Naming policy

When does HDC publicly name providers?


For the first decade after the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights (the Code) came into force (on 1 July 1996), HDC published investigation reports without naming the health and disability service providers involved. The focus was on educating the sector, and a policy of blanket name suppression ensured maximum provider co-operation with those processes.


However, the Commissioner was concerned that by not naming providers in certain circumstances, public confidence in the health professions and complaint handling procedures was being undermined and consumers were being denied information that could influence their choice of practitioner or facility.

In 2006 the Commissioner decided to name district health boards in Code breach opinions on the basis that they should be publicly accountable for the quality of care they fund or provide. In 2007, that policy was extended to include other group providers and individual providers (in limited circumstances).

Following consultation with the sector HDC developed a policy regarding the naming of providers in breach reports.

The naming policy (PDF, 97KB), sets out:
  • The interaction between the Official Information Act 1982 (the OIA) and the policy (section 2);
  • The legislative basis allowing the Commissioner to name (section 3); and
  • The factors taken into account by the Commissioner when deciding to introduce this policy (section 4).