Why should you speak out?
Making a complaint is not ‘being difficult’. Complaints can help approved providers improve the quality of care and services they provide to you or your loved one, so your complaint can help other people too.
If you have a concern about the care you or someone else is receiving, it is important that you raise your concern.
We encourage you to try to raise your concern with the approved provider first as resolution at the local level can achieve a fast and sustainable outcome. If you are unable to resolve your concern with the approved provider, you can contact us on 1800 550 552.
Who can raise a concern?
Anyone can raise a concern, including:
- care recipients
- partners, including same-sex partners
- family members
- aged care staff
- health and medical professionals
What can the Scheme do?
We can examine complaints relating to an approved provider’s responsibilities under the Aged Care Act 1997. This includes concerns about care, choice of activities, discrimination, catering, communication or the physical environment.
We treat each complaint on its own merits. We will examine complaints regardless of a person’s cultural background, disability, gender, sex and gender identity, sexual orientation or any other status.
We have a high degree of flexibility in deciding how to resolve concerns. We can select one or more of the following approaches to resolve the issue in your concern: approved provider resolution, conciliation, mediation and investigation. This enables us to select the most relevant, practical and efficient approach. More information about these approaches can be found in our information booklet.
We can refer complaints that fall outside of our scope to other organisations. If we can’t help you, we will try to identify who may be able to help you.
Submitting a complaint
If you are lodging a complaint about the care someone else is receiving – it could be your mother, father, a friend – it is important that they know you are lodging a complaint.
Please provide as much information as you can when you lodge your complaint. This helps us to understand all the issues, and determine the most appropriate way to resolve your concern.
You can submit your complaint openly, confidentially or anonymously. It is best to submit your complaint openly; that is, provide your name and contact details. However, you have the right to complain anonymously or confidentially if you wish. If we cannot provide your details to the approved provider, we may be limited in what we can do. We can explain the difference between open, anonymous and confidential complaints when you contact us.
You can contact the Scheme to make a complaint in the following ways:
You can submit a complaint online which will be received instantly.
Call 1800 550 552. The call is free from most home phones.
If you need an interpreter
Tell us when you call and we will arrange to use the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS).
Alternatively, you can call the TIS directly on 131 450 and ask them to put you through to the Aged Care Complaints Scheme on 1800 550 552.
If you are hearing or speech impaired
If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment, contact us through the National Relay Service:
- TTY users: phone 1800 555 677 then ask for 1800 550 552
- Speak and Listen users: phone 1800 555 727 then ask for 1800 550 552
- Internet relay users: connect to the National Relay Service and enter 1800 550 552
You can write a letter to us. Address your letter to:Aged Care Complaints Scheme Australian Department of Health and Ageing GPO Box 9848 (Your capital city and state/territory)
Make sure your letter includes:
- your name, address and telephone number
- the date you are lodging your complaint
- details of your complaint, including specific dates of events and relevant comments
- the name of the aged care home or service and the state/territory in which it is located
- the name of the care recipient (the person involved in your complaint).