The 2017 Mental Health Complaints Commissioner annual report has now been tabled in Parliament.

Our annual report highlights a number of key findings for the 2016–17 financial year, in particular the 73 service improvement actions taken by Victorian public mental health services as outcomes of the complaints process and the introduction of individual complaints reports for services.

Commissioner Lynne Coulson Barr said that it was positive to see a continued focus on complaints as a way to identify quality and safety issues, and drive positive change and improvements in individual mental health services and the system as a whole.

‘This year, we welcomed the increased attention on safety and quality in health services as a result of the Targeting Zero: Supporting the Victorian Hospital System to Eliminate Avoidable Harm and Strengthen Quality Of Care report. The themes and findings of the report reinforce the importance of the safeguarding, oversight and service improvement functions introduced by the Mental Health Act 2014, including the role of the Mental Health Complaints Commissioner,’ Commissioner Coulson Barr said.

The report also highlights the establishment of the MHCC’s Advisory Council, and the commencement of the MHCC’s first major strategic project.

Other key findings and information tabled in the report include the following:

  • 1,756 new enquiries and complaints made to the MHCC
  • 281 matters being dealt with at any one time, on average
  • 43 per cent of new enquiries and complaints raised concerns about treatment, 32 per cent raised concerns about communication, consultation and information, 19 per cent raised concerns about staff behaviour, competence and professional conduct
  • Other frequently occurring issues in 2016–17 included specific issues about medication (14 per cent), access to services (12 per cent), discharge and transfer arrangements (11 per cent), and environment, personal safety and management of the facility (eight per cent)
  • 95 per cent of complaints were closed with positive outcomes achieved through MHCC processes and/or direct resolution actions by services
  • 100 per cent of services provided local complaints reports
  • 1,420 people involved in our education and engagement activities including consumers, families, carers, service staff and other stakeholders
  • 85 direct education and engagement activities including presentations, training sessions and other direct engagement activities
  • 97 stakeholder engagement activities
  • 34 contributions to sector consultations, projects and submissions
  • 4 formal recommendations to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services on systemic policy and practice issues, which included improved guidance for shared care arrangements, discharge planning, and access to disability services for mental health consumers

The full report is now available for download, as well as our highlights document, which provides a high level summary of our achievements over the past year.

We invite you to visit our first ever interactive online report at, and take a moment to explore our work in: 

  • resolving complaints 
  • improving services and the mental health system as a whole
  • strengthening education and engagement with the sector.

To request a hard copy, contact the MHCC’s Education and Engagement team at