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Nationwide Health & Disability Advocacy Service
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Receiving a complaint

We understand that it is unsettling to be on the receiving end of a complaint. However, complaints that are managed well can help us to learn from mistakes, identify gaps in services, and restore trust and mend relationships.

It is important that complaints are responded to promptly and fully, to allow both parties to move forward. The Advocacy Service process offers an opportunity for early and effective resolution between the parties to take place.


Who can make a complaint?

Anyone can make a complaint to the Advocacy Service about services you have provided to a consumer if you are a health or disability services provider. Advocates will usually only support a consumer of your service, or the consumer’s legal representative, in resolving a complaint.


The aim is resolution between the parties

When a complaint has been made directly to us about your service, you will usually have the opportunity to write or speak directly to the complainant to resolve their concerns. The advocate’s role is to assist the consumer to clarify their issues and expectations so that you can respond honestly and directly. Often the complaint can then be resolved quickly and successfully. Please note that in some cases an advocate may consider it appropriate for The Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC) to manage the complaint (see below).

The process is set out here.

High resolution and satisfaction rates

Our resolution rate is consistently between 90–94% (this includes withdrawn complaints). This reflects the skill of advocates, and the belief and commitment of all parties that the advocacy process will allow people to move forward.

Satisfaction rates with advocacy process are also extremely high for both consumers and providers. In 2016/17, 88% of consumers and 86% of providers who responded to satisfaction surveys said that they were satisfied or very satisfied.


Some complaints may be referred to the HDC

Although the Advocacy Service operates independently of HDC, when a complaint has been referred to the Advocacy Service by HDC, then the advocate is required to formally report back to HDC on the resolution process. In some limited circumstances, where a provider does not engage in the process or resolution cannot be reached, a complaint may be referred to HDC.


Contact us

Freephone: 0800 555 050


Remember, we are here to help.

Nationwide Health & Disability Advocacy Service
National Advocacy Trust
Nationwide Health & Disability Advocacy Service
Nationwide Health & Disability Advocacy Service