Te tāpae amuamu mō tētahi ratonga tautoko ā-kāinga Make a complaint about a home support service

You have a right to safe, quality home support services. Never hesitate to voice concerns or make a complaint about your home support services. Find out about the complaint process and what your options are.

Raise a concern or make a complaint

No concern or complaint is too small or unimportant. Your right to home support services will not be affected if you raise a concern or make a complaint.

Talk to someone if you are concerned or unhappy with your care or support. You can raise a concern or complain yourself, or someone else to do so on your behalf. A family member, friend, volunteer, advocate, health professional or carer can raise the concern for you.

If you are not the person receiving the service, that person needs to know that you are going to raise a concern about their home support services before you do so.

What you can complain about

You can complain about any breach of your rights under the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights 1996.

Your rights (external link)

Here are some examples of things you can make a complaint about.

  • Abuse — physical, verbal or emotional.
  • Dishonesty
  • Carelessness or compromising your safety or the safety of anyone they are working around — for example by not using equipment properly.
  • Poor time management — being late or not showing up often without giving you notice.
  • Breach of privacy.
  • Dsirespect to your culture or what makes you unique, or behaving inappropriately — for example, saying things or behaving in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • Not getting support to meet goals set in your home support plan.
  • Your home support organisation not providing an alternative support worker when your main support worker cannot be there.
  • Your home support organisation sending a support worker who is not able to do the work.

Poor communication, for example, if you feel you are not able to easily talk to someone at the home support organisation.

Talk to your home support organisation

Raise your concern or complaint with your home support provider first. The service coordinator or manager is the first line for response.

This gives the them the chance to fix immediate or long-term problems. They can change the way they provide services. Follow the organisation’s complaints process.

You can raise a concern or make a complaint:

  • by telephone
  • in writing
  • in person.

Make sure there is a record of your complaint. You can raise a concern or complaint yourself, or you can ask someone else to do so on your behalf, for example, a family member, friend, volunteer, advocate, health professional or carer.

Complaint process with your organisation

Each home support service organisation follows a complaints process set out in the the Code of Rights. This means the organisation will:

  • work out a way of resolving the issue that is fair, simple, speedy and efficient
  • acknowledge your complaint in writing within 5 working days of receiving that complaint, unless your complaint is resolved to your satisfaction within those five days
  • make sure you know about the complaints procedure, your right to have an advocate and your right to complain to the Health and Disability Commissioner
  • document the complaint and the actions taken
  • aim to resolve your complaint within 10 working days of sending you written acknowledgement of the complaint or work out if they need more time to investigate the complaint — if they need more than 20 working days, they must give you a reason why
  • keep you informed at least once a month on progress to resolve your complaint
  • provide you with the final outcome, including the decision and any actions they will take.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you can ask your home support organisation to reconsider, or ask the organisation how you can have their decision reviewed.

Other support for making complaints

If you do not feel comfortable raising your concern or complaint directly with your home support organisation, you can contact the organisation that funds them. Their contracts are organised by:

  • Whaikaha — Ministry of Disabled People
  • Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora
  • Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).

You can also contact a support or advocacy group. These include:

How agencies address complaints

When another agency receives your complaint, that agency will review the complaint to work out the best way to resolve it. They might:

  • ask your home support organisation to try to resolve the complaint themselves and keep the agency informed as they do so
  • decide to refer your complaint to another agency such as the Ministry of Health or the Health and Disability Advocacy Service
  • decide to investigate the complaint themselves
  • decide to take no action.

Results from a complaint

A complaint can result in the home support service organisation:

  • making a written apology
  • doing specific training
  • reviewing and changing systems, policies or procedures to improve how they deliver their support services.
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