of carers must be given due attention and consideration

How to make a complaint

Carers may make a complaint to HaDSCO on behalf of the person for whom they provide care and also on their own behalf under the Carers Charter. Complaints may include allegations that a health, disability or mental health service provider has acted unreasonably by:

  • Failing to comply with the Carers Charter, Disability Service Standards or Mental Health Care Principles (outlined above)
  • 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

In order to raise a complaint, first read the information on this page. Information supplied here outlines who/what can be complained about and when. Once familiarised with this information, either:

Completing a complaint form

Complaints must be lodged in writing. It is recommended, where possible to utilise the HaDSCO complaints form as it provides an easy to follow format.

Complete a complaint form online

Download a complaint form (PDF)

It is important to note that an assessment of information provided cannot commence until a complaint form is completed and submitted to HaDSCO or a written complaint is received with signed authorisation statements.

Each section requires specific information that is important to the resolution of the complaint. Please ensure forms lodged to HaDSCO are completed in full. This will ensure our staff are equipped with all the information required.

For help completing the form, contact HaDSCO.

HaDSCO, by law, is required to consult with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency (AHPRA) (external site) when complaints relate to a registered health professional. This will determine which agency is the most appropriate to deal with the complaint.

Preparing a written complaint

If a complaint form cannot be completed, please submit a complaint in writing. Ensure the following information is provided.

  • The name and date of birth of the person who received the service
  • The name, date of birth and contact details of the person making the complaint
  • If relevant the relationship between the person who received the service and the person who is lodging the complaint (the person lodging the complaint cannot be paid to make the complaint)
  • The name and contact details of the person or organisation who provided the service
  • The date the service was provided
  • Details of any attempt that has already been made to try and resolve the complaint
  • Details of the complaint
  • The desired outcomes and what is hoped to be achieved by making the complaint
  • Information collected for de-identified statistical use as set out on the complaint form

Ensure any complaint submitted to HaDSCO includes the following authorisation statement. This statement must be signed and dated.

‘I, _______________________________________, authorise the Director of the Health and Disability Services Complaints Office (HaDSCO) to access information relating to this complaint, discuss this complaint with a relevant organisation and to send a copy of my complaint to the service provider and/or any other relevant organisation.’

Signature: _______________________________________ Date:               /           /

Time limitations

Complaints must be made within 24 months of the date the service being received or provided. The Director has discretion to accept a complaint outside of this timeframe if there is a good reason for the delay, for example, if you only become aware of the problem that led to the complaint after the 24 month period has expired.

HaDSCO is generally unable to assist with complaints that have already been determined by a court, registration board or tribunal.

Support for carers

Further carer support services including counselling, advice and peer support are available from organisations such as Carers WA (external site) on 1300 227 377.

Carers WA
182 Lord Street
Perth WA 6000
Phone: 1300 227 377
Fax: (08) 9228 7488
Email: carers@carerswa.asn.au
Web: www.carerswa.asn.au (external site)

View more links to other organisations providing alternative services.

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