Complaints Handling Policy

Peaceful Mind Psychology offers a high quality of service. We will use all feedback, including complaints, to evaluate and improve the services we provide. This policy sets out how you can make a complaint and have your concerns addressed.

Fair and reasonable treatment

We will resolve complaints fairly, with courtesy, consideration and respect. We will maintain impartiality, confidentiality and transparency when we manage complaints. We will handle all records in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988.

Responsiveness and efficiency

We aim to resolve complaints as quickly as possible. If the resolution process will take more than 10 business days, we will let you know and provide updates on the progress of your complaint. We understand that some people have particular needs and may require assistance in expressing a grievance or making a complaint. We will be flexible when dealing with your feedback, including working with a nominated spokesperson in accordance with your wishes.

Accountability and reporting

Our psychologists and reception team are aware of our processes and standards regarding the handling of feedback. Principal Psychologist and/or the Director are made aware of any complaints reported to reception. Unless the complaint is a simple one that can be resolved immediately, the feedback is entered into a confidential register where we record any complaints received, as well as any outcomes and actions taken in response, as this helps us improve our practice.

COMPLAINTS HANDLING PROCESS

Resolving the matter with your psychologist

If you have an issue with your psychologist, we encourage you to speak openly about your complaint. Within the psychology profession, there is an expectation for psychologists to openly listen to you, empathise for you, reflect on their own practice and respond thoughtfully to your complaint. Therefore, expressing your complaint to your psychologist should provide a positive outcome to yourself. We understand that sometimes this does not feel suitable to your circumstances or the nature of your complaint, and therefore, you may wish to consider the other below processes for lodging your complaint.

Referral to the Principal Psychologist

All complaints that are not easily resolved by reception are referred to the Principal Psychologist and/or Clinic Director, so that oversight can be maintained. If the complaint cannot be resolved at the first level, the Principal Psychologist may follow up with you. Their role is to understand the grievance, help find a resolution, maintain a record of the complaint, and review our practice processes. The Principal Psychologist will advise the Director of the receipt and outcome of formal complaints. If referring a complaint to the Principal Psychologist would cause a conflict of interest, the issue will instead be referred directly to the Director.

External review

If you are dissatisfied with our handling of a complaint, there are external methods of review you can pursue. These may include (but are not limited to) contacting the Australian Psychological Society, and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). While you are free to use these review methods at any time, we recommend you use our internal processes before seeking external assistance. While we are committed to resolving your complaint within 10 business days where possible, external reviews have their own timeframes and often don’t allow for reconciliatory processes between the practice/psychologist and yourself.

STEPS IN THE COMPLAINT HANDLING PROCESS 

Acknowledgement and assessment

We will acknowledge your complaint and suggest the process we will follow. We will consider the nature of your complaint, and the best way to handle it.

Investigation (if needed)

Simple and straightforward complaints can often be resolved on first contact. If this isn’t possible, and the process is referred to the Principal Psychologist or Clinic Director for follow up, we will investigate to ensure we have all the relevant information. This may include following up with further questions with yourself and with the psychologist involved to clear any misunderstandings, or seeking legal advice.

Response

Once we have finished investigating and made a decision, we will tell you what the outcome is and how we came to this decision. You can then discuss with us any further options to review our findings if you feel this is necessary.

Improvement

If a complaint highlights a systemic issue that the practice has, we will use the feedback received to review our policies and procedures, and make any changes we feel would be helpful for us to improve.

If the complaint is about your psychologist, we will ask you for permission for us to confidentially discuss your feedback with your psychologist to help them improve their clinical practice. We will also ask your permission as to whether you would like to hear from your psychologist after we have provided them feedback.