How to raise your concerns directly

Do you have concerns, questions, or problems about a health or disability service that you or someone else received?  You can contact the person or organisation who provided the service and work with them directly.  This can help to resolve your concerns more quickly, and you will often be able to get an explanation and/or an apology directly from those involved.

You have the right to make a complaint, under Right 10 of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights.

On this page, we offer steps to help you raise your concerns with the service provider.

Would you like help with this? Contact a health and disability advocate

You can contact a health and disability advocate to help you with raising your concerns directly on freephone 0800 555 050.

Four steps to raise your concerns and work towards a resolution

These steps help you to be clear about your concerns and how you want to resolve them. Go through these steps first, then contact the person or organisation who provided the service.

1. Clarify your concerns, questions, and problems

Write a list. You can list general concerns or questions and specific problems. If a problem is linked to something that happened on a specific day, note the date, time and who was there. An advocate can help you with this list.

Talk about the problems with a trusted friend or an advocate. This can help to sort out what is troubling you if you’re angry, upset, or distressed by what has happened.

2. Identify what would improve or fix your concerns

Ask yourself: “What can be done to put it right?” Be clear about what you want to see happen.

3. Ask for support

Do you want support in taking your complaint to a person or organisation?  Health and disability advocates are available to support or guide you. This service is free of charge, independent, and confidential.

You can also ask family/whānau or friends to support you.

4. Communicate your concerns and what you want to happen

When you are ready to contact the organisation or person, you have two options:

  • Contact them in writing, by letter or email. Tell them your questions, concerns, and problems. Include what would improve and/or fix the problems for you
  • Telephone them. Ask to meet with someone from the service to discuss your complaint.

Tell them that you are contacting them because of a concern, question, or problem. The organisation or person may have no idea that there is a problem. They may need time to look into your concerns before responding.

A face-to-face meeting may be a good way to discuss your concerns and start to resolve them. In the meeting you can:

  • Tell your story
  • Listen to their 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 person’s or organisation’s apologies if this is appropriate
  • Agree on what to do next
  • You have a right to bring a support person to this meeting.

When you complain to a person or organisation, you have rights

You have rights under the Code of Rights, including the right to complain for yourself or on behalf of someone else.  The person or organisation you complain to must acknowledge your complaint in writing within five working days of receiving it. They must provide a substantial response within 10 working days.

What if the person or organisation does not respond, or their response doesn’t help?

If the person or organisation does not respond to your complaint, or you are not satisfied with their response, you can contact the Advocacy Service for independent advice and support. If your concerns are still not resolved, you can complain to HDC.

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

Call a health and disability advocate to assist you: Freephone 0800 555 050