Last updated 11 August 2016
There are two systems operating for people to make a complaint about a facility:
- an internal system within the facility
- an external system through the Aged Care Complaints Scheme.
Generally, you are encouraged to attempt to resolve your concern using the provider’s internal system of complaint handling. If not successful then anyone can raise a complaint about an aged care provider or about anything concerning the operation of the facility with the Aged Care Complaints Scheme. The scheme only covers government-subsidised aged care facilities. The scheme is managed by the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner and the legislation gives it wide powers to investigate complaints including such things as the quality of care being received by aged care residents, the choice of activities, personal care, catering, communication and physical environment.
If you are not happy with the outcome or decision of the complaints scheme process, then you can seek a review of a decision of the scheme by the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner. Care should be taken in this regard as strict time limits apply:
- If you are not satisfied with a decision of the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner, you have 28 days after receiving the decision letter to seek a review.
- If you have a concern about the complaints process, you must raise it with the commissioner within 12 months of the completion of the process.
The complaints scheme can refer a complaint to another agency, such as the police or the Aged Care Quality Agency, which can assess and review a facility’s accreditation as an approved facility as a consequence of the complaint. Similarly, you can complain to the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner about a decision by that agency to accredit a facility.