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Continence Services Code of Rights

It is important that everyone has access to high quality health and disability services.  When accessing our services you are protected under the Code of Rights.  To find out more go to www.hdc.org.nz

To view the full code of right click here

If you would like to hear the code of rights in another language click here

Right to Complain

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.

3. Provider Compliance

A provider is not in breach of this Code if the provider has taken reasonable actions in the circumstances to give effect to the rights, and comply with the duties, in this Code.

The onus is on the provider to prove it took reasonable actions.

For the purposes of this clause, "the circumstances" means all the relevant circumstances, including the consumer's clinical circumstances and the provider's resource constraints.

4. Definitions

In this Code,

"Advance directive" means a written or oral directive-

(a) By which a consumer makes a choice about a possible future health care procedure; and

(b) That is intended to be effective only when he or she is not competent:

"Choice" means a decision-

(a) To receive services:

(b) To refuse services:

(c) To withdraw consent to services:

"Consumer" means a health consumer or a disability services consumer; and, for the purposes of rights 5, 6, 7(1), 7(7) to 7(10), and 10, includes a person entitled to give consent on behalf of that consumer:

"Discrimination" means discrimination that is unlawful by virtue of Part II of the Human Rights At 1993:

"Duties" includes duties and obligations corresponding to the rights in this Code

"Ethics committee" means an ethics committee -

(a) established by, or appointed under, an enactment; or

(b) approved by the Director-General of Health.

"Exploitation" includes any abuse of a position of trust, breach of a fiduciary duty, or exercise of undue influence:

"Optimise the quality of life" means to take a holistic view of the needs of the consumer in order to achieve the best possible outcome in the circumstances:

"Privacy" means all matters of privacy in respect of the consumer, other than matters of privacy that may be the subject of a complaint under Part VII or Part VIII of the Privacy Act 1993 or matters to which Part X of that Act relates:

"Provider" means a health care provider or disability services provider:

"Research" means health research or disability research:

"Rights" includes rights corresponding to the duties in this Code:

"Services" means health services, or disability services, or both; and includes health care procedures:

"Teaching" includes training of providers.

5. Other Enactments

Nothing in this Code shall require a provider to act in breach of any duty or obligation imposed by any enactment or prevents a provider doing an act authorised by any enactment.

6. Other Rights

An existing right is not overridden or restricted simply because the right is not included in this Code or is included only in part.