The health, safety and welfare of our staff and members of the public who use our services continues to be our primary focus. While there has been an easing of some restrictions by the State Government, my office will continue to operate via remote working arrangements for the foreseeable future.
In March 2020, I made the decision to begin working remotely in response to the risk of spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). This meant closing our office at 570 Bourke Street and for staff to operate remotely, like many other businesses.
Despite a significant change in our operational environment, we have adjusted the way we provide our services in order to continue serving the Victorian public. For example, we have fast-tracked the roll out of online complaint and enquiry forms for Victorians who wish to lodge a new complaint or enquiry. These forms can be accessed at www.hcc.vic.gov.au/make-complaint.
We have also implemented a process whereby, if all of our Customer Service Officers are on calls and lines are busy, telephone calls will be captured as a voice message that is sent via email to the Team who will then call people back. This ensures that anyone wanting to contact us, will get through. We do ask that you continue to be patient. We can be contacted on 1300 582 113.
Despite the easing of restrictions, we are still not conducting any face-to-face meetings. However, our Resolutions team continue to deal with complaints and will work collaboratively with both complainants and their healthcare providers to resolve matters via phone calls and emails, and where appropriate, using teleconferencing options.
In addition to the types of complaints we generally deal with, we have also been receiving complaints directly related to COVID-19. If this is something we can assist with we will, but in many cases, these are not matters we are able to accept. We will try to help you to find the most suitable person or organisations to assist, but we recommend that for information on the Coronavirus pandemic you access the Department of Health and Human Services website at: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus
We are continuing to conduct investigations into those matters where we believe a health service provider poses a serious risk to the health, safety or welfare of the Victorian public.
We acknowledge that the Coronavirus pandemic may be a difficult time for many, and we want to thank the community for their patience.
Over the next weeks and months, the State Government will be slowly easing more restrictions on Victorian businesses and communities.
As our office plans for a staged return to 570 Bourke Street over the next few months, taking into account the safety and welfare of our staff and the community we serve, we will continue to provide updates on our website. We encourage you to check for changes. In the meantime, we remain, as always, committed to playing our part in supporting safe and ethical healthcare for all Victorians.