Making a complaint locally
Everyone has the right to provide feedback and to 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 to 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.
For more information on how to do this or to have an aged care advocate support you, ring OPAN on 1800 700 600 to be put in touch with your state or territory based aged care advocacy organisation.
Making a complaint to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission
What is the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission?
The role of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (the Commission) is to protect and enhance the safety, health, well-being 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.
From 1 January 2020, aged care approval and compliance functions have now transferred to the Commission from the Department of Health.
For more information about the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, visit: https://www.agedcarequality.gov.au/about-us
Making a complaint via the Commission
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 Programme (CHSP), and
- National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Programme.
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.
For more information about making a complaint visit: https://www.agedcarequality.gov.au/making-complaint. To learn about the different methods for lodging a complaint with the Commission visit: https://www.agedcarequality.gov.au/making-complaint/lodge-complaint.
Making a complaint about My Aged Care
You have the right to provide feedback or make complaints about the information, service, or care you receive from My Aged Care. Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to discuss your concerns and ask for their help. If your concern is not resolved on the call, you will be given a complaint reference number to track the progress of your complaint. Use this reference number for any future communication with My Aged Care.
You have the right to express your concerns about your home support assessment experience, including the outcome of your assessment decision (Regional Assessment Service (RAS) assessment). Contact your RAS assessor or organisation to discuss your concerns and ask for their help to resolve the issue. They will have their own complaint process you will need to follow. If you don’t know their contact details, My Aged Care can give them to you.
You have the right to express your concerns about your experience of the comprehensive assessment process, including the outcome of your assessment (Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) assessment). Contact your ACAT assessor or organisation to discuss your concerns and ask for their help to resolve the issue. They will have their own complaint process you will need to follow. If you don’t know their contact details, My Aged Care can give them to you.
My Aged Care has developed a simple guide to making complaints about themselves, ACAT and RAS assessments. View it here: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/sites/default/files/2019-04/myagedcare-guide-to-making-a-complaint.pdf
For more information about making complaints about My Aged Care or your assessment, visit: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/contact-us/complaints
Making a complaint about the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission
If you would like to make a complaint about a service provided by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (the Commission) you can lodge a complaint about them by phone, email or post.
The Commission welcomes all feedback and actively seeks to use the feedback received to improve their service. You have the right to complain. You also have the right to complain to the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
For more information about making a complaint about the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission visit: https://www.agedcarequality.gov.au/about-us/complaints-about-us
Making a complaint about OPAN
The Older Persons Advocacy Network strongly believes that the right to be heard is a fundamental human right. Older Persons Advocacy Network appreciates any compliments or feedback that you may have about their services. It is also committed to providing an open avenue to receive any complaints, offering a complaints mechanism that:
- takes complaints seriously
- treats complainants with respect and without retribution
- is transparent and fair
- is confidential
- assists complainants with specific needs to access necessary supports (e.g. interpreters)
- is regularly reviewed
- informs organisational change and development
- complies with all relevant legislation and regulation
- Older Persons Advocacy Network encourages clients who are dissatisfied to come forward with their complaints so that Older Persons Advocacy Network is able to effect an appropriate resolution.
If you have feedback, a complaint or a compliment, please ring OPAN on 1800 700 600 or complete the Feedback, Compliments and Complaints Form.