Home support services — reporting a problem
If you have a concern, contact your service provider. You can also contact the government agency that funds your care, or the Health and Disability Commissioner.
Who you can raise a concern with
Talking to the home support agency or service provider is often the first step to resolving a problem.
You can also contact:
- the agency funding your care:
- if you have a life-long disability, the Ministry of Health (MoH) Disability Support Services
- if you’re 65 or older, contact your local District Health Board (DHB)
- if you are recovering from an injury, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), or
- the Health and Disability Commissioner.
Every agency has a process for working through complaints or problems.
What you can complain about
Making a complaint can help to improve the quality of services. Everyone using a health or disability service has the protection of a Code of Rights.
You should raise a concern about any aspect of your care, for example:
- your support worker misses appointments regularly or is often late
- you, or your family or whānau are not being properly included in your care
- your culture or lifestyle is not being respected
- you’re not getting the services you need
- a support worker is dishonest or abusive.
Getting help with your complaint
The Health and Disability Commissioner keeps a list of advocates who can give you any help you need with your complaint. Their advice is free and independent.
Many people find it helpful to include a member of their family or whānau when they contact a provider or government agency.
How to complain to a service provider or home support organisation
Phone or write to the manager at the organisation providing your care. Their contact details are in the information pack you received when your services started. If you phone they must write down what you tell them.
If you discuss your concern with your support worker, ask them to pass the information on to their manager. Make a note of the time and date of your conversation, and what you discussed in case your problem continues.
What the provider must do about your concern
Under the Health and Disability Code of Rights, service providers must follow these steps.
- They must work out a way to resolve your concern that is fair, simple, speedy and efficient.
- If it is not resolved within 5 working days, they must acknowledge your complaint in writing within those 5 days.
- They have to make sure you know how the complaints procedure works and tell you that you can:
- have an advocate to help you, or
- complain to the Health and Disability Commissioner.
- They need to keep a written record of your complaint and the actions they took.
- They must aim to resolve your complaint within 10 working days. If they cannot resolve it within 20 working days, they must let you know why not.
- They must let you know at least once a month about progress with your complaint.
- They have to tell you the final decision and what they plan to do.
If you are not satisfied, you can ask them to review their decision.
How to complain to your DHB — 65 or older
If you’re 65 or older, contact your DHB to explain your problem. Talk to the team that looks after complaints or the Funding Manager responsible for the health of older people.
- ask the home support organisation to resolve the problem and let the DHB or Needs Assessment Service Coordination (NASC) team know what happens
- investigate and resolve the problem themselves
- refer the complaint to another agency, eg MoH or the Health and Disability Commissioner.
Sometimes they may decide to take no action.
How to complain to MoH Disability Support Services
If you have a life-long disability and are concerned about the home support services you receive, contact the Ministry of Health Disability Support Services.
How to complain to ACC
If you’re recovering from an injury and have a concern about any ACC-funded home support services you receive, contact ACC.
First talk to your case owner at ACC.
If you want to make a formal complaint you can phone, email or write to ACC.
How to complain to the Health and Disability Commissioner
You can take your complaint to the Health and Disability Commissioner at any stage.
They prefer to receive your complaint in writing using their online form, post or fax. You can also phone with your complaint.