More information on making a complaint about disability services

This information is for any person who gets disability services from the Ministry of Health and wants to know more about making a complaint.

Remember, it is okay to make a complaint. We want to make sure you are safe and supported, and we’re here to help you.

Make sure you tell someone about your complaint straight away so that your complaint can be solved quickly. You have the right to tell your disability service provider that you are not happy with the services.

What is a complaint?

A complaint is when you are not happy, and you tell someone the reason.

For example, you can complain about:

  • the quality of your care
  • your supports are not responsive to te ao Māori
  • the choice of activities in your home
  • your personal care and hygiene
  • your food choices
  • how you are treated by a support worker
  • your physical environment (such as your home).

Anyone can make a complaint

Anyone can make a complaint about the care or service they have received.

Complaints can also be made by another person on your behalf, such as a relative, friend, parent or advocate. We may need consent to respond to complaints about someone else.

If we can’t help you, we will find someone who can.

Who can help you make a complaint?

  • An advocate
  • A friend
  • A support worker
  • A family member

How you can make a complaint

  • By emailing us
  • By talking to us
  • By completing the online form
  • Through the relay service

What to expect

If you make a complaint you can expect:

  • there will be someone you can talk with about your concerns
  • your concerns will be taken seriously
  • you will be treated with respect
  • your privacy and confidentiality will be respected 
  • we will work with you to resolve any concern as quickly as possible
  • you will know the outcome of your complaint.

Please be assured that making a complaint will not affect the care you receive. Your complaint will only be discussed with the people directly involved.

What happens after you make a complaint?

We will contact you within five working days.

We may need to talk to other people about your complaint. This may include talking to other people involved. We will need your consent to do this.

We will let you know the outcome of your complaint and the reasons for our decisions. We aim to resolve complaints within 20 working days.

We will let you know where else you can go to complain if you are not happy with the outcome.

To find out more about the complaints process you can download our guide to the Disability Direcorate complaints process (docx, KB)

Will you get into trouble or lose your services for making a complaint?

No, you will not get into trouble. It is your right to make a complaint when you are not happy with the services you get. The disability service provider must make sure that you are not treated in a bad way because you made a complaint.

What must your disability service provider tell you about making a complaint?

Your disability service provider must:

  • give you written information about how to make a complaint
  • tell you what the complaints process is, for example, who you can go and complain to
  • tell you what is happening with your complaint
  • let you know what else you can do.

Other places you can call or email about your complaint

See Other places to complain.

Support through the process

Nationwide Health and Disability Advocacy Service
If you need support or help with making a complaint, you can contact the Nationwide Health and Disability Advocacy Service, a free independent service that offers advice and support related to the complaints process.

Phone: 0800 555 050
Email: advocacy@advocacy.org.nz

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