INFORMATION ABOUT ACCESSING YOUR HEALTH RECORDS AND MAKING A COMPLAINT ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE.
If you or your partner or child has suffered injury through birth trauma, you may need support and guidance from a range of different professionals to work through what has happened. Potentially, this could include health professionals (midwife, doctor, nurse, physiotherapist, psychologist, etc), counsellors, as well as legal advisors.
Some steps you may wish to consider undertaking are mentioned below.
Table of Contents
Accessing Health Records
MAKING A COMPLAINT about a Health professional
You can raise a complaint about how you have been treated directly to the professional or provider. Most bigger health services, including hospitals, have a process for talking through adverse outcomes with patients. You may prefer to have a support person present for these conversations.
You should contact the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority (AHPRA) if you are concerned that:
- a health professional’s behaviour is placing the public at risk;
- a health professional is practising their profession in an unsafe way; or
- a professional’s ability to make safe judgements about their patients might be impaired.
Each State and Territory has a commissioner or health complaints organisation dedicated to receiving healthcare complaints. AHPRA publishes a list of these bodies on its website.
If you are unsure whether you should make a complaint and/or to whom you should make it, you can contact AHPRA on 1300 419 495 to talk it through. Their contact details are published on their website.
In New Zealand, contact the Health and Disability Commissioner on (0800) 112 233, or their website. You can also contact the Nationwide Health and Disability Advocacy Service for advice. They will be able to talk you through how to raise your concerns, including the possibility of making a complaint to the relevant professional council.
If you choose to seek legal advice, the following links may assist you.
New Zealand has a no-fault compensation scheme. See the Accident Compensation Corporation on their website for more information.
In Australia, you can check the Law Society websites for your relevant State or Territory to identify a law firm practising in the area:
- Law Society of the ACT
- Law Society of NSW
- Law Society Northern Territory
- Law Society of South Australia
- Law Society of Tasmania
- Law Institute of Victoria
- Law Society of WA
The Australasian Birth Trauma Association does not endorse or recommend specific law firms.