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Fact sheet – Service provider resolution

This fact sheet outlines how the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner supports service providers to resolve complaints.

Service provider resolution involves us asking the service provider to resolve complaint issues that a complainant raises with us. Where possible, we choose this approach as it is often the best way to have concerns quickly and appropriately resolved.

Resolving complaints within the service

Service providers should encourage people to raise concerns directly with them and try to resolve these, using their own complaints management processes. This:

  • empowers the service provider to consider the complaint issues and develop sustainable and effective local solutions
  • provides the opportunity to reach the best outcome for the person receiving aged care and the service
  • maintains and can strengthen relationships between the service, complainants and people receiving aged care, and

When do we select service provider resolution?

We select service provider resolution to resolve a complaint if:

  • the issues do not present any significant risk to the health or safety of the person receiving aged care
  • the service provider is willing to participate in the resolution process, and
  • we have discussed with the complainant why we have chosen this approach to resolve their complaint.

Our Better Practice Guide to Complaint Handling can help your service manage complaints effectively. You can access this on our website.

How do we commence service provider resolution?

A complaints officer will liaise with a manager of your service and we will:

  • Seek your agreement to, within a mutually agreed timeframe, engage in the process and provide a written resolution report to us. The timeframe will depend on the number, complexity and urgency of the issues in the complaint.
  • Discuss expectations about your role and actions in this type of resolution process.
  • Write to both you and the complainant confirming the issues and that ‘service provider resolution’ is the approach we have chosen to resolve the complaint.
  • Provide an optional report template to assist you to report back to us the outcome of the resolution process.

Key activities during service provider resolution

Some points to consider during the process are:

  • Refer to your complaints management policy.
  • Determine who in your service should be involved in resolving the complaint.
  • Listen to the complainant to identify their concerns and expected outcomes, and acknowledge these.
  • Actively involve the person receiving aged care and complainant in the process.
  • Involve all relevant parties (e.g. personal care worker, chef, hairdresser, or the cleaner) to consider different ways to resolve the issues.
  • Be clear about what you will do to resolve the concerns, and the timeframes.
  • Consider whether your feedback and complaints system is encouraging feedback.

Completing a service provider resolution process

Once you have completed the service provider resolution process, you need to provide a report to us. This should include:

  • an outline of the issues in the complaint
  • a summary of the action you took to resolve the complaint (i.e. how you investigated the issues, any dialogue you have had with the complainant, person receiving aged care and staff members), and
  • an explanation of the outcomes reached and any documentation that supports the outcomes reached.

We will acknowledge receipt of your report and determine whether you have sufficiently addressed the complaint by:

  • Speaking with the complainant and where appropriate the person receiving aged care to find out if their concerns have been addressed, and
  • where necessary, clarifying the information in your report with you.

If we are not satisfied that you have addressed the issues, we will identify our concerns and provide you an opportunity to address them.

If we are satisfied with how you have addressed the complaint the resolution process will end.

If, after further consultation, the concerns are still not resolved we may choose to use a different resolution approach to resolve the complaint.