Case Summaries

Case Study 1: Full refund

The Complaint

Gwen complained to us about a denture that had been made.  The denture fitted poorly and would not stay in.  The provider did not respond to messages left by Gwen and eventually told her not to call again.

What we did

We contacted the provider to get a response to Gwen’s concerns about the ill-fitting denture.

While the denture could not be fixed, the provider acknowledged the lack of communication and the importance of keeping consumers informed.

The Outcome

The dental prosthetist offered to refund Gwen for the price of the dentures.  Gwen was satisfied with this outcome.

Case Study 2: Full Refund and Change in Policy

The Complaint

Kristy complained to us after she attended a dental practice and was given a quote to sign for future dental treatment.  She was also asked to pay a $150 non-refundable booking fee for future treatment.  When Kristy requested the item numbers relating to the quote the dental practice declined to provide them.

Kristy raised the issue with the provider directly and the practice advised that it was not their policy to issue treatment codes to patients.

What we did

We contacted the provider to get a response to Kristy’s concerns and requested a copy of the current practice policy.

The Outcome

The practitioner provided a full refund of the non-refundable booking fee.  The practitioner also advised he had reviewed their procedures and all patients now receive a copy of their treatment plan.

The practitioner recognised that a non-refundable booking fee should not be charged without the patient being provided with clear notice.  The practitioner wrote a policy in relation to this and provided a copy of the new policy to our Office.

Case Study 3: Advice and Explanation

The Complaint

Peter complained to us about the management of his cancer treatment following diagnosis.

What we did

We contacted the provider to obtain a response to Peter’s complaint.

We also consulted with the Medical Board of Australia through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. The Medical Board of Australia determined that the complaint did not raise any issues about the doctor’s performance as a medical practitioner that required any intervention by them.

The outcome

The practitioner provided a full response and an explanation that the treatment given to Peter was in accordance with the current clinical practice guidelines issued by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Peter was reassured that his treatment was in accordance with the current standard care for his diagnosis.

Case Study 4: Apology

The Complaint

Carly complained to us about the care she received in hospital following the birth of her baby.  She felt that the nurses did not respond to her needs in a timely manner and that the hospital facilities were not clean.

Carly also advised that she had a conversation regarding Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) with Nurse Veronica and was unhappy with the advice that Nurse Veronica had given her.

What we did

We contacted the hospital to obtain a response to Carly’s complaint.

We also consulted with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency to determine if there were any issues with Nurse Veronica’s conduct or performance.

The outcome

A response was provided to Carly that acknowledged her complaint.  An apology was also provided that the care provided did not meet her needs following the birth of her baby.

A review of the cleaning practices was initiated by the hospital to ensure the facility is kept clean.

Nurse Veronica provided a separate response to the complaint where she critically reflected on the care provided to Carly and was able to provide an explanation and a personal apology to Carly.

Both Carly and Nurse Veronica gave a different account of the conversation regarding SIDS and there was no corroborating evidence to support what was said in the conversation about SIDS.  No determination could be made as to what was said.  The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia determined there were no issues in relation to Nurse Veronica’s conduct or performance.

Case Study 5: Compensation

The Complaint

Lisa complained to us about staining to her arm following an iron infusion procedure.  The stain from the iron infusion was permanent and caused her embarrassment.

What we did

We contacted the provider to obtain a response to Lisa’s complaint.

A response was provided which acknowledged that Lisa had received an adverse outcome from a medical procedure.

We referred the matter to conciliation within our Office.

The outcome

A Conciliator facilitated negotiation between Lisa and the health service provider through this Office.  Lisa received compensation for the staining to her arm.

Case Study 6: Referral to other Agency

The Complaint

Robert complained to us that a health provider had not removed their hand from his body, during a procedure, following his request to do so.

What we did

We identified that this may have constituted/been an assault and we escalated the matter to the relevant Board through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

The Board will assess whether the matter requires further investigation, and assess the practitioner’s alleged conduct.

The outcome

The matter was referred to the relevant Board through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

Updated: 30th April 2021