Complaints against Commonwealth-funded aged care services can be made to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (the Commission). The Commission was established under the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018 (Cth) and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018 (Cth). The Act and Rules apply to both approved providers of residential aged care or home-care services, and Commonwealth-funded aged care service providers.
Since 1 January 2019, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission replaced the former Aged Care Complaints Commissioner and the former Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, combining the functions of the two former agencies into a single service that oversees aged care compliance monitoring, complaints, and customer service.
From January 2020, the Commission will also have responsibility over the Commonwealth Department of Health's aged care compliance responsibilities.
The Commission's role includes:
- overseeing the approval, accreditation and assessment of Commonwealth-funded aged care providers;
- providing a complaints resolution process for complaints relating to Commonwealth-funded aged care providers;
- overseeing the monitoring and compliance processes of Commonwealth-funded aged care providers.
Aged care service providers subsidised by the Australian Government must meet the responsibilities and standards of care set out in the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth). They will also be required to comply with the Aged Care Quality Standards from 1 July 2019. Information on the Aged Care Quality Standards can be accessed via the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission website.
A person who has a concern or complaint about a service provider's responsibilities under the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth) should attempt to raise any concerns with the aged care service provider in the first instance. If they are unable to do this or the provider is unable to resolve their concern, they should then contact the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission online via the Commission's website, or by telephoning 1800 951 822. Complaints may be open, confidential or anonymous and all complaints are taken seriously. Any person can raise a complaint or concern with the Commission.
The Commission may be able to assist with a concern or complaint relating to:
- residential care or residential respite care;
- home care packages;
- the Commonwealth Home Support program;
- Flexible Care, including Transition Care and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program;
- Commonwealth-funded aged care providers.
A complaint or concern may relate to wide range of matters including the health care or personal care assistance that a consumer is receiving, their living environment, or a concern that their personal choices or preferences are not being followed. It may relate to concerns about a staff member's role or actions, the communication of information to the consumer, or to certain fees and charges contained in care agreements.
Complaints may be resolved using one or more of the following methods:
- the provider's processes for complaint resolution;
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.