Complaints, Compliments and Feedback Policy

 

GOALS OF THE POLICY

We value all feedback as it assists us to continually improve our clinical services and customer service.

We will make readily available, our complaint handling policy and procedure so that clients are aware of their rights and opportunities to provide feedback.

 

PURPOSE AND SCOPE

This policy has been designed to assist both clients and staff.  Living to the Max Occupational Therapy Services is committed to consistent, fair and confidential complaint handling and to resolving complaints as quickly as possible.  We aim to make it easy for people to make a complaint if they are dissatisfied and we will treat all clients making a complaint equally.

 

POLICY

It is the policy of Living to the Max Occupational Therapy Services to create an environment where complaints and concerns, compliments and suggestions (feedback) are welcomed and viewed as an opportunity for acknowledgement and improvement. This is to ensure that individuals have the right to make comments and complaints, and are encouraged to exercise their right in blame free and resolution focused culture; respecting an individual’s right to privacy and confidentiality.

It is acknowledged that such comments and complaints are vital to review internal performance and processes and to seek continuous improvement of services as we seek to achieve our care commitment. Participants, families, and / or other stakeholders may submit compliment, complaint and / or feedback form about Living to the Max Occupational Therapy Services’ supports or services, staff, and / or contractors.

It is our policy to follow the principles of procedural fairness and natural justice and comply with the requirements under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Complaints Management and Resolution) Rules 2018.

Living to the Max Occupational Therapy Services maintains that complaints and feedback can be managed effectively through:

  • An open and transparent complaint handling system.
  • The observation of the principles of natural justice and compliance with relevant mandatory reporting under Australian law.
  • Commitment to the right of stakeholders to complain either directly or through their representatives.
  • The maintenance of complete confidentiality and privacy.
  • Assurance that staff must abide by the Code of Conduct.
  • Staff training and a clear documented process.
  • Complaints being considered seriously and with respect.
  • Informing participants about their right and providing guidance on how to make a complaint during the assessment and orientation process.
  • Easily available information for people, about the complaints process.
  • The provision of support for those people who may need assistance to make the complaint.
  • The protection of complainants against retribution or discrimination.
  • The prompt investigation and resolution of complaints.
  • Communicating and consulting with participants, family, carers and advocates during the complaint’s process, and providing feedback and resolutions.
  • Consistent interpretation and application of policies and processes.
  • The provision of opportunities for all parties to participate in the complaints resolution process.
  • The acceptance of the Living to the Max Occupational Therapy Services and its employees being accountable for actions and decisions taken as a result of the complaint.
  • The commitment to resolve problems at the point of service or through referral to alternatives.
  • The commitment to use the complaint as a means of improving the planning, delivery and review of services through our continuous improvement processes, and
  • Referring complaints and feedback into continuous improvement policy.

 

DEFINITION

 Complaint – An expression of dissatisfaction or a circumstance regarded as a cause for such expression.

 

PROCEDURE

Complaint Process

 Complaints and suggestions can be made through:

  • Utilisation of the Compliments, Complaint / Feedback Form.
  • Contacting a member of staff verbally or in writing. The member of staff must offer to document the complaint on behalf of a participant (if required) and refer the matter to the Managing Director and/or Director.
  • Contacting the Managing Director and/or Director , verbally or in writing.
  • Responding to questionnaires and surveys.
  • Attending meetings / care conferences.
  • Contacting external complaint’s agencies.

Results are recorded in Complaint Register to allow for input into Continuous Improvement processes.

If a complaint is about:

  • Support or services – The complaint will be dealt with by the Managing Director and/or Director
  • A staff member – The complaint will be dealt with by the Managing Director and/or Director
  • The Managing Director and/or Director – An external person or body may be approached (NDIS Commission Ph: 1800 035 544 -9 am to 4 pm)

 

Complaint and Resolution Stages

  • Acknowledge all complaints quickly (within one working day where possible) and consult with participant regarding desired outcome. The complainant should be informed of, and supported regarding their right to advocacy, interpreter, stages of decision making, mechanisms to protect privacy, and progress and outcome.
  • Complaints will not be discussed with anyone who does not have a genuine responsibility for resolving the issue.
  • Where the complainant is a recipient of disability services under the NDIS, check the participant record for a preferred key contact for complaints or ask the participant if they would like to nominate a key contact from one of the Living to the Max Occupational Therapy Services’ persons; assigned to handle complaints.
  • If a meeting is required, then it will be held in a safe environment that has been determined by the complainant and at a time relevant to the participant.
  • Complainant must be informed at all stages of the status of their complaint.
  • Living to the Max Occupational Therapy Services must take into consideration any cultural and linguistic needs of the participant and provide the relevant support mechanism such as interpreters or similar.
  • Assess the complaint, give it priority, think about resolution pathway (where required), plan and investigate. Complaints will be investigated and wherever practicable the resolution is attempted at the time the complaint is lodged with the Managing Director and/or Director. It is always Managing Director and/or Director’s responsibility to keep the complainant informed in relation to the complaint. Written responses must be approved by Managing Director and/or Director prior to being sent out.
  • Record keeping;
    • Document the details
    • Identify the issues
    • Investigate adhering to the principles of impartiality, privacy, confidentiality, transparency and timeliness
    • Record the outcome of this process
    • Upload documents
    • Feedback to the complainant
  • Respond to the complainant with a clear decision.
  • After investigation and a satisfactory response has been documented the Managing Director and/or Director will ensure that the complaint investigation has been satisfactorily completed.
  • Determine if the complainant is satisfied with the outcome.
  • Follow-up any concerns.
  • Consider if there are any systemic issues.
  • Staff, participants and/or person’s responsible, visiting health professionals and visitors are informed of the complaints process through:
    • Staff Orientation and training
    • Meetings
    • Participant Agreements
    • Website
  • Complaints resolution will be monitored according to the audit schedule and feedback will be provided to the complainants personally.

 

Unresolved Complaints

  • Unresolved complaints will be referred to the Managing Director and/or Director for investigation and resolution. Should the complaint not be resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction, the complaint will be escalated to a person nominated by the complainant (with the complainant’s permission).
  • When complaints cannot be resolved internally, the complainant may be refer to the NDIS Commission (listed below);

 

NDIS Commission

The complainant has the right to refer their complaint to the NDIS Commission at any time and will be supported by Living to the Max Occupational Therapy as required.

 

RELATED DOCUMENTS

  • Compliments, Complaint / Feedback Form
  • Service Agreement
  • Code of Ethics and Conduct Policy / Form
  • Continuous Improvement Policy
  • Incidents, Accidents and Emergencies Policy
  • Risk Management Policy

 

REFERENCES

  • Work Health and Safety Act (2011)
  • NDIS Practice Standards and Quality Indicators 2018
  • NDIS (Complaints Management and Resolution) Rules 2018
  • Privacy Act (1988)