Complaints Policy and Procedure

Arthritis New Zealand acknowledges the consumers right to make a complaint about any aspect of its service delivery. The complaints process will uphold all rights contained in the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights Regulation 1996. Complaints will be dealt with in a fair, simple, speedy and efficient manner. Arthritis New Zealand will see complaints as an opportunity to look at its systems and procedures with a view to improving services to consumers.

1. Consumers may make a complaint in any form appropriate to them, e.g. oral, written, faxed, emailed.

2. Consumers may make a complaint to:
      a) The individual or individuals who provided the services complained of, e.g. Arthritis Educators, national office staff and
      b) Any person authorised to receive complaints, e.g. Manager, Health Advice and Research or Chief Executive; and
      c) Any other appropriate person, including:
             i. An independent advocate provided under the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994. They can be contacted by telephone on 0800 555 050 or by                          email at This is a free independent advocacy service.
             ii. The Health and Disability Commissioner directly.

3. The consumer’s complaint and the actions taken to resolve the complaint must be documented.

4. Staff must inform the Manager, Health Advice and Research of any complaints within 48 hours of receiving the complaint to discuss the process for investigation, action and to identify opportunities for improvement.

5. All complaints must be acknowledged in writing within five working days of receipt, unless it has been resolved to the satisfaction of the consumer within that period. This will be the responsibility of the Manager, Health Advice and Research or Chief Executive.

6. Within ten working days of giving written acknowledgement of a complaint, the person responsible for acknowledging receipt of the complaint (see step 8) will decide:
       a) whether to accept that the complaint is justified or decide that the complaint is not justified
       b) decide if more time is needed to investigate the complaint and if it is


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