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Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner | Charter of Health and Community Services Rights

The Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner’s (HCSCC) Charter of Health and Community Services Rights (the HCSCC Charter) sets out the rights of all people who use health and community services in South Australia including families, carers and nominees who act on behalf of a person seeking or using a service within a range of health and community services in the public, private and non-government sectors.

The HCSCC Charter was developed by the HCSCC following consultation with service users, carers and health and community service providers in 2010. The HCSCC Charter substantially incorporates the Australian Charter of Health Care Rights (2nd edition 2019).

The HCSCC Charter has five guiding principles relevant to all eight HCSCC Charter rights.

SA Health developed the Charter of Health and Community Services Rights Policy Directive (PDF 205KB), to implement legislation as Part 3 of the Health and Community Services Complaints Act 2004 including the HCSCC Charter.

Resources

A range of  resources are available via the HCSCC website and can be ordered by using the

HCSCC publications product order form. Translated versions of the resources are also available.

Contact

Safety and Quality Unit

Telephone: 8226 6539

Charter rights

1 - Access

Right to access health and community services.

Consumers have a right to access health and community services that meet their identified needs.

2 - Safety

Right to be safe from abuse.

Consumers have a right to:

  • be safe from abuse, or the risk of abuse, and to have their legal and human rights respected and upheld
  • receive services free from discrimination and harassment.

3 - Quality

Right to receive safe, reliable, coordinated services that are appropriate to their needs and are provided with care, skill and competence. 

Services consumers receive should comply with legal, professional, ethical and other relevant standards. Any incidents involving consumers are managed openly to ensure improvements.

4 - Respect

Right to be treated with respect.

Consumers have a right to:

  • be treated with courtesy, dignity and respect
  • receive services that respect their culture, beliefs, values and personal characteristics.

5 - Information

Right to be informed.

Consumers have a right to open, clear and timely communication about services, treatment, options and costs in a way consumers can understand. When needed, consumers have the right to a competent professional interpreter.

6 - Participation

Right to actively participate.

Consumers have a right to:

  • be involved in decisions and choices about services planned and received
  • support and advocacy so that consumers can participate
  • seek advice or information from other sources
  • give, withhold or withdraw their consent at anytime.

7 - Privacy

Right to privacy and confidentiality.

Consumers have a right to:

  • have their privacy respected and their person information kept confidential and secure. Personal information about the consumer may not be disclosed without their consent, unless the disclosure is required to lessen or prevent a serious threat to life, wellbeing, or safety or is required by law
  • request and gain access to their records, unless there is legal restriction in place. Consumers can nominate person/s with whom information can be shared.

8 - Comment

Right to comment and / or complain.

Consumers have a right to:

  • be listened to and to comment on, or make a complaint about services sought or provided to them
  • have their complaint dealt with properly and promptly, and without retribution as a result of having made a complaint
  • a representative of their choice to support and advocate for them when making a complaint. Consumer feedback and complaints are managed openly to ensure improvements.

Guiding principles

1 - Diversity

South Australian society is made up of people with different cultures, needs, values and ways of life and this is to be recognised and respected.

2 - Decision making capacity

Some people may have impaired capacity to make decisions due to illness, injury, disability or development. Impaired capacity may be temporary or permanent, partial or complete.

If a person has impaired decision making capacity, the service provider should enable supported decision making. If a person has impaired decision making capacity, the service provider must involve or seek the consent of a substitute decision maker, including a carer. Individuals with impaired decision making capacity must not be disadvantaged in the provision of health or community services.

3 - Partnership

A genuine partnership between consumers, carers and providers promotes safe, high quality services and the best possible outcomes. This requires sharing relevant information and treating each other with respect.

4 - Provider contribution

Providers of health and community services are recognised for their contribution to the healthcare, well-being and welfare of individuals.

5 - Authority

Some rights can be affected when legal processes or orders are in place.

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