This fact sheet outlines how the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission supports providers to resolve complaints.
Provider resolution involves us referring complaint issues that a complainant raises with us to a provider to resolve. Where possible, we choose this approach as it is often the best way to have concerns quickly and effectively resolved.
Resolving complaints within the service
Providers should encourage people to raise concerns directly with them and try to resolve these, using their own complaints management processes. This:
• empowers the provider to consider the complaint issues and develop sustainable and effective local solutions
• provides the opportunity to reach the best outcome for the person receiving aged care and the service
• maintains and can strengthen relationships between the service, complainants and people receiving aged care, and supports continuous improvement, by enabling the provider to use the lessons from the complaint to improve care.
When do we select provider resolution?
We select provider resolution to resolve a complaint if:
• the issues do not present any significant risk to the health or safety of the person receiving aged care
• the provider is willing to participate in the resolution process, and we have discussed with the complainant why we have chosen this approach to resolve their complaint.
How do we commence provider resolution?
A complaints officer will liaise with a manager of your service and we will:
• seek your agreement to, within a mutually agreed timeframe, engage in the process and provide a written resolution report to us. The timeframe will depend on the number, complexity and urgency of the issues in the complaint
• discuss expectations about your role and actions in this type of resolution process
• write to both you and the complainant confirming the issues and that ‘provider resolution’ is the approach we have chosen to resolve the complaint
• provide an optional report template to assist you to report back to us the outcome of the resolution process.
Key activities during provider resolution
Some points to consider during the process
• refer to your complaints management policy
• determine who in your service should be involved in resolving the complaint
• listen to the complainant to identify their concerns and expected outcomes, and acknowledge these
• actively involve the person receiving aged care and the complainant in the process, where possible
• involve all relevant parties (e.g. personal care worker, chef, hairdresser, or the cleaner) to consider different ways to resolve the issues
• be clear about what you will do to resolve the concerns, and the timeframes
• consider whether your feedback and complaints system is encouraging feedback.
Our Better Practice Guide to Complaint Handling can help your service manage complaints effectively. You can access this on our website: agedcarequality.gov.au.
Completing a provider resolution process
Once you have completed the provider resolution process, you need to provide a report to us. This should include:
• an outline of the issues in the complaint
• a summary of the action you took to resolve the complaint (i.e. how you investigated the issues, any dialogue you have had with the complainant, care recipient and staff members), and
• an explanation of the outcomes reached and
• any documentation that supports the outcomes reached.
We will acknowledge receipt of your report and determine whether you have sufficiently addressed the complaint by:
• speaking with the complainant and where appropriate the person receiving aged care to find out if their concerns have been addressed, and
• where necessary, clarifying the information in your report with you.
If we are satisfied with how you addressed the complaint, we will finalise the resolution process.
If we are not satisfied that the issues have been adequately addressed, we will talk with you about our concerns, and give you a chance to respond.
If the issues still cannot be finalised, we will then consider an appropriate course of action.