Client Feedback and Complaints Policy
This Policy outlines how Wayss will promote a culture where feedback, both positive and negative, and complaints are welcomed as an important component of our commitment to a respectful and professional relationship with our clients.
This policy is specifically for clients. Feedback and complaints from other parties, such as staff, neighbours and agencies are covered in separate policies and procedures.
3. Policy Principles
Clients will be informed of their right to give feedback and make a complaint and will be provided with information about how to do this.
For the purposes of this policy, feedback is defined as negative or positive comments about Wayss with no expectation of a formal response or resolution. A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about Wayss staff, services, or facilities, where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected or legally required.
Wayss will uphold the following principles with respect to feedback or complaints it receives:
- Commitment to the rights of clients to provide negative feedback or make a complaint and to expect an efficient and fair resolution
- A feedback and complaint management process which is fair to all parties involved
- Providing information about how to provide feedback or make a complaint
- Ensuring the feedback / complaint process is simple and easy to access
- Assisting clients to provide feedback or make a complaint if they need it
- Reviewing and where required, actioning feedback and complaints swiftly
- • Providing information to clients about any actions taken because of their feedback or complaint
Where a client wants to provide negative feedback or make a complaint and seeks access an advocate to assist with this, Wayss will provide information about how they can do that. Wayss will provide clients with information on how to access an advocate if they request it.
An advocate can be a friend, family member, staff member or person from a specific advocacy agency. Where a client chooses to have an advocate act on their behalf, consent will be obtained from the client so that information can be released or discussed with the advocate. The client has the right to withdraw this consent at any time during the process.
6. Receiving Feedback
All feedback and complaints received will be recorded in the feedback register and shared with the Executive Management Team monthly.
Where negative feedback has been received, the Wayss executive team will assess if further review is required and will ensure that any areas for improvement are addressed. Where a client makes a complaint, Wayss will acknowledge that complaint within 5 days of receiving it and will conduct an investigation to ensure adequate investigation and satisfactory resolution
7. Categories of feedback
Wayss will define categories of feedback, where possible, to assist in analysis, identification of system issues and to inform continuous improvement. The following are broad categories of complaints:
- Client rights
- Privacy or confidentiality
- Service Access
- Diversity or inclusion
- Service Information
- Service Delivery
- Continuous Improvement
Wayss recognises that the adoption of an effective feedback procedure is more likely to lead to client satisfaction and enables the service to evaluate the need for improvement.
Wayss will record and monitor all client feedback. An analysis of this data will be used to improve client services.
8. Staff Training
Wayss will provide staff with access to relevant training to further develop their skills in complaints handling. Staff will be particularly encouraged to attend training on dealing with challenging behaviour and safety assessments.
Wayss staff have the responsibility to:
- Ensure clients are informed of their right to provide feedback or complain
- Ensure clients are informed of their right to appeal any decision made with respect to a complaint
- Ensure clients have access to written information describing how feedback or complaints can be made and how they will be managed
- Attempt to resolve negative feedback or a complaint at the time it is made
- • Assist the client to access advocacy agencies
- • Ensure feedback and complaints are recorded in the Feedback Register
Managers are responsible for:
- Receiving and responding to feedback and complaints in accordance with this policy
- Ensuring feedback and complaints are recorded in the Feedback Register
- Advising clients of the outcome of the review and management of their feedback or complaint and the process for appealing an outcome
9.3. Executive Team
The Executive Team are responsible for:
- Analysis of the feedback register to identifying any systemic issues
- Evaluation of the feedback and complaints management process
- Responding to complaints from the Housing Registrar and DHHS
- Receiving reports on any high-risk feedback or unresolved complaints
- Supporting management with respect to actions needed to resolve a complaint
- Informing the Wayss Board of complaints that may have legal, regulatory or reputation impacts.
This Policy will be reviewed at least every three years or sooner if required.
11. Related Policies and Resources
- DHHS Human Service Standards
- Performance Standards for Registered Housing Agencies
- Client Feedback and Complaints Policy
- Client Participation Policy
- Quality Governance and Client Voice Frameworks
- Client Feedback and Complaints Procedure