Health Consumer Service Trust
The Trust was set up 30 years ago by the Waikato Hospital board to act as an independent complaints service for the hospital. Due to its success it was extended to cover other Health Districts and now covers Tairawhiti, Bay of Plenty and Waikato and to cover any health service provided to a consumer in those areas. It is fully funded by these DHBs.
The Trustees decided the best way to handle complaints was to facilitate appropriate resolutions rather than acting as an advocacy service, a position that was later adopted by advocates acting for the Health Commissioner. The two services act alongside one another and at times refer a complaint to the other service as the Advocates have statutory power and the Associates of the Trust have greater enquiry areas they can explore.
A freephone number (0800 801 482) is available to initiate a complaint. Consumers who have problems with the health service they have received are urged to phone this number to get assistance with expressing their concerns.
The HCST is a non-threatening complaints service which most providers welcome the Trust’s input as it enables them to cover their contract responsibility to action complaints without aggression becoming a factor in the resolution. This provides a better outcome for both parties and also highlights areas where the service provided can be improved.
If you would like some pamphlets to display in your medical office, or have a complaint that needs resolution phone 0800 801 482 for free confidential assistance. Or see the “contact us” page for other contact points.