Issues raised by staff would generally be dealt with under our Staff Grievance and Dispute Resolution policy, however from time to time staff may raise issues or provide feedback that is best dealt with under this policy.
The purpose of this policy is to outline how people are able to provide feedback and make complaints about any aspect of Bridges Alliance and the process that we will take to address and/or respond to the complaint without prejudice.
1.1 Bridges Alliance is committed to managing complaints in an accountable, transparent, timely and meaningful way and in the most direct way possible. Bridges Alliance supports and encourages the rights of our clients, their families/carers and stakeholders to lodge and pursue any complaint in relation to any aspect of Bridges Alliance or its operations.
1.2 The organisation is committed to the following complaints management principles:
1.3 The Bridges Alliance complaints reporting process is part of the organisations commitment to implementing our Continuous Improvement and Quality Management Systems. As part of its ongoing commitment to effective reporting processes Bridges Alliance will maintain all complaint information in accordance with our Privacy and Confidentiality policy.
1.4 Adopting this complaint reporting process assists Bridges Alliance in reviewing service performance, and progress against implementing the quality requirements and meeting the Standards and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Complaints Management and Resolution) Rules 2018. All complaint details are treated with privacy and confidentiality.
2.1 Bridges Alliance expects that most complaints/feedback will be able to be addressed and responded to by the people directly involved or at a support worker/middle management level, with only the most serious or unresolved complaints being dealt with the by the Operations Manager and/or General Manager. However, where complaints require investigation or a more formal review, we will ensure that sufficient resources are allocated as a means to ensure that complaints are proficiently managed and investigated and will only allocate suitably skilled and qualified employees to investigate and manage complaints of that nature. If required Bridges Alliance will refer to, or seek guidance from external agencies, such as the NDIS Commission or beyond that the NSW or Commonwealth Ombudsman.
2.2 Complaint management stages include:
2.3 We have produced a complaints brochure that outlines our policy and procedures in an easy to understand format.
3.1 Any individual, stakeholder or agency wishing to lodge a complaint against services, management or employees of Bridges Alliance will be provided with information regarding the organisation’s Complaints Management policy and process. Any complaint will be heard respectfully, confidentially and with a willingness to assist complainant.
3.2 Each participant and/or their family/carer can determine how their complaint will be made and when and where the complaint will be made.
3.3 Information will be provided in a format that is easily understood, in an appropriate language, in an appropriate communication method and considered effort will be provided to ensure complainant is fully informed regarding the Complaint Management process. A third party on behalf of another person may lodge complaints if their permission and consent has been given. This includes the use of advocates
3.4 The participant and/or their family/carer can nominate a staff or management member of their choice at the service as their key contact regarding the complaint.
3.5 Bridges Alliance will afford all complaints the highest standard of confidentiality. Complaint matters will only be discussed with those on a need to know basis and will not be a matter of discussion between any other individuals. All documentation will be retained in a secure place and in compliance with all internal privacy policies and State and Federal legislation.
3.6 All staff will handle complaints with:
3.7 Information regarding details regarding external support agencies that may assist them with complaints resolution if required. Some of these bodies are listed in this policy
3.8 The following details relating to the complaint will be documented in Bridges Alliance Complaints Register.
3.9 Complaints will be resolved within a practicable timeframe – ideally the organisation will diligently work to resolve the complaint within thirty (30) working days of receipt. Persons who have lodged complaint will be regularly updated and advised of progress within agreed intervals (e.g. weekly). If it is perceived that a delay may be experienced, this delay will be clearly articulated in writing to complainant.
3.10 Investigation of complaints will not be conducted by a person about whom a complaint has been made.
3.11 Bridges Alliance will undertake to fully inform any employee that is the subject of a complaint of the nature of the complaint and of the process being implemented to resolve complaint. If required, the employee concerned will be provided with a seven (7) day timeframe in which to submit a written response and/or seek further advice.
3.12 If a complaint is received that alleges criminal activity or provides information about possible criminal activity, it must be referred to the General Manager immediately. The General Manager will contact the police or other relevant authorities.
3.13 Individual or parties with a complaint may make contact with the following bodies should the complaints remain unresolved or at any time in the complaints process. These may include:
The NDIS Commission
Ph: 1800 035 544
Free call (outside Sydney metro area): 1800 451 8050
TTY: (02) 9264 8050
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
Phone: (02) 9284 9600
Complaints Infoline: 1300 656 419
Privacy Hotline: 1300 363 992
TTY: 1800 620 241
Anti-Discrimination Board (NSW)
Phone: (02) 4926 4300
TTY: (02) 4929 8419
Tollfree (NSW): 1800 670 182
People with Disability Incorporated
For people with a disability who wish to make a complaint about their rights being infringed.
Phone: (02) 9370 3100
Free call: 1800 422 015
TTY: (02) 9318 2138
TTY: 1800 422 016 free call
Fax: (02) 9318 1372
National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline
A hotline for reporting or complaining about the abuse or neglect of a person with a disability at home, in the community, or in any other location. The hotline will refer a complainant to a relevant
state or local agency where necessary.
Free call: 1800 880 052
TTY: 1800 301 130
National relay service: 1800 555 677
Fax: 02 9318 1372
Intellectual Disability Rights Service (IDRS)
A community legal centre specialising in legal and rights issues for people with a disability.
2C/199 Regent St
REDFERN NSW 2016
Phone: (02) 9318 0144
Free call: 1800 666 611
Fax: (02) 9318 2887
Disability Advocacy NSW Newcastle
Phone and TTY: 1300 365 085 or (02) 4927 0111
Fax: (02) 4927 0114
Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association
MDAA Head Office
Phone: (02) 9891 6400
Fax: (02) 9897 9402
Address: 10-12 Hutchinson Street, Granville NSW 2142
Postal: PO Box 884, Granville NSW 2142
Toll free (GRANVILLE, Sydney): 1800 629 072
4.1 Bridges Alliance takes reports of abuse and neglect very seriously. It is mandatory for any report of abuse or neglect reported to Bridges Alliance by staff, clients, families, carers other stakeholders or members of the public to be reported by Bridges Alliance to the Police, The NDIS Commission and to any relevant external agency. Any reports of abuse or neglect reported are to be immediately forwarded to the Operations Manager. The Operations Manager will then report the matter directly to General Manager. Direct reporting to the Police or the NDIS Commission will be the responsibility of Senior Management (i.e. Operations Manager, General Manager).
5.1 People who access supports and services provided by Bridges Alliance have different types of support networks. Some people have families who are closely involved in their lives or others may be reliant on legally appointed guardians to make particular decisions for them. On other occasions people are represented by advocacy services and for some clients these advocates are their only support network. Should a participant or the family/carer require support with engaging and advocate Bridges Alliance will assist them with the process.
5.2 An advocate must represent the best interests of a person, and in the absence of a family member or any other person having a close relationship with the person, may be the contact person for issues or complaints made by or relating to the person.
6.1 The Bridges Alliance General Manager is responsible for approving and monitoring the implementation of this policy.
6.2 The Operations Manager is responsible for ensuring that:
6.3 The General Manager is responsible for ensuring that:
6.4 The Operations Manager is responsible for ensuring that:
6.5 All employees are responsible for ensuring that:
6.6 Clients, families, carers, and other important stakeholders are responsible for:
7.1 Employees, volunteers, and students are to ensure that services are provided with sensitivity to, and awareness of, people with culturally diverse or indigenous backgrounds, and cultural practices. This is to be carried out without deviating from Bridges Alliance Complaints Management Policy and Procedure or legislative responsibilities. Information provided to a person, their family/carer, person responsible or other support person about legal rights, options, and support services, must be provided in a format that suits their individual communication needs.
8.1 Communication about this policy should be implemented in a way that suits each person with regard to their cultural background e.g. use of an interpreter or easy to read documents and in a method that best suits the participant. This policy will be:
9.1 Staff are expected to follow this policy. Failure to follow Bridges Alliance policies and procedures will be treated seriously and may result in disciplinary action. Serious breaches of policy resulting in gross misconduct could result in instant dismissal.