A key priority for the MHCC is protecting, promoting and safeguarding the rights of people who use public mental health services. 

All mental health services have a responsibility to safeguard the rights of people receiving treatment and care. 

We encourage consumers to speak up about their treatment and care, and expect services to take the steps that are needed to communicate effectively, to empower people to discuss their concerns with them, and to seek outcomes that improve the services they provide. This is integral to embedding recovery-oriented practice and improving people’s experiences in services. 

We work with services, the Chief Psychiatrist, the Department of Health and Human Services and other relevant statutory bodies, sharing information about safeguarding to ensure services are safe for the people who use them. We draw on our analysis of issues relating to people’s rights and safety, as identified in complaints, to promote strong safeguards in the provision of treatment and care in public mental health services.

Risk and safeguarding issues

In complaints involving risk and safeguarding issues, our approach is informed by reviewing relevant documentation such as incident reports, clinical records, relevant policies and guidelines, and reports of investigations or incident reviews conducted by the service or external investigators. Practice is assessed against the Chief Psychiatrist's Guidelines, National Standards for Mental Health Services, National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards and other relevant standards.