Clients Rights & Responsibilities

A client can gain access to quality services regardless of sex, nationality, ethnicity, culture, language, religion, marital status, disability, sexuality, age, income or social background.

Services funded by the Home and Community Care (HACC) Program are required by government to maintain certain Standards in order to provide quality care. The Rights and Responsibilities described here are all related to those Standards.

 

As a person using HACC services you have a number of rights. HACC service providers should recognise your right to;

 

  • Be treated with respect and courtesy
  • Be informed and to be consulted
  • Be part of decisions made about your care
  • Receive good quality services
  • Privacy and confidentiality, and to access all information kept about you by your service
  • Have another person of your choice support you and advocate on your behalf
  • Have your comments valued and to make a complaint if you are not happy with the service you receive

Clients should refer to the individual service's brochure if you would like to fowards a complaint regarding the service being provided or you may contact the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care on 1300 881 144. 

 

The Rights to be treated with respect and courtesy:

 

Service providers must respect your ideas and the decisions you make about your life. They should listen to what you have to say, and are expected to show courtesy in their behaviour to you. Here are some questions you can ask service providers about this right:

 

Will your staff seek my consent if they want access to my personal belongings?

 

Is staff expected to listen to what I have to say about my care?

 

Is staff expected to talk to me in a respectful way?

 

Who should I speak to in the agency?

 

Who could I speak to outside of the agency?

 

How familiar is your service with my cultural background/religious beliefs?

 

Will staff respect my cultural and religious beliefs?

 

The Right to be informed and to be consulted:

 

As a client you have the right to be informed about the service available to you and about your rights as a service consumer. These are questions that can help you obtain the information you need to get the most from a service:

 

What exactly can this agency provide for me?

 

How often will I receive the service?

 

For how long can I expect to receive the service?

 

What will it cost me?

 

If I cannot afford the service can I request a reduction in fees?

 

Can I get the service after hours or on weekends?

 

Will I have the same staff each time?

 

What happens if I don't take up the service now and ask for it again latter?

 

How will I be involved in planning the services you provide to meet my needs?

 

Can I stop the service at any time?

 

How would I do this?

 

Do you have a written copy of my rights as a service consumer?

 

Can I have the information in a language other than English?

 

If my English is not good, can I have an interpreter?

 

The right to be part of decisions about your care:

 

You have the right to remain in control of the care you receive by being part of decisions made about the services provided to you. You can ask these sorts of questions:

 

How will I be involved in developing the plan for my care?

 

Can I have someone with me during any discussions about my care?

 

If my needs change, will you review my care plan with me?

 

Can I ask for a male or female worker?

 

Can I choose a time that suits me to receive my service?

 

Can I ask my worker not to smoke in my home?

 

Will you tell me in writing if there are any changes in my service?

 

To whom can I complain about changes made to my service? How would I do that?

 

The right to receive quality service:

 

An agency needs to inform you about what services it can and cannot provide. You have the right to receive a planned and reliable service. To find out more about his right you can ask service providers these questions:

 

Do I get a regular visit or phone call from the agency to find out if I am happy with the service I am receiving?

 

Do you provide clients with a copy of information about the agency?

 

Do I receive a copy of my plan of care?

 

Am I going to be consulted about any changes made to the service I receive?

 

Is the agency flexible about adopting services to meet my needs?

 

Will I be encouraged to speak up if I have any concerns about the service I am receiving?

 

The right to privacy and confidentiality:

 

You have the right to confidentiality and privacy, and to obtain information held about you on agency files. These are examples of questions you might ask service providers about this right?

 

Do you have any written information about my rights regarding privacy and confidentiality?

 

What sort of personal details do you keep about your clients? (Example, date of birth, income, religion)

 

Would you ever give my personal details to another agency or to anyone else without my permission?

 

Where do you keep my personal information?

 

Is it secure? How do you make sure it is secure?

 

Who has access to my file?

 

Can I have access to my file?

 

Who would I talk to if I felt that my privacy or confidentiality was breached?

 

The right to an advocate:

                                          

Everyone has basic rights as Australian citizens and these include expressing your views. It can be helpful to have family or friends to speak on your behalf, or agencies whose role is to advise people about their rights and responsibilities when receiving services, and to act on your behalf with these service providers. Agencies like this are known as 'advocacy' agencies, and people who act on you behalf are known as advocates.

 

As someone using a service funded by HACC, you have the right to involve an advocate of your choice to represent you at any time. These are examples of questions you can ask service providers regarding your right to advocacy:

 

Can I have a friend, family member or person from an advocacy service to represent me an any time?

 

Do you have written information about my rights as a user of your service?

 

Can I have my rights explained tome by an interpreter?

 

Is there an independent advocacy agency that can tell me more about my rights as a HACC service user?

 

The right to make a complaint:

 

As someone using services funded by HACC, you have the right to give honest feedback about the service you are receiving without fear of losing the service, or having it reduced. HACC Standards require service to have clear policies, in writing, for handling complaints from service users, and to make sure that their clients understand how those policies are applied.

 

These are some question you can ask an agency:

 

Can I discuss any concerns about I have about the service I am receiving?

 

Is there a particular person in the agency who deals with complaints?

 

Do I have to put any concerns in writing? Or can I explain it over the phone or talk to someone in person?

 

Will my complaint be kept confidential?

 

Will I risk losing my service if I complain?

 

If I am not happy with the result of my complaint who else can I talk to within the agency?

 

Who can I go to outside the agency?

 

Can I have a copy of your agency's policy and procedures for handling complaints?

 

Rights and responsibilities as a HACC Service User:

 

HACC Service asks their clients to:

 

  • Treat staff with respect and courtesy - for example, by letting them know as soon as possible if you cannot keep an appointment
  • Provide a safe work environment for staff and help them to provide you with services safely - for example, by not leaving floors slippery
  • Take responsibility for the results of any decisions which you make with staff about your care.

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This information is based on brochures developed by the Aged Rights Advocacy Service in South Australia and by Ethnic Link Services in South Australia.