The Aged Care Complaints Scheme and the Commonwealth HACC Program
This fact sheet outlines the role of the Aged Care Complaints Scheme in resolving complaints about Commonwealth HACC services
PDF printable version of The Aged Care Complaints Scheme and the Commonwealth HACC Program (PDF 1942 KB)
From 1 July 2012, the Commonwealth will fund basic community care services in all states and territories, except Western Australia and Victoria. This covers people aged 65 and over and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 and over.
HACC service providers should continue to work directly with people who raise concerns because this can achieve a fast and sustainable solution.
Under the new funding arrangement people may also contact the Aged Care Complaints Scheme (the Scheme) if they have a concern about a Commonwealth HACC service. The Scheme will encourage people to raise their concerns with the service provider in the first instance, unless a service recipient’s health or safety is at risk.
What is the Aged Care Complaints Scheme?The Scheme provides a free service for people to raise their concerns about the quality of care or services being delivered to people receiving residential or community aged care services that are subsidised by the Australian Government.
Anyone can complain to the Scheme and complaints can be made anonymously or confidentially. We encourage people to lodge complaints openly as this gives us the most flexibility in resolving their concerns.
To learn more about the Scheme, visit our website: agedcarecomplaints.govspace.gov.au. We will be updating this site with further information about HACC complaints.
HACC Complaints FrameworkThe process for resolving HACC complaints draws on the Scheme’s current approach. The Scheme was strengthened in 2011 with a new complaints framework which includes more options for resolving complaints. The current Scheme framework is supported by the aged care industry which was engaged throughout its development.
The Scheme operates under national procedures and processes, supported by comprehensive training and support for staff. All parties to a complaint have the opportunity to provide information and be heard, and we will make decisions based on available information. These principles are reflected in the HACC complaints framework.
Complaints about HACC services will not be assessed against the Aged Care Act 1997. They will be assessed against a HACC service provider’s funding agreement with the Australian Government, which defines the quality of care and services they are required to deliver. Top of page
What are HACC services?The Commonwealth HACC Program supports older Australians and their carers to be more independent at home and in the community. Services may include:
- nursing care, personal care, respite care and allied health care
- meals, other food services, domestic assistance and transport
- home modification and maintenance
- counselling, support, information and advocacy.
What if I receive HACC services?If you have concerns about the HACC services you or someone else is receiving we encourage you to raise your concerns directly with the service provider in the first instance. Many concerns can be resolved quickly with the service provider without needing further action by the Scheme.
If you are unable to resolve your concern with the service provider you can contact the Scheme. We can examine concerns about safety or about the care and services being provided. We can use a range of different approaches to resolve a concern. Our focus is on reaching the best outcome as quickly as possible.
If you receive HACC services in Victoria and Western Australia, these will continue to be delivered as a joint Commonwealth-State funded HACC program and existing complaints arrangements will continue.
Find out more about raising a concern online at agedcarecomplaints.govspace.gov.au/concern or contact the Scheme on 1800 550 552.
What if I’m a HACC service provider?If you provide HACC services you are required to have effective processes in place to manage complaints at the local level. If anyone has a concern about your services you should try to resolve it with them first.
The Scheme has several resources to assist you to resolve complaints locally. These can be found online in our industry toolkit: agedcarecomplaints.govspace.gov.au/toolkit
The Scheme may also examine concerns about the care and services you are providing. We may:
- contact you directly to discuss a concern
- ask you to participate in a conciliation between yourselves and the complainant
- visit where your services are provided to look into a concern
- ask you to examine and address a concern within a specified timeframe.
Contact the Aged Care Complaints SchemePhone 1800 550 552*
Aged Care Complaints Scheme
Department of Health and Ageing
GPO Box 9848
In your capital city
All information in this publication is correct as of May 2012
*1800 calls are free from fixed lines; however calls from mobiles may be charged.
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