Case studies

The following case studies illustrate how the Commission deals with complaints about health service providers.

How the Inquiry Service can assist

The Inquiry Service is usually the first point of contact for people with concerns about health care. Often, the Inquiry Officer can assist the person to address their concerns without the need to lodge a formal complaint.

How complaints can be resolved during the assessment process

Every written complaint that is received by the Commission must be assessed. Sometimes, the Assessment Officer is able to resolve the complaint during the assessment process.

Resolving complaints

The Commission refers complaints that are suitable for resolution, but do not require investigation, to its Resolution Service. The Commission stays involved by providing a Resolution Officer to assist the parties to negotiate a resolution of the complaint.

Investigating complaints

When deciding whether to investigate a complaint, the Commission’s primary objective is the protection of the health and safety of the public. The Commission must investigate certain types of complaints - those that raise a significant issue of public health or safety or a significant question as to the appropriate care or treatment provided by a health service provider; and those that, if substantiated, would provide grounds for disciplinary action against a health practitioner.

Prosecuting complaints

Complaints about registered health practitioners where the investigation has found sufficient evidence to consider disciplinary action are referred to the Director of Proceedings. Such complaints may involve allegations of impairment, unsatisfactory professional conduct and/or professional misconduct. More information about the prosecution of complaints.