The Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner(HCSCC) is an independent statutory authority established under the Health and Community Services Complaints Act 2004 (SA). The role of the HCSCC is to help people to resolve complaints about health and community services where a direct approach to the service provider is either unreasonable, or has not succeeded. It covers health and community services across the public, private and non-government sectors.
The HCSCC assists service users and carers who wish to complain about health and community services. In certain circumstances, it will also deal with complaints made on behalf of another person. The HCSCC also assists service providers to respond to complaints. The HCSCC is obliged by law to treat everyone involved in a complaint equally.
The HCSCC may be able to deal with complaints about:
Since 18 December 2017, complaints in relation to most child protection matters have been dealt with by Ombudsman SA. This is pursuant to section 28A of the Health and Community Services Complaints Act 2004 (SA). See Complaints about child protection services
HCSCC can help to resolve complaints:
HCSCC cannot handle complaints about :
How to complain
The HCSCC recommends that it is often most effective to complain to the provider first. They provide some guidelines as to the suggested process for making a complaint to the provider. If the provider does not respond, or if the complainant feels that the response is unsatisfactory, they may contact the HCSCC by telephone or by completion of a complaint form. See more on the HCSCC -Making a Complaint website.
The telephone enquiry service provides advice in relation to the complaints process. Interpreters are available. The HCSCC may require the complainant to provide further information or documents in relation to a complaint, or to verify the complaint by statutory declaration.
The HCSCC also provides guidelines to assist service providers to respond to a complaint.
How complaints are resolved
The HCSCC may use one or more of a broad range of alternative dispute resolution processes including informal mediation, investigation and conciliation. There is flexibility in adopting the most appropriate process for a particular matter. Any agreement reached in the course of a conciliation process may be made in a binding form.
If, after investigating a complaint, the HCSCC decides that the complaint is justified but appears to be incapable of being resolved, the HCSCC may recommend that the service provider take particular action to remedy the grievance. The complainant may be notified of the recommendation.