MHCC update - July to November 2019

Sunday 24 February 2019 11:27pm

The MHCC’s annual report and its summary for 2018-19 are available in publications. This article is an update on the MHCC’s complaints work since the beginning of the new financial year: July-November 2018-19.


The MHCC’s Resolutions team supports people to speak up about their experiences with public mental health services and to make a complaint directly to the service or to our office. The team works with service providers and people who use mental health services, along with their carers and families, to safeguard consumers’ rights under the Mental Health Act 2014, ensure its principles and the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities 2006 are upheld and make recommendations for service improvements.

Complaint numbers

  • In July-November 2019, the MHCC received 91 enquiries and 970 complaints (1,061 in total) and closed 703 in-scope complaints (those about a Victorian public mental health service)
  • Of the 1,061 enquiries and complaints, consumers made 777 (73%), family members/carers made 261 (20%), others (including service provider staff, friends/associates and advocacy/legal representatives) made 43 (4%) and the source of 25 (2%) was unknown. This is consistent with who made complaints in 2018-19
  • Of the 970 complaints received from July-November, 693 were in-scope (about 138 in-scope complaints received each month), an increased monthly number of complaints compared to 1,508 in-scope complaints received in 2018-19 year (about 126 each month)
  • Of the 693 in-scope complaints, 666 (96%) were about a designated mental health service, 22 (3%) were about a mental health community support service and for five (1%) the service type was unknown.

Complaint issues

Complaints raised with the MHCC often involve more than one issue. The figure below shows the percentage of all in-scope complaints received in July-November 2019 in which at least one of the following issues was raised:

  • Records: 34
  • Complaint management: 40
  • Facilities: 53
  • Access: 79
  • Diagnosis: 71
  • Medication: 148
  • Conduct and behaviour: 152
  • Communication: 186
  • Treatment: 412

Of all in-scope complaints in July-November 2019:

  • Complaints about treatment most commonly related to inadequate consideration of the views and preferences of consumers, both compulsorily and voluntarily treated (17%), disagreement with treatment orders (10%) and lack of care/attention (8%)
  • Complaints about communication most commonly related to inadequate/incomplete/confusing information (9%) and inadequate communication with family members/carers (6%).
  • Complaints about conduct and behaviour most commonly related to rudeness/lack of respect/discourtesy (7%) and lack of empathy/compassion (5%). There continues to be smaller, but very concerning, proportions of complaints about alleged threats, bullying, harassment, assault, discrimination or sexual safety violations by staff or other consumers.

Reviewed 28 June 2021

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