Aged Care Complaints Commissioner 2016-17 annual report

The Aged Care Complaints Commissioner’s 2016-17 annual report shows that more people are becoming aware of the service and raising their concerns.


The report covers the first full financial year since responsibility for complaints was transferred from the Australian Department of Health to the Commissioner on 1 January 2016.


The Commissioner, Rae Lamb, and her team around the country received 4,713 complaints this year. This is 20 per cent more than the Department and the Commissioner received between them in 2015-16.


Ms Lamb says “I don’t think the rise in complaints shows deteriorating standards of care. Certainly we see instances where care has been very poor, and there are still people who should complain who don’t.


"Nonetheless the number of complaints has to be balanced against the fact that more than one million people receive aged care. Plus we have been doing a great deal of work to raise our profile.”


Ms Lamb said it is also good to see that more people are complaining about care received at home and in the community as this has been an area where people have seldom complained previously. These complaints remain low in number but account for a growing proportion of the Commissioner’s work.


The report includes case studies that provide real life examples of how complaints improve people’s care and feedback from consumers and service providers. It also highlights other areas of the Commissioner’s work, such as educational services to consumer groups and service providers.


“This year I challenged the industry to talk more about complaints and what they do about them.


"Complaints are a normal part of providing care and services. People need to know it’s okay to complain and that when things go wrong, making a complaint can lead to improved care. Greater transparency about complaints will increase consumer confidence.” says Ms Lamb.


The report is available online at:


20 September 2017.