Doha’s story

Doha made a complaint to our office about Ahpra’s handling of the concerns she had raised about a health practitioner

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Doha made a complaint to our office about Ahpra’s handling of the concerns she had raised about a health practitioner. Doha said that she had sought to make a notification about the health practitioner, but Ahpra decided that her concerns did not raise appropriate grounds for a notification. Doha said that she provided further information to Ahpra about the practitioner, but this information had not been appropriately considered when Ahpra again decided not to accept the concerns as a notification.

Doha had already made a complaint to Ahpra, but she was concerned she had been ‘brushed off’. In particular, she was not satisfied with Ahpra’s response to her query about why her concerns did not meet the threshold to be considered a notification.

Our office made preliminary inquiries into the Doha’s matter, but we did not receive sufficient information from Ahpra about how it had handled Doha’s concerns. We therefore decided to commence an investigation into Doha’s complaint.

What we found

During our investigation, Ahpra advised that the new information Doha had provided to support her concerns had been reviewed. However, Doha’s concerns had not been considered by the Board, and there was no documented reason for this. Ahpra acknowledged Doha’s poor experience and explained that her matter had been one of the first considered under its new triaging model. Ahpra advised that it had continued to refine its new model based on its experience and feedback received.

Complaint outcome

As a result of our investigation, Ahpra reconsidered Doha’s matter. Ahpra advised that it had accepted Doha’s concerns as a notification, meaning the notification would be progressed as required under the National Law.

Ahpra also acknowledged there was a gap in its guidance to staff. This related to how Ahpra would consider further information provided by notifiers about their concerns when the initial decision was that there were no grounds for a notification. Ahpra therefore drafted amendments to its policy for managing new information after an enquiry or notification has closed. This will ensure there is a clear process for managing further information received from a notifier.

Given the reasonable steps Ahpra had outlined to address the issues Doha had raised, our office finalised the investigation. We advised Doha that she was welcome to return to our office if needed once a decision regarding her notification was made by the Board.

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