NSW Health is committed to improving the overall quality of health care. One of the challenges in this objective is to identify and promote strategies and practices that enhance services provided to the community and engender community trust in those who administer and provide those services.
Complaints and compliments provide unique information about the quality of health care from the perspective of consumers and their carers. The challenge for health care services is collect better information about consumers' views to ensure the safe delivery of care.
The policy directive was developed around eight key elements:
- Organisational commitment
- Accessible complaint processes for consumers
- Timely and sensitive management of complaints
- Appropriate assessment of complaints
- Just and fair treatment to all involved
- Complaint information management
- Evaluation and review
Complaint management guidelines
Turning wrongs into rightsThe Australian Council for Safety and Quality in Heath Care (the Council) sponsored the Turning Wrongs into Rights: learning from consumer reported incidents project to improve the way health care services management complaints, particularly the link to quality improvement.
The project was completed in June 2004 and produced the Better Practice Guidelines on Complaints Management for Health Care Services and a Complaints Management Workbook for health care services. Both resources were endorsed by the by the Health Ministers Conference in July 2004 and informed the development of the NSW policy directive and guidelines.