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Health consumers

Local resolution of a complaint

Local resolution is a process where we work with you and the health service provider, in an informal way, to resolve your complaint as quickly as possible.

Often complaints are a result of poor communication or a lack of understanding. By simply discussing your concerns with the health service provider, we may be able to resolve your complaint quickly and easily.

We will only recommend local resolution if you and the provider agree, and we believe your complaint can be resolved quickly. Serious complaints, such as those involving professional misconduct, are not suitable for local resolution.

Once we decide to facilitate local resolution it must be completed within 30 days, although an extension of 30 days may apply in some instances.

The process

If you and the provider agree, we will put you in touch with one another so you can communicate openly and directly about your respective concerns.

The complaint is resolved

You and the health service provider agree on a resolution, which may include:


You can request a detailed explanation to help you understand what happened and why. This can often resolve a dispute.

Changes in practice, policy or procedure

During local resolution, you and the provider may agree on ways to improve their health service. This can prevent the same thing happening to someone else, as well as improve healthcare quality.


Local resolution can encourage a provider to acknowledge deficiencies in their practice and apologise to you for any harm caused. Apologies and acknowledgements cannot be used in court or other proceedings.

No further action

You and the provider agree that nothing further can be done.

We close the complaint once a resolution is reached.

The complaint is not resolved

If your complaint is not resolved, we will talk with you and the provider to find out why and decide what further action is required. Our decision may be to:

  • take no further action
  • undertake an investigation into the complaint
  • refer the complaint to another agency or authority to take appropriate action.

We will advise you and the provider of our decision and explain to you the relevant process and what you will need to do.