Respect, consideration, recognition and support are some of the principles that guide services in how they should work with carers.
As a carer, you have the right to raise any concerns you may have about the care the person you are caring for receives. Complaints from carers are treated with the same respect as complaints directly from the person in care.
One of the challenges of providing care for someone is knowing when to speak up about the services they get. It is okay to speak up if you think something is wrong.
If you feel that any rights have been ignored during treatment, you can give feedback or make a complaint.
Write it down
It is a good idea to write down your concerns. Make notes during appointments and keep track of dates, times and the people involved. It is also useful to have this information on hand when you need to make a complaint.
Where to start to make a complaint
It is a good idea to make your complaint as soon as possible, either in person or in writing. The longer
you wait, the harder it could be to find out the facts and resolve any issues.
Step 1. Speak directly with the healthcare professional or service provider
As a first step, speak with the healthcare professional or service provider involved. It might be a misunderstanding or something that a simple apology could resolve.
Step 2. Speak with someone representing the healthcare service
Services often welcome feedback so they can improve their service. Sometimes it highlights a bigger problem that they need to address. All services have processes for hearing and dealing with complaints within their organisation.
The service may be able to give you an immediate solution, or will try to address your complaint as soon as possible through its complaints process.
Services should keep you updated on their progress in addressing your complaint.
Step 3. Lodge your complaint with a regulatory body or authority
If you are unhappy with the response from the service involved and the organisation they represent, you can make a formal complaint to a regulatory body or authority such as the Health Complaints Commissioner (for treatment by any Victorian healthcare organisation, including private treatment).
It is a good idea to phone the regulatory body or authority first to make sure they are the right organisation to deal with your complaint and to discuss their process.
Getting legal advice as a carer
Depending on your complaint you may need some legal advice.
Victoria Legal Aid
If you or someone you know needs legal advice, Victoria Legal Aid
can provide free legal advice. Call 1300 792 387 between 8.15am to 5.15pm, Monday to Friday for free advice.
The Law Institute of Victoria – Referral Service
The Law Institute of Victoria
manages a referral service that can connect you with a legal practitioner. With a referral from the Law Institute of Victoria, your introductory meeting (up to 30 minutes) will be free of charge. After that, standard legal fees will apply.
Where to get help
This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by:
Department of Health and Human Services
Content on this website is provided for information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not in any way endorse or support such therapy, service, product or treatment and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. The information and materials contained on this website are not intended to constitute a comprehensive guide concerning all aspects of the therapy, product or treatment described on the website. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions and to ascertain whether the particular therapy, service, product or treatment described on the website is suitable in their circumstances. The State of Victoria and the Department of Health & Human Services shall not bear any liability for reliance by any user on the materials contained on this website.