(1) Every consumer has the right to complain about a provider in any form appropriate to the consumer.
(2) Every consumer may make a complaint to—
(a) the individual or individuals who provided the services complained of; and
(b) any person authorised to receive complaints about that provider; and
(c) any other appropriate person, including—
(i) an independent advocate provided under the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994; and
(ii) the Health and Disability Commissioner.
(3) Every provider must facilitate the fair, simple, speedy, and efficient resolution of complaints.
(4) Every provider must inform a consumer about progress on the consumer’s complaint at intervals of not more than 1 month.
(5) Every provider must comply with all the other relevant rights in this Code when dealing with complaints.
(6) Every provider, unless an employee of a provider, must have a complaints procedure that ensures that—
(a) the complaint is acknowledged in writing within 5 working days of receipt, unless it has been resolved to the satisfaction of the consumer within that period; and
(b) the consumer is informed of any relevant internal and external complaints procedures, including the availability of—
(i) independent advocates provided under the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994; and
(ii) the Health and Disability Commissioner; and
(c) the consumer’s complaint and the actions of the provider regarding that complaint are documented; and
(d) the consumer receives all information held by the provider that is or may be relevant to the complaint.
(7) Within 10 working days of giving written acknowledgement of a complaint, the provider must,—
(a) decide whether the provider—
(i) accepts that the complaint is justified; or
(ii) does not accept that the complaint is justified; or
(b) if it decides that more time is needed to investigate the complaint,—
(i) determine how much additional time is needed; and
(ii) if that additional time is more than 20 working days, inform the consumer of that determination and of the reasons for it.
(8) As soon as practicable after a provider decides whether or not it accepts that a complaint is justified, the provider must inform the consumer of—
(a) the reasons for the decision; and
(b) any actions the provider proposes to take; and
(c) any appeal procedure the provider has in place.