Policies and Procedures
Important information you need to know
This policy ensures we protect and handle personal information in accordance with the NDIS and relevant privacy legislation. We acknowledge an individual’s right to privacy while recognising that personal information is required to be collected, maintained and administered in order to provide a safe working environment and a high standard of quality.
The information we collect is used to provide services to participants in a safe and healthy environment with individual requirements, to meet duty of care obligations, to initiate appropriate referrals, and to conduct business activities to support those services.
- applies to all personal information and sensitive personal information including the personal information of employees and participants
- applies to all company confidential information – that is any information not publicly available.
- applies to all representatives including key management personnel, directors, full time workers, part time workers, casual workers, contractors and volunteers
Privacy and confidentiality guidelines
To support the privacy and confidentiality of individuals:
- we are committed to complying with the privacy requirements of the Privacy Act, the Australian Privacy Principles and for Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) as required by organisations providing disability services
- we are fully committed to complying with the consent requirements of the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework and relevant state or territory requirements
- we provide all individuals with access to information about the privacy of their personal information
- each individual has the right to opt out of consenting to and providing their personal details if they wish
- individuals have the right to request access to their personal records by requesting this with their contact person
- where we are required to report to government funding bodies, information provided is non-identifiable and related to services and support hours provided, age, disability, language, and nationality
- personal information will only be used by us and will not be shared outside the organisation without your permission unless required by law (e.g. reporting assault, abuse, neglect, or where a court order is issued)
- images or video footage of participants will not be used without their consent
- participants have the option of being involved in external NDIS audits if they wish.
Use of Information
We need to collect information about you for the primary purpose of providing quality supports and services. We use information about you for
- administrative purposes for running our service
- billing you directly, through the NDIS, or other agency if required
- use within our service to ensure you are provided with quality supports and services
- disclosure of information to the NDIA, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, or other government agencies if needed
- disclosure of information to health professionals to ensure high quality health care for you if needed
- disclosure to other providers, with your consent, in order to provide appropriate services.
Sharing of information
We share your information when
- we have your consent to collaborate with other personnel to ensure high quality support and outcomes. In most cases, we will tell you when and why we want to share the information with another person.
- it is required by law (such as for a medical emergency) or because of an agreement with the government (Victorian or Commonwealth).
Security of Information
To keep information secure:
- we take reasonable steps to protect the personal information we hold against misuse, interference, loss, unauthorised access, modification and disclosure
- personal information is accessible to the participant and is able for use only by relevant workers
- security for personal information includes password protection for IT systems, locked filing cabinets and physical access
As part of information security responsibilities:
- we will take reasonable steps to reduce the likelihood of a data breach occurring including storing personal information securely and accessible only by relevant workers
- if we know or suspect your personal information has been accessed by unauthorised parties, and we think this could cause you harm, we will take reasonable steps to reduce the chance of harm and advise you of the breach, and if necessary the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
Breaches of Privacy and Confidentiality
A breach of privacy and confidentiality is an incident:
- follow the Manage incident internally process to resolve
- may require an investigation
- an intentional breach will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
Blossom Therapy Services, ABN: 37636023277
NDIS PROVIDER COMPLAINTS MANAGEMENT AND RESOLUTION SYSTEM (POLICY DOCUMENT)
Last amended: 03 January 2020
Made by the Complaints Officer: Jo Lee, Speech Pathologist, 0403 722 425, firstname.lastname@example.org
- At Blossom Therapy Services, we do our best to help people. But sometimes, you, or someone else, might not be happy with us. For example, you might not be happy with some of our services and supports.
- We are a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provider. As such, you have the right to make complaints about our services and supports at any time.
- If you want to make a complaint, we want to help you to make it quickly and easily, and without stress.
- We will do our best to deal with any complaint fairly and quickly.
- This document explains how to make a complaint to us, and to the NDIS Commissioner and others, about us.
- The NDIS laws make us keep records about complaints so they can check that we are following the law and doing a good job for NDIS participants.
Who can make a complaint?
This includes people who are receiving supports or services from us. It also includes family members, carers and other people. Anyone at all can make a complaint about our supports or services.
Do you have to give your name to make a complaint?
You can you make a complaint anonymously.
How can you make a complaint?
We want to make sure it is as easy as possible for you to make your complaint.
We will give support and help to anyone who wants to make, or who has made, a complaint, about us.
To make a complaint, you can fill in our Complaint and Feedback Form But you don’t need to if you prefer to make your complaint in a different way.
You can make your complaint:
- by talking with us face-to-face;
- by calling us on the phone;
- through your preferred Augmentative or Alternative Communication device or method;
- by email; or
- by text message.
To protect your privacy, we do not recommend using social media like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to make a complaint. But, if you make a complaint this way, we will still treat it as a complaint.
Can you ask someone for help to make a complaint about us?
You can have a family member, carer, friend, advocate, advisor, or any other person make the complaint for you. Please click here for a list of disability advocacy organisations funded by the DHHS in Victoria. If you need help to find an advocate, you can let us know and we will support you.
Does your complaint have to be in English?
You can make your complaint in your preferred language. As a NDIS participant, you can request an interpreter and the cost for using an interpreter is paid by the NDIS separate to your NDIS budget. Please let us know if you want to use an interpreter.
Who should you contact to make a complaint?
So that we can respond to your complaint quickly and fairly, we suggest making or sending your complaint to our specially trained Complaints Officer:
Jo Lee, Speech Pathologist, 0403 722 425, email@example.com
If you would prefer not to contact our Complaints Officer for any reason, you can make your complaint to any of our senior management or staff.
If you can’t contact our Complaints Officer for any reason, you can make your complaint to any of our senior management or staff.
Can you report your complaint about us to anyone else?
You can also report your complaint to:
- the NDIS Commissioner; and
- Speech Pathology Australia.
You may also be able to make a complaint to your State or Territory Health Care Complaints authority.
If you would like to do this, we will support you. For example, we will show you how to contact the right people at the NDIS, Speech Pathology Australia, and State Health Care Complaints authority.
What will happen when you make a complaint? How do we ensure the process is fair?
To make sure everyone is treated fairly, we will follow these steps for all complaints about our supports and services:
First, we will send you a message in writing. The message will:
- tell you that we have received your complaint; and
- tell you what we are doing to look into the complaint, when you can expect to hear from us, and who you can contact to discuss the complaint; and
- tell you and any person with a disability affected by the issue in your complaint how to raise the complaint with the NDIS Commissioner; and
- offer to help you to contact the NDIS Commissioner about the complaint.
(Note: If you make an anonymous complaint, we will not be able to do this because we won’t know who you are.)
Second, we will assess your complaint. This means we will look into your complaint by reviewing what happened, talking to you, NDIS participants, and any staff members who were involved, and looking at any documents or other records we have that might give us information about what happened.
Third, we will work with you to try to fix (resolve) the complaint. If appropriate, we will keep you involved in the resolution process. We will also keep you informed on the progress of the complaint, including any action taken. We will do our best to do this in a fair way that doesn’t take too long. We will try to resolve your complaint within 21 business days. If this isn’t possible, we will let you know why not in writing and give you an estimate of how long it will take for us to respond. (Note: If you make an anonymous complaint, we will not be able to do this because we won’t know who you are.)
Fourth, we will respond appropriately to your complaint. Depending on the complaint and the results of our assessment and attempts to resolve the complaint, this may include a range of responses. For example, our response may be that:
- no further action is required; or
- you are owed an apology; or
- you are entitled to a part or full refund of fees; or
- we need to change our policies and procedures to ensure similar events don’t happen again; or
- it would be appropriate for us to support you or an NDIS participant to transfer to a different provider (at our cost for the handover); or
- we undertake to ensure the staff involved receive additional training and/or supervision, as appropriate.
We will tell you our decision and the reasons for our decision. (Note: If you make an anonymous complaint, we will not be able to do this because we won’t know who you are.) We will also make sure that any recommended improvements or changes are put into place.
At each stage in the process, we will do our best to make sure everyone is treated fairly. This is called “procedural fairness”.
What if you are unhappy about our decision?
If you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint, let us know and our Complaints Officer will try to schedule a time to meet with you to discuss your ongoing concerns with a view to resolving the matter in a friendly way.
If you are not happy with our response, you have other options. You can take your complaint to:
- the NDIS Commissioner; and/or
- Speech Pathology Australia; and/or
- the Health Care Complaints authority in your State or Territory.
We will help you to contact the right people at these organisations (if you would like us to).
More information about making a complaint to the NDIS Commissioner or Speech Pathology Australia:
NDIS Commissioner: https://www.ndiscommission.gov.au/about/complaints-feedback/complaints
Speech Pathology Australia: https://www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au/SPAweb/Resources_for_the_Public/Making_a_Complaint/SPAweb/Resources_for_the_Public/Make_a_Complaint/Making_a_Complaint.aspx?hkey=6b603c7c-33ec-4845-8b3f-d43b22909465
Will your complaint affect how you and others are treated by us?
Your complaint will not affect the care we give you or anyone else.
Will your complaint be treated confidentially?
We will only share the information in your complaint if the law makes us share it, or if we need to for risk management purposes (e.g. if we need to contact our insurer or a regulator).
For example, in some cases, a complaint may require us to notify a regulator, professional body, and/or an insurer, e.g. if your complaint includes allegations of criminal, or professional misconduct, or leads us to anticipate a claim for compensation or other litigation. This may become clear only after we have completed our preliminary investigation of your complaint.
How long will we keep records of your complaint?
We are required by law to keep appropriate records of all complaints received in our capacity as an NDIS provider for at least 7 years from the date a record is made. These include, where appropriate:
- information about complaints;
- any action taken to resolve complaints; and
- the outcome of any action taken.
We are also required by law to collect complaints-related information to enable us to review issues raised in complaints, identify and address systemic issues raised through the complaints management and resolution process and, if requested, to report information relating to complaints to the NDIS Commissioner.
Please note: In some cases, State and/or Territory health records laws require us to keep information that constitutes health records for longer than 7 years. We have to follow these laws, too.
Review of Complaints Management and Resolution System
This system will be reviewed periodically – at least once a year – to ensure it is effective.
Status of this Document
This policy is intended to document this provider’s complaints management and resolution system as required by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Complaints Management and Resolution) Rules 2018.
Distribution of this Document
This policy forms part of the provider’s compliance system. A copy is provided to:
- each person with a disability receiving support or services from us as an NDIS provider, and their family, carers, and advocates (as appropriate); and
- each person employed or otherwise engaged by us (our staff). Each staff member is trained in this process as part of their staff induction.
Who is responsible for making sure this system is followed?
Each staff member of the provider must comply with the system as documented in this policy. This policy forms part of the provider’s compliance system with respect to the NDIS.
The Complaints Officer has primary responsibility for training all provider staff to comply with the requirements of this system, including making sure clients and others are aware of their rights to complain.
The Complaints Officer also has primary responsibility for the oversight and review of the complaints management and resolution system.
On all matters relating to the system and complaints, generally, the Complaints Officer reports to senior management of the provider, including director, who bear ultimate responsibility for setting the objectives of the system and monitoring compliance.
Complaints (and compliments) give us useful information about the quality of our services. Resolving complaints in a friendly way gives us the opportunity to improve our services and to learn from our mistakes.
We take all complaints very seriously and will work hard to address and resolve them efficiently to your satisfaction as set out in this policy.
to be updated soon!
to be updated soon!
We work within the NDIS Code of Conduct and the National Code of Conduct. You can review the documents below.