How to raise your concerns directly

If you’re concerned about a health or disability service you’ve received, it’s important for you to understand what happened. The organisation or person who provided the service may be able to help you with this.

How can I try to resolve the issues myself?

Before making a complaint to HDC, you can contact the organisation or person who provided the service. If you’re not sure of the best way to get your point across, the following suggestions may help:

1. Clarify your issues

Write a list. Talking about the issues with a trusted friend or an advocate can help to sort out exactly what is troubling you. This can be helpful if you’re feeling angry, upset or distressed by what has happened.

2. Identify a solution

Ask yourself: “What can be done to put it right?” Be clear about what you are hoping to achieve.

3. Ask for support

Do you want family/whānau, friends, or an advocate to support you in taking your complaint further? Health and disability advocates are available to support or guide you when you make a complaint. This service is independent, confidential, and free of charge.

4. Communicate your issues

Write a letter (or send an email) to the organisation or person who provided the service, or telephone and ask to meet with someone else from the service, to discuss your complaint.

It is important to let the person or organisation know that you are contacting them because of a concern or dissatisfaction. Remember that the person or organisation may have no idea that there was a problem, and may need time to look into your concerns before responding.

A face-to-face meeting may be an effective way of raising your issues, and may help to resolve your complaint. In the meeting, you can:
  • Tell your story.
  • Listen to the service provider’s explanation.
  • Agree on what will put matters right. This may include discussing changes to the service so that what happened does not happen again to you or to someone else.
  • Accept the service provider’s apologies if this is appropriate.
  • Agree on “Where to from here?”.

Under Right 10 of the Code, the provider is obliged to acknowledge your complaint in writing within five working days of receipt, and provide a more substantive response within 10 working days.

What if my concerns have not been addressed?

If the person or organisation does not respond to your complaint, or you are not satisfied with their actions, you can contact the Advocacy Service for guidance, or complain to HDC.

Don’t know where to start? Need some help?

Call a health and disability advocate to assist you: Free-phone 0800 555 050.