Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACAT, or ACAS, in Victoria) carry out assessments of your aged care needs and help you connect to a service. If you have concerns about the service you received during your assessment or the decisions relating to your approval for services, you have the right to raise your concerns. Raising your concerns can help improve services, not just for you, but for others as well.
What should I do?
We suggest you first talk to your ACAT to see if they can help. Every ACAT has procedures in place to work through any concerns raised by their clients. It often works best if you, or the person representing you, talks directly to the ACAT team leader to sort out any problems. They are there to help you and will listen to your concerns. You can also consider asking someone, like a family member, friend or a carer to support you when you raise your concerns.
What if my complaint isn't resolved?
If you and your ACAT cannot resolve the issue, you can raise your concern by contacting your state or territory Health Department, as each team is covered by their government's complaints procedures.
What if I'm not satisfied with the assessment outcome?
If you think the assessment outcome should be changed, you or someone acting on your behalf, has the right to seek a review of the decision. You can write to the Secretary of the Australian Government Department of Health and tell them why you think the decision should be changed. You should write to the following address:
Department of Health
Aged Care Branch (NSW and ACT)
GPO Box 9820
Sydney NSW 2001
You must write to the Secretary within 28 days of receiving your letter from the ACAT. Your letter from the ACAT will include further information on how you can ask for a review of a decision.
If you don't receive a letter explaining your assessment outcome from the ACAT, you should contact the ACAT and request a copy.
Requesting a review of an ACAT approval is free. If you don't agree with the review outcome and wish to progress to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, then there will be a charge. You can find out more at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal website.
Aged care advocacy services
Another way of raising a concern or for getting advice about your rights is through aged care advocacy services. These services are available in each state and territory. They can also represent you if you need to make a complaint about any other aged care issues.