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Complaints and compliments about health services

Share a compliment

If you are happy with the treatment you received or something or someone has impressed you, please share this with the health service staff.

Make a complaint

Sometimes, medical treatment may not be acceptable. You have a right to express your concern and to have this heard and acted on. Anyone can make a complaint about a health service.

In some circumstances, your relative, carer or friend may raise concerns or make a complaint on your behalf. A consumer group or advocate can also complain on your behalf.

Children can make complaints if they are assessed by the health service as having a sufficient level of maturity and understanding. If the child is considered to lack the capacity to make a complaint, a parent or legal guardian can make the complaint on the child's behalf.

Steps in making a complaint

Go local first: contact the hospital, facility or service in question. Talking to the Nurse Manager, doctor or health professional of the area is often the easiest and quickest way to resolve the problem.

Act quickly: talk to someone as soon as possible, as the longer you wait the less clear the facts become and the harder it can be to find a solution.

Make it clear:

  • describe the incident
  • explain the order which things happened
  • include dates where possible
  • list any phone calls, letters or meetings
  • explain what action you would like the health service to take.

Make a formal complaint: If you do not wish to talk about your concerns with local staff or they have not been able to address your concerns, you can make a formal complaint. A complaint can be made in person, by phone, or in writing. The formal complaint process depends on whether you are complaining about a private or a public health service.

Public health services

Contact your local Queensland Health facility to see if the issue can be resolved locally first.  If not ask to be referred to the Hospital and Health Service (HHS) complaints coordinator, who reviews feedback for all the facilities in their area.

The complaints coordinator will:

  • acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days
  • review your complaint
  • contact you with possible options to resolve your complaint
  • explain what will happen next.

Your complaint will be dealt with in a confidential manner and will only be discussed with the people directly involved. Your complaint will not be kept on your medical record.

Unresolved complaints

If you lodged a complaint with the Queensland Health facility and it was not resolved to your satisfaction, you may wish to contact the Office of the Health Ombudsman. This independent organisation reviews and investigates health complaints.

Complaints about a Hospital and Health Service

If you have a complaint concerning about Hospital and Health Service (HHS) delivery please contact your local Hospital and Health Service directly.

Complaints about Department of Health staff

If you have a complaint about Department employee (including the Queensland Ambulance Service), contact the department’s Ethical Standards Unit by emailing co_complaints@health.qld.gov.au.

Private health services

To make a complaint about a private health service you should contact the hospital or health service provider directly. If you have lodged a complaint with the private health service and it hasn’t been resolved to your satisfaction, contact the Office of the Health Ombudsman.

Further information

Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
21 September 2015

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