Making complaints

I just wanted to reiterate my thanks to you and the rest of the team at MHCC. Your work is invaluable and has played an enormous part in giving me back my life and the power to eventually move on from what happened to me. - Consumer

In 2019–20 more people contacted the MHCC to raise concerns or queries about their experiences with public mental health services than ever before, including about the impact of Covid-19. As well as having their own complaints resolved, people can benefit from knowing they have helped create lasting change to Victorian services for them and others in the future.

(The MHCC) listened and actioned as appropriate - Consumer

People can make complaints to the MHCC via phone, email, fax, letter and face to face, as well as through our online complaint form and social media platforms. Most contact with our office is through our 1800 246 054 phone number. The most frequent complaints are about treatment, communication and staff behaviour. This indicates the need for mental health services to continue to work on ways to support people to make decisions and choices about their treatment and care, and to support staff to treat all consumers, families and carers with courtesy and empathy during what are often extremely difficult times in people’s lives.

I was struck by how kind you were to me as we talked about the process of the complaint…we both feel very confident that the complaint is in good hands and remain grateful for the work you have done to date - Consumer

The impact of COVID-19

Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the MHCC has received complaints about:

- consumers being discharged from acute inpatient treatment when they were still too unwell to understand COVID-19 risks and restrictions
- restrictions on visitors to services
- the risk of infection in acute inpatient units or residential services
- approaches to infection control, including consumers being expected to stay in their own rooms and not access communal areas
- availability of community-based treatment and administration of medication
- suspension of leave from inpatient units, including leave for smoking
- discharge arrangements and follow up.

The MHCC has been meeting regularly with representatives of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to share themes from complaints, which are being used to inform DHHS’s responses to mental health during COVID-19.

I’m really grateful for the support you have offered me in progressing with my complaint –
Consumer