Standard 6. Feedback and complaints
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(1) I feel safe and am encouraged and supported to give feedback and make complaints. I am engaged in processes to address my feedback and complaints, and appropriate action is taken.
(2) The organisation regularly seeks input and feedback from consumers, carers, the workforce and others and uses the input and feedback to inform continuous improvements for individual consumers and the whole organisation.
(3) The organisation demonstrates the following:
(a) Consumers, their family, friends, carers and others are encouraged and supported to provide feedback and make complaints.
(b) Consumers are made aware of and have access to advocates, language services and other methods for raising and resolving complaints.
(c) Appropriate action is taken in response to complaints and an open disclosure process is used when things go wrong.
(d) Feedback and complaints are reviewed and used to improve the quality of care and services.
Purpose and scope of the Standard
Standard 6 requires an organisation to have a system to resolve complaints. The system must be accessible, confidential, prompt and fair. It should also support all consumers to make a complaint or give feedback. Resolving complaints within the organisation can help build the relationship between the consumer and the organisation. It can also lead to better outcomes.
- encourages consumers to give positive and negative feedback to their organisation about the care and services they receive
- responds to feedback and complaints consumers and others make formally and informally, written or verbally to the organisation
- helps organisations keep improving, informs improvements to care and services and
- resolves issues for consumers and others.
Organisations are expected to demonstrate open disclosure. This is in line with up-to-date practices of open communication and transparent processes. It includes acknowledging and apologising when the organisation has made mistakes.
Consumers should feel safe and comfortable giving feedback to the organisation. Some consumers have barriers that make it difficult for them to raise complaints. These could be cognitive or communication difficulties, language or cultural differences. The nature of a complaint can also be particularly sensitive or private. Organisations are expected to look for ways to tackle these barriers and create a culture that welcomes feedback and supports consumers to make complaints.
Assessment against this Standard
For each of the requirements, organisations need to demonstrate that they:
- understand the requirement
- apply the requirement, and this is clear in the way they provide care and services
- monitor how they are applying the requirement and the outcomes they achieve
- review outcomes and adjust their practices based on these reviews to keep improving.
Standard 6 links to:
Standard 1 – All aspect of care and services need to treat consumers with dignity and respect and support them to make choices. It’s also important that care and services are delivered in a way that is culturally safe. Feedback and complaints systems support the consumers to let the organisation know when this does not occur.
Standard 7 – Workforce interactions with consumers need to be kind, caring and respectful of each consumer’s identity, culture and diversity. In particular, the workforce needs to be capable of supporting consumers to raise feedback and complaints about any aspect of these Standards.
Standard 8 – The organisation’s governing body is accountable for the delivery of safe, and quality care, services and supports. It is expected organisation wide governance systems include feedback and complaints. The systems should support a culture of open disclosure and continuous improvement.
- Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth), Schedule 1 User Rights Principles 2014. Charter of Rights and Responsibilities – Residential Care
- Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth), Schedule 2 User Rights Principles 2014. Charter of Rights and Responsibilities – Home Care
- Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth), Schedule 3 User Rights Principles 2014. Charter of Rights and Responsibilities – Short-term restorative Care
Resources and references
- Better Practice Guide to Complaint Handling in Aged Care Services
- Commonwealth Ombudsman Better Practice Guide to Complaint Handling
- Open Disclosure Following Adverse Events in Hospitals
- The National Aged Care Advocacy Program