Our process

Our complaints process is

  • Free
  • Impartial: We do not advocate for either party.
  • Voluntary: We cannot force participation, but we may investigate a health service that refuses to participate if we believe it is necessary.
  • An alternative to legal proceedings: You don't need a lawyer.

Complaint journey




When we receive a complaint, the first step is to decide whether our office should deal with the complaint or if another agency is more appropriate.

Our next step is to confirm that the person making the complaint has tried to resolve their issue directly with the service provider. This is often the quickest and easiest way to resolve an issue and we are legally required to recommend this happens before we deal with it. Some people may have a good reason why they cannot contact the service provider.

If the complaint is appropriate for us to deal with, and the complainant and the service provider could not resolve it directly, we may take further action. When deciding how to handle a complaint we must apply the least formal process appropriate for the complaint.

Your privacy

We handle your information and personal details carefully and confidentially. See our privacy policy for further information.

It is against the law to threaten or intimidate anyone from making a complaint or try to persuade anyone not to make a complaint.

In special cases, a person's identity can be withheld when forwarding details of the complaint to the provider. If you are still concerned about your privacy, you can lodge a complaint anonymously. If you do choose to make a complaint anonymously, it will be more difficult for us to look into the issue. If we don't have your name and contact details, we will be unable to contact you for more information and we won't be able to provide you with updates if the complaint proceeds.

Complaint process options include: