Health & Disability Consumer Advocacy Service
I've recently completed a complaint to the Health & Disability Commissioner in respect of my son's death. It has been great to have the support of a Consumer Advocate in preparing my complaint. Consumer Advocates are available around the country and are completely independent of any health services. The service they provide is free.
On their website, the advocates advise that:
An advocate is on the side of consumers. This means the advocate will:
* listen to your concerns
* give you information about your rights
* help you to explore the options available, including ways to make a complaint
* support you in the actions you decide to take to resolve your concerns
* give you practical support, such as helping to write a letter or accompanying you to a resolution meeting with the provider
* give you guidance and information on self-advocacy, if you wish to deal with the matter yourself.
While complaints are generally in relation to a particular individual, the Advocates will also advise the Commissioner of any matters concerning the rights and safety of consumers that they consider should be brought to the Commissioner's attention.
If you have issues with the health services involved prior to the suicide of a loved one or feel the Commissioner should be advised of an issue affecting the rights and safety of health consumers in NZ, information on the advocacy service and contact details are on their website at http://advocacy.hdc.org.nz/about-us/advocacy-overview