13 NOVEMBER 2009: One in three healthcare complaints come from the Brisbane area, according to figures from Queensland’s independent health watchdog.
The 2008-09 Annual Report of the Health Quality and Complaints Commission (HQCC), released today, shows the number of complaints and enquiries has increased for the third consecutive year.
CEO Cheryl Herbert said the continued increase shows Queenslanders are no longer passive about the standard of healthcare they receive and are prepared to question and speak out.
“Inadequate treatment and communication continue to be the most common reasons for complaints – be it at a major hospital, a local GP or alternative healthcare provider,” she said.
“We see lots of complaints from patients who are not happy with how they have been treated or may have suffered an adverse outcome – as well as complaints from patients who don’t feel they were adequately informed about their care.
“Healthcare complaints offer a valuable opportunity to improve healthcare safety and quality – and the lessons learned from individual complaints can be carried right across the sector and the state to prevent similar incidents.”
In 2008–09, the HQCC:
- independently managed 2177 enquiries
- helped resolve 2534 complaints, 33 per cent of which were from the Brisbane municipality
- conducted 104 investigations into serious or systemic issues
- conciliated 108 complex healthcare disputes
- monitored the quality improvement processes of 226 acute hospitals and day surgeries (against our seven healthcare standards).
Mrs Herbert said the HQCC, now in its third year of operation, began analysing complaint data in ways that have not previously been possible in order to predict and prevent the health crises of tomorrow.
“We are now analysing our own complaints and data back to 1992 from our predecessor, the Health Rights Commission.
This allows us to look for recurrent patterns of complaints that may identify high risk individuals or organisations,” she said.
“We will combine this information with data from other sources to determine whether intervention is needed to prevent further problems.”
The HQCC Annual Report 2008–09 is available at www.hqcc.qld.gov.au
The HQCC is an independent body dedicated to improving the quality and safety of health services in Queensland. Established in July 2006, the HQCC has three key functions — managing complaints, monitoring and promoting quality improvement in health services and sharing information.
Media contact: Emma Gumbleton 3120 5988 or Liz Kearins 0428 190 120
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