- Cancer Information
- Practical concerns
- Cancer care and your rights
- Health care complaints
- How to give feedback or complain
How to give feedback or complain
All health care facilities should have procedures for patients to provide feedback and complaints. Check with the cancer care coordinator, nursing unit manager or social worker. Some hospitals have a patient representative or patient advocate who looks after patient concerns. You can usually find their details on the hospital’s website.
Raising the issue may mean you get a different view of why something occurred, and talking about it may make you feel better. You can also ask a friend or a relative to raise an issue on your behalf.
If you have a problem with a particular person, it is often best to talk to them face-to-face or on the phone, as this makes it easier for the situation to be sorted out immediately. However, you may prefer to write a letter, for example, if you find it difficult to discuss your concerns with the person involved or feel the issue has been ignored after raising it in person. Remember that putting feedback in writing means you will have to wait for a response.
Health professionals are bound by a strict code of conduct to maintain confidentiality about any complaints you lodge.
|If you feel unable to provide feedback or complain immediately, you can still raise your concerns at a later date. Keep in mind the complaints organisation in your state or territory may not assess complaints after a certain time frame, and there are strict time limits for medical negligence complaints.|
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Toni Ashmore, Cancer and Ambulatory Services, Canberra Health Services, ACT; Baker McKenzie, Pro Bono Legal Adviser, NSW; Marion Bamblett, Acting Nurse Unit Manager, Cancer Centre, South Metropolitan Health Service, Fiona Stanley Hospital, WA; David Briggs, Consumer; Naomi Catchpole, Social Worker, Metro South Health, Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD; Tarishi Desai, Legal Research Officer, McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, VIC; Kathryn Dwan, Manager, Policy and Research, Health Care Consumers Association, ACT; Hayley Jones, Manager, Treatment and Supportive Care, McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, VIC; Victoria Lear, Cancer Care Coordinator, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, QLD; Deb Roffe, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Michelle Smerdon, National Pro Bono Manager, Cancer Council NSW.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum
Need legal and financial assistance?
Pro bono services, financial and legal assistance, and no interest loans
Looking for transport, accommodation or home help?
Practical advice and support during and after treatment