Feedback Policy

At Group Homes Australia (GHA) we welcome all forms of feedback, whether it be a compliment or something we can learn from and do better. Feedback helps us meet and exceed the expectations of our team, our Community Residents and clients and their family/ friends.

GHA takes all feedback on board. We celebrate and share the compliments/feedback. The learnings we listen to, act on and learn from as quickly as we can. GHA supports best practice management of feedback and this is underpinned by our values: compassion, collaboration, innovation, responsibility, diversity, integrity, quality and trust.

Guidelines

Community residents/their representative and other stakeholders are at any time free to give feedback to GHA and/or make a complaint to external bodies.

To ensure Community Residents understand their right to make a complaint and how to make a complaint, team members provide information to them and their representatives in ways that suit their individual communication needs. Written information can be provided in different languages and Easy English or explained verbally by team members. Team members can also help Community Residents access interpreters or advocates as required.

Principles of feedback follow up:

  • Acknowledgement of feedback,
  • Acknowledge any concerns being raised and provide a sincere and unpromoted apology or expression of regret (as per open disclosure processes),
  • Feedback is taken on board and followed up on, then it is discussed  by the appropriate team (whether it be the team in the community/home , clinical team, home support team) to achieve the best outcome and document,
  • This is then reviewed to ensure the best learning and outcome for everyone involved.

Our feedback review aims to identify any system or procedural breakdowns. These could be human, environmental or system related.

The emphasis on identified issues will be to identify and recommend areas for continuous improvement in line with GHA’s commitment to Quality.

  • All team members involved in in our feedback and learning are to uphold our Culture Capture,
  • Actions arising from feedback are documented and communicated to the person giving us the feedback in various forms, either phone call, email  or family  meeting.  Evidence  for this will be found in documents such as Flourishing documen,t meeting agendas  and actions, progress notes, and CQI plan,
  • We see feedback as valuable and do not close out any feedback until we have been advised that the person providing the feedback is satisfied with our follow up, or the feedback is closed out by an external body,
  • Anyone giving us feedback is transparently communicated with throughout the process of our follow up and will be advised of our actions,
  • Feedback is generally managed by one person who is the point of contact although many levels of staff and management may be involved in the feedback, follow up and outcome process,
  • Our feedback process is documented and anyone providing feedback will advised of our learnings and actions, leading to a more positive outcome; and
  • Feedback is tabled at the monthly quality meeting.

The Head of Care and Health (HCH) is functionally accountable for external feedback handling and reports on feedback to the Co-CEO’s who in turn informs the Board of Directors.

When it comes to handling external feedback, the Co-CEO/ HCH determine the most appropriate person to follow up on and look into the feedback; this judgement is dependent  on the nature  of the feedback. Preference is given for feedback given internally to be handled in the home concerned.

Feedback could be handled by one of the following positions:

  • Case Manager/ Clinical Team/ Homemaker Supervisor
  • Head of Care and Health
  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Quality Manager

Key Performance Indicators:

  • The person handling the feedback will follow up with the person providing the feedback by phone within 24 hours.
  • They will provide written advice to the source of the feedback clarifying the ‘issues’ within 48 Hours.

All get an immediate response of acknowledgement. The person handling the feedback will ensure that investigation of feedback occurs within the following time frames:

  • High Level – Within 2 working days
  • Medium Level – Within 5 working days
  • Low – Within 10 working days

It is the responsibility of the person handling the feedback to assess and determine the level and associated time frames in line with the issues raised.

If a complaint alleges actual or possible criminal  activity  or abuse or neglect, it is referred to the HCH immediately. The HCH reports and actions the complaint as per GHA’s incident management processes.

Failure to comply with the complaints management requirements of the Aged Care legislation and rules may lead to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission taking compliance and enforcement action against GHA.

At any time, people can make a complaint about Aged Care service providers or the support they provide to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

Complaints to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission can be lodged:

Community Residents of GHA can also contact the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) if they have concerns regarding consumer protection in relation to finances.

Complaints to NSW Fair Trading can be lodged:

Community Residents in Supported Independent Living services or other accommodation arrangements can be supported by Official Community Visitors (OCVs). OCVs are coordinated by the New South Wales Ombudsman and are responsible directly to the Minister for Disability Services and the Minister for Community Services. OCVs visit government and non-government accommodation services for children, young people and people with a disability throughout NSW. Their role is to promote residents’ rights, identify issues raised by residents, provide residents with information, help resolve concerns and inform the Ministers and the Ombudsman about the quality of services being delivered. OCV visits can be requested by emailing ocv@ombo.nsw.gov.au. Further information about OCVs can be provided by the OCV Team Leader on 02 9286 1000.

Team members must assist people making a complaint, or people with disability affected by a complaint, to contact the NDIS Commission, where this is required.

Complaints made to Group Homes Australia and the NDIS Commission can be withdrawn at any time.

If you are not happy with an NDIA action or decision you can contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman:

Team members must support people making a complaint about the NDIA to contact the Agency or Commonwealth Ombudsman, where this is required.

Where a complaint about Group Homes Australia is made to the NDIS Commission, all team members must:

  • comply with any orders or requests made by the NDIS Commission in relation to the complaint;
  • assist in any resolution process or inquiry undertaken by the NDIS Commission in relation to the complaint; and
  • ensure the complainant or a person with disability affected by the complaint are not adversely affected or fear retribution because a complaint has been made by them or on their behalf.

Relevant Legislation

  • Aged Care Quality Standards (2019)
  • Health Care Complaints Act 1993 (NSW)
  • NDIS (Complaints Management and Resolution) Rules 2018