Feedback and complaints
SANE encourages feedback from you. We welcome your comments and suggestions for improvement, and we will always treat your complaints seriously. Any matter you raise will be addressed in a way that ensures access, equity, fairness, accountability and transparency.
Your feedback and complaints are crucial to improving our services and systems, allowing us to identify our strengths and weaknesses and fix problems. Every item of feedback we receive is read by one of our staff members, summarized and analysed and, where appropriate, fed into our continuous improvement processes.
SANE encourages and actively seeks feedback from service users, advocates, employees, members of the public or any other entity. All feedback and concerns that are raised will be addressed in way that ensures access and equity, fairness, accountability, and transparency.
SANE recognises that feedback and complaints are an integral part of quality improvement systems and a valuable resource for evaluating strengths and weaknesses in new and existing policies, systems, and services at SANE.
You can read our Feedback and Complaints policy here.
Making a complaint or providing feedback
There are four ways to let us know what you think and feel about our services:
- Fill out the enquiries form on the Contact Us page
- Write us a letter: SANE, c/o 700 Swanston St, Carlton, VIC 3053
- Take part in a satisfaction survey or program evaluation run by SANE or one of our partner organisations.
If the feedback process is difficult for you to use, SANE staff can help you fill out a feedback form or lodge a complaint through any of the above channels. Similarly, you can appoint a third party to make a complaint or give feedback on your behalf, and we can respond to you through them, provided you give them the appropriate written authority.
We welcome all types of feedback
You can comment on anything you think is appropriate for us to know. We welcome compliments and suggestions, of course, but just as important to us are complaints and criticisms. We acknowledge any feedback promptly and complaints go into a system of investigation and response. If you make a complaint, know that SANE will take the matter seriously and treat you with dignity, respect and confidentiality.
Anonymous feedback and use of pseudonyms
Anyone providing feedback is entitled to remain anonymous or use a pseudonym if they wish. Although anonymous feedback is sometimes harder to investigate and respond to and may limit what we can do, we will always treat anonymous complaints seriously.
We sometimes use feedback quotes from stakeholders in our publications, newsletters and marketing material, and for training and quality assurance. We do this in a way that protects the identity of the speaker or, if this is not possible or appropriate, with their permission.
How SANE manages feedback and complaints
Your feedback or complaint goes to SANE’s Quality and Clinical Governance Team, who are responsible for overseeing the feedback and complaints management process and monitoring the feedback email inbox.
The action they take will depend on what type of comment it is. Most feedback is positive or constructive, asking for no response or action; in this case, we will thank you for your comment and record it.
Local complaints are those which ask for a response and are relevant to a single service area within SANE. Usually, these will be investigated and resolved quickly within the service area.
Complex complaints involve various departments or service areas in SANE and tend to be more serious. We may refer the complaint to an external agency for management or commission an independent investigation. Some complaints can involve the oversight and management of SANE's CEO.
Responding to complaints
Within two working days after receiving the complaint, we will contact you, acknowledging our receipt of the complaint and setting out how we will respond to the issue raised.
If action has been requested, we will investigate the issue and decide on what actions we will take.
When required under legislation, we will also advise relevant government departments and external agencies of the matter.
Once we've completed our investigation and within 28 days of our acknowledging your complaint, we will tell you in writing how we investigated the issue and what the outcome is.
If SANE cannot resolve the issue within this time, we will tell you the reasons for the delay and give you a revised timeframe.
If after our investigation your complaint is substantiated, we will tell you what we have done or will do to fix the issue. The appropriate SANE staff member will apologise to you.
If after our investigation your complaint is not substantiated, you will be told why and given information about other avenues for action.
The Chief Executive Officer will investigate and respond to you within 28 days after receiving the request for appeal.
Other avenues of complaints
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome, you can take your complaint to the government health complaints body in your state or territory.
Australian Capital Territory
Health Services Commission
New South Wales
Health Care Complaints Commission
Health and Community Services Complaints Commission
Office of the Health Ombudsman
Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner
Health Complaints Commissioner
Website: healthcomplaints.tas.gov.au; Phone: 1800 001 170;
Health Complaints Commission
Website: hcc.vic.gov.au; Phone: 1300 582 113
Mental Health Complaints Commission
Health and Disability Services Complaints Office