2017 has been a busy and productive year for the MHCC. We have continued to respond to the concerns raised by consumers, families and carers, work with services to address safety and quality issues, and reach positive outcomes for individuals and through service improvements. 

We have valued the opportunity to work with people who made complaints to our office, and with services to resolve complaints in ways that safeguard people’s rights, support their recovery and improve services for everyone. 

In 2017, we began meeting with individual services to review themes from complaints and local resolution processes. We look forward to continuing this work and supporting services to identify themes in their complaints data to drive practice and service improvements.

Another important focus of our work in 2017 has been to identify key safety issues from complaints, and to work with others on actions required to address avoidable harms for people accessing mental health services.

This year, we initiated a project to review how Victoria’s public mental health system is safeguarding the sexual safety of people receiving treatment in acute mental health inpatient units. We look forward to sharing the outcomes of this important project in the new year.

We are currently completing a review of our complaint processes, which incorporates feedback received from people who have made complaints to our office. We will focus on a number of improvements in 2018, including improving the timeliness of our processes and building the capacity of our team and services to effectively respond to people who raise their concerns. 

We thank those who shared their experiences and knowledge with us, and we also thank our MHCC Advisory Council for their time and willingness to share their expertise and ensure that our work is guided and shaped by the diversity of people’s lived experience.

We look forward to continuing our work in realising our shared vision of a service system where complaints are seen as integral to safeguarding people’s rights and improving the quality and safety of mental health services for all Victorians.

We wish you a safe holiday season.

Dr Lynne Coulson Barr
Mental Health Complaints Commissioner