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Health service providers

Local resolution

Local resolution is a process where we work with the complainant and health service provider to resolve a complaint as quickly as possible.

Often complaints are a result of poor communication or a lack of understanding. By simply having a discussion with a complainant about their concerns, many complaints are able to be resolved quickly and easily.

We will only recommend local resolution if you and the complainant agree and when we believe a 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 (an extension of an additional 30 days may apply in some instances).

The process

If both you and the complainant agree, we will work with you to facilitate meetings and other communications to allow you to talk openly about concerns and reach a satisfactory outcome. This may require a few meetings or discussions, but we always try to make sure these are productive and working towards a resolution.

The outcomes

The complaint is resolved

You and the complainant agree on a resolution, which may include:


You provide a detailed explanation to help the complainant understand what happened and why. This can often resolve a dispute.

Changes in practice, policy or procedure

During local resolution, you and the complainant may agree on ways to improve your health service. This can prevent the same thing happening again, and help you to improve healthcare quality.


If appropriate, a complaint may be resolved by acknowledging deficiencies in the service provided and apologising to the complainant for any harm caused. Apologies and acknowledgements cannot be used in court or other proceedings.

No further action

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

We close the complaint once a resolution is reached.

The complaint is not resolved

If a complaint is not resolved, we will talk with you and the complainant 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 complainant of our decision and explain to you the relevant process and what you will need to do.