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At Avant we recognise that your practice entity has separate risks and exposures.
The first you may know of
a patient complaint is when you receive a letter from either AHPRA or a health
The letter will normally come with a copy of the
complaint (or “notification”) enclosed. The complaint may be made through a
formal notification or by letter, email or even a telephone call. A complaint
may be made by a patient, a hospital, a colleague or on referral from the
coroner following a coronial inquest.
At this early point in the process
it is important to ensure you:
Normally the first stage in a professional conduct
complaint is the assessment stage. Depending on the State you are in, this
usually involves consultation between the complaints-handling entity (eg AHPRA
or the HCCC) and the Medical Board (or in NSW the Medical Council) to decide who
is going to deal with the notification. If the Board deals with the notification
then it must, within 60 days, carry out a preliminary assessment. In most States
AHPRA assists with the preliminary assessment.
The Assessment Officer
gathers the appropriate information to enable as assessment of the complaint.
The Assessment Officer may:
The Assessment Officer usually allows you 14 days
(this time can vary) to provide a written response to the notification. Avant
has been assisting doctors to prepare responses to complaints for many years
and in our experience a response that is professional, factual and that
displays insight into the patient’s complaint is more likely to result in a
good outcome for the doctor.
If you require more time to make your
written response it is best to contact Avant and we will seek an extension for
An effective response usually contains the following elements: