Complaints Management Policy

Applicable to: Health Service Providers


The purpose of the Complaints Management Policy is to set out the requirements for the collection, recording, reporting and management of consumer complaints relating to the WA health system.

The Policy promotes best practice in complaints management by the WA health system and advocates an efficient, proactive approach to complaint management that results in the best possible outcomes for health consumers. Complaint Management is part of a larger quality improvement system that includes clinical incident reporting, investigation and management systems, risk management, Open Disclosure and medico-legal claims.

The Policy operates within a legal framework which may impose restrictions and obligations to the management, reporting or escalation of complaints. Legislation pertinent to the management of complaints about the WA health system includes:

  • Health and Disability Services (Complaints) Act 1995
  • Health and Disability Services (Complaints) Regulations 2010
  • Mental Health Act 2014
  • Disability Services Act 1993
  • Carers Recognition Act 2004
  • Freedom of Information Act 1992
  • Corruption, Crime and Misconduct Act 2003

The National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHS Standards) second edition aim to protect the public from harm and improve the quality of health service provision. The NSQHS Standards include requirements for consumer feedback which underpin this Policy (refer to NSQHS Standards 1 and 2). This Policy is supported by the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights.

This Policy is also underpinned by the Australian/ New Zealand Standard Guidelines for complaint management in organisations (AS/NZ 10002:2014).

Where a Health Service Provider delivers care to children and young people their complaints management system must be child focused in accordance with Principle 6 of the National Principles for Child Safe organisations.

This Policy supersedes OD 0589/15 WA Health Complaint Management Policy (2015).

This Policy is a mandatory requirement under the Clinical Governance, Safety and Quality Policy Framework pursuant to sections 26(2)(a), (c), (d) and (l) and 34(2)(f) of the Health Services Act 2016.

Date of effect: 03 February 2020

Policy Framework

Supporting information