About the Complaint Process
Each complaint is unique. We assess every complaint carefully, considering the issues you raise and the evidence available.

First, we recommend talking or writing to us with your complaint. This can help us to resolve your concerns more quickly. We will respond to complaints in a timely and appropriate way.

If you are not satisfied with the way the complaint was handled, you have the option to send your complaint to the Health and Disability Commission (HDC).

An overview of the Complaint Process with HDC.

  1. You send your complaint to HDC.
  2. Their Complaints Assessment Team will read and review your complaint.
  3. There are a range of actions HDC may take, including:
      • They may ask the us to resolve your complaint with you directly, or with the help of the Advocacy Service. Complaints are often resolved at this stage. We or the Advocacy Service will report back to HDC on the outcome to ensure that your concerns have been addressed.
      • They may decide another agency is better placed to handle the complaint, e.g. the Privacy Commissioner or the District Inspector.
      • They may ask for more information, from you and others, to help them with your complaint. They may also seek clinical advice from someone who works in the same field as us.
      • They may close your complaint without a formal investigation, if they find that the care you received was largely appropriate. If this is the case, they will often make recommendations for change or educational comment to the provider.
  4. In a small number of cases, HDC carries out a formal investigation. If this is going to happen to your complaint, they will let you know. The Commissioner (or Deputy Commissioner) decides the outcome of your complaint. They will send you a written explanation about the outcome.

By resolving complaints, HDC helps people understand and learn from what happened. This reduces the chance of the same thing happening to someone else. They use what they see in complaints to recommend improvements to the health and disability sectors. This helps make the whole system stronger for all of us and protects consumers’ rights.

Please note that HDC can’t:

  • make people pay you compensation or refund you
  • have a person “struck off”
  • change what is written in your medical notes
  • provide a second opinion on your diagnosis
  • get you an appointment.