Code of conduct for health care workers
The National Code of Conduct for Health Care Workers (Queensland) was introduced on 1 October 2015. It applies to all unregistered health practitioners providing health services in Queensland: www.health.qld.gov.au/national-code-of-conduct
The new code sits alongside Speech Pathology Australia’s Code of Ethics as a complementary code to support protection of the public and ensure client safety. Our profession’s robust self-regulation mechanisms continue to set and monitor standards of high quality and ethical service. The new code sets minimum standards of conduct and practice for unregistered health care workers. These standards will be enforceable by law, and also provide an avenue for complaints from members of the public regarding a speech pathologist practising in Queensland to the Queensland Health Ombudsman.
The Office of the Health Ombudsman (OHO) is an independent statutory body responsible for receiving complaints about health service providers and health services in Queensland, providing a complaints handling, dispute resolution, conciliation and investigation services to Queenslanders. All information provided to the OHO is treated confidentially and reviewed fairly and impartially.
Effective communication between health practitioners and their patients can improve overall satisfaction and contribute towards better outcomes. Communication issues are a common area of health service complaints, so all health service providers including speech pathologists should be aware of how they communicate with their patients, and how patients are receiving the information being provided.
It is important for healthcare consumers to know where to go for advice or to make a complaint if they have concerns with the services they’ve received. Consumers may contact the Association, and/or the OHO. Health consumers are usually encouraged to try resolving any complaints directly with their provider, as this may be the quickest and easiest way to resolve concerns. All speech pathologists should have a process for managing complaints made by patients.
The OHO provides resources for all health practitioners to communicate with clients and manage complaints:
- Managing a health service complaint
- Effective communication in healthcare
- Notifications of reportable events
- How to make a health service complaint
- National Code of Conduct for healthcare workers in Queensland
- Office of the Health Ombudsman
- Do you have a complaint about a health service provider? poster
- Listen Respond Resolve poster .
The OHO encourages you to display the fact sheets and posters in patient waiting rooms and other common areas to help inform your healthcare consumers of the service. For questions or copies of brochures please contact the OH) on 133 646 or through their website.