Improving healthcare rights through better complaints systems and advocacy. Alternative formats available on request to PIAC - Contact PIAC
The submission mounts a case for the re-establishment of a healthcare advocacy service in NSW, as well as a more accessible and consistent system of complaints/information officers located in NSW hospitals.
The submission also raise several issues that effect the overall functioning of the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC), as well as the safety and quality of health care in NSW.
The first is the privilege afforded to any documentation and communication arising out of the Root Cause Analysis (RCA) process and the effect this has on the HCCC, the Coroner and other investigative bodies, in particular on the ability of these bodies to maximise the safety of the public in hospitals, and in the case of the Coroner, to prevent deaths. The submission argues against the continued existence of the privilege.
The second is the related issue of the lack of medical expertise in the investigation of deaths on behalf of the Coroner, and the lack of formal co-operation between the Coroner and the HCCC where deaths occur in a hospital or other healthcare setting. The submission argues for a specialist healthcare-related death investigation team to assist in investigations for the NSW Coroner and greater formal co-operation between the NSW Coroner and the HCCC.