January 2016 saw a change to Australia’s aged care complaints handling with the introduction of an Aged Care Complaints Commissioner, Rae Lamb.

The Aged Care Complaints Commissioner provides a free service for anyone to raise their concerns about the quality of care or services being delivered to people receiving aged care services funded by the Australian Government.

This transfer of responsibility to an independent Commissioner separates complaints handling from the Department of Health, which continues to oversee aged care funding and regulation.

Ms Lamb brings to the role extensive experience with complaints handling and resolution, investigations, and review in the health and aged care regulatory environment.

She was Australia’s Aged Care Commissioner from January 2011 – 31 December 2015; New Zealand’s Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner from 2005 – 2011 and previously a Harkness Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

Ms Lamb said she is “looking forward to working with our aged care community to resolve complaints and ensure people receiving aged care are well cared for and protected.”

“I will be responsible for resolving concerns about aged care services funded by the Australian Government, including services provided in the home. My team and I will also have a role in educating people and aged care service providers about the best way to address complaints and ensuring that the lessons from complaints improve care.”

For more information on the Aged Care Commissioner, their role, objectives and complaints handling resources visit www.agedcarecomplaints.gov.au

If you have a concern about the care you or someone else is receiving, it is important that you talk about it. The Aged Care Complaints Commissioner can support you through this process. Call 1800 550 552 or visit www.agedcarecomplaints.gov.au to access a variety of information, advice and resources on your rights and how to make a complaint if you need to.