Complaints Handling and Resolution Process
We value and encourage all feedback from our clients as we recognise feedback as an important element of continuous quality improvement.
We recognise the right of clients and members to make a complaint regarding the service provision and operations of the Association. We are committed to ensuring that all complaints and concerns are investigated and resolved quickly and fairly and without retribution. If you make a complaint we will deal with the situation sensitively, objectively, confidentially, promptly and in accordance with relevant legislation.
How we manage complaints
We categorise complaints into those that may be resolved informally and those that may require formal resolution. The categorisation depends on the type and nature of the complaint. This section describes each of these categories and the steps undertaken to resolve the complaint.
If you wish to complain about any aspect of our services, personnel or programs, you will be informed of your right to lodge a complaint.
In the first instance, we encourage you to discuss the issue with your MND Support Coordinator if the matter is in relation to any of the supports provided by MNDSA. MND Support Coordinators are empowered and encouraged to address and resolve issues immediately at a local level whenever possible. The staff member receiving the concern will make a record of the feedback and inform the Director Care Services (DCS).
Where the matter of concern is not able to be resolved at the local or informal level, it becomes a formal complaint. You will be advised to lodge a formal complaint, preferably in writing, addressed to the DCS. Assistance with writing the complaint will be provided if requested. You can find our Complaint Form here.
Complaints can be forwarded by mail, email, or any other form of electronic communication, or by speaking to the DCS. The DCS will contact you within 5 working days of receipt of the complaint and advise you of the complaints process and organise a meeting with you at an appropriate venue. If you want a support person or need an interpreter, we can help organise that. The role of the support person is to act and speak on your behalf not to mediate or arbitrate.
Together we will review your complaint and address each concern individually. It is usual for the meeting to include any other people involved, but separate interviews can also be arranged if you prefer. All formal complaints will be investigated by the DCS. The DCS or delegate will inform all people involved that a formal complaint has been lodged and we have a register where we keep track of things.
The senior management team at MNDSA thoroughly review and investigate all complaints. We seek input to this process from you, our staff and our records and then we will create an action plan to help us resolve the issue. We will give you a copy of this action plan.
NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
Where a formal complaint involves a NDIS Participant, we are obliged to let the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission know. We will keep you informed all through this process and we keep them informed of updates towards resolution. After we have all the information we need, we will negotiate a plan of action with you that is acceptable to everyone involved.
South Australian Department of Health
Where a formal complaint involves a non-NDIS client, we are obliged to let the Soth Australian Department of Health know. We will keep you informed all through this process and we keep them informed of updates towards resolution. After we have all the information we need, we will negotiate a plan of action with you that is acceptable to everyone involved.
What if my complaint isn’t resolved?
If your complaint isn’t resolved or it relates to the actions or decisions taken by the DCS, your complaint will be escalated to the CEO of MNDSA.
Within 5 days, the CEO will discuss your complaint with you and review all the relevant information to help find a satisfactory resolution. Your complaint will be resolved within existing MNDSA policies and processes from the Associations perspective, and the CEO’s decision is final. We hope to resolve your complaint within 28 days after we have received it.
If you are unhappy with MNDSA’s decision at any time, you can pursue it with the Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner (HCSCC) or the NDIS quality and Safeguards Commission.
Complaints about other services
If your complaint is about the operations or services of another organisation that is delivering services to you, you will be referred to that organisation to complain about their complaint management processes.
Other resources and organisations that can help.
The office of the South Australian Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner (HCSCC) is an independent, statutory office established by the Health and Community Services Complaints Act 2004. The HCSCC deals with complaints concerning any private or public health service provider, including doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and naturopaths. The aim of the Commission is to mediate and conciliate between parties.
As a registered NDIS provider, MNDSA is bound to report serious complaints and incidents, in connection with the provision of NDIS services and supports, to the Commission. The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) is an independent government body that works to improve the quality and safety of NDIS services and supports for people with disability, investigates and resolves problems related to them, and strengthens the skills and knowledge of providers and NDIS participants. Responsibilities of the NDIS Commission are set out in the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (the NDIS Act).
The role of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (Commission) is to protect and enhance the safety, health, well-being and quality of life of people receiving aged care. The Commission is the national end-to-end regulator of aged care services, and the primary point of contact for consumers and providers in relation to quality and safety.
The Ombudsman for the State Government deals with complaints concerning actions of government departments. The Ombudsman’s office also has jurisdiction over the administrative actions of local government officers. However, it cannot act if the complaint concerns a decision or action of an elected Council or Councillor.
The Equal Opportunity Commission will deal with complaints concerning discrimination on the grounds of disability, sex, race, age, industrial activity, marital, parental or carer status, political or religious beliefs, sexual orientation or pregnancy. The Commission will assist people to prepare statements and to lodge a complaint. The role of the Commission is to then mediate between parties to reach resolution of the complaint.
The Office of the Public Advocate represents the interests of South Australian people with a disability. The office is a statutory agency, independent of government and has the power to investigate and take action in situations where people are exploited, neglected or abused. Individual advocacy can also be provided for people with a disability who are being abused or neglected, and where no other advocacy is available. Independent guardians can be provided for people with a disability when the Guardianship and Administration Board make orders.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is an independent agency within the Attorney General’s portfolio. Their primary functions are privacy, freedom of information and government information policy. Their responsibilities include conducting investigations, reviewing decisions, handling complaints, and providing guidance and advice.