Promoting mental health, demystifying mental illness, countering stigma and discrimination

How to make a complaint

The Health and Disability Services, Consumers 'Code of Rights' includes the right to

make a complaint.

The Code of Rights states that you should receive:

  • Respect and privacy
  • Fair treatment
  • Dignity and independence
  • Proper standards of care
  • Effective communication
  • Access to information
  • Choices in decision making
  • Support from family/whanau, supporters and staff
  • Information about your rights to be a participant during teaching and research
  • The right to make a complaint

Complaints should be handled in a timely manner and all attempts made to move toward a satisfactory resolution in the shortest time.

Tertiary Services, Taranaki Mental Health Service

If you are being treated for a mental illness under the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992, you have the rights described in that Act.
  • To make a complaint to the service concerned
  • To have access to the District Inspector who in Taranaki is:

Murray Cochrane
P. O. Box 246,
New Plymouth
Tel: (06) 758 6049

Any patient with a concern or wishing to make a complaint may contact any of the following people to help.
  • Your Primary Nurse or Key Worker
  • The Consumer Advisor
  • The General Manager, Mental Health
  • Quality & Risk Manager, Mental Health & Addiction Services

The Mental Health Service Quality Risk Manager is responsible for coordinating the Mental Health complaints process. The Quality Risk Manager may contact the complainant for further detail/clarification of their complaint.

Click here to download feedback forms

Quality Risk Manager
Mental Health Outpatients Department
Taranaki Base Hospital
Private Bag 2016
New Plymouth. 4620

Tel: (06) 753 7777 Ext: 7631

If you are receiving services from a non-hospital provider:

All health care providers or disability service providers providing health care services are required to have a Complaints and Appeal Procedure that is made known to the people they serve. Ask for a copy of this procedure.

If possible, attempt to resolve the complaint as quickly as possible:

The best way is to contact the service provider and ask them to put the matter right. Most providers will welcome a direct approach and be keen to rectify a complaint. Sometimes it is helpful to have a support person (such as a consumer advisor/advocate) as a support person.

Some useful tips when writing a letter of complaint:

  • Be clear about describing what it is you wish to complain about
  • Let the provider know what action you wish to be taken to resolve the complaint
  • Request a response within a set time e.g. Within 14 days
  • Ask that a copy of the letter be placed on your personal file
  • Keep a copy of the letter for your own future reference
  • Ensure that your letter is correctly addressed
  • Ask for an acknowledgement of receipt of your letter

Under the Health and Disabilities Code of Consumer Rights you have the right to an independent review of your concerns.  You can do this by writing to the office of:

The Health and Disability Commissioner,
P O Box 1791, Auckland.
Free phone: 0800 11 22 33

Support Services in Taranaki:

Taranaki Mental Health Services:
Consumer Advisor Tel: 06 753 6139
Your Primary Nurse or Key Worker

Mahia Mai A Whai Tara: (Kaupapa Maori Service - North Taranaki)
Consumer Advisor Tel: 06 754 4669

Family/Whanau Field Worker New Plymouth
Like Minds Taranaki

3rd Floor
Stirling Sports Building
50-54 Devon Street West
New Plymouth, 4310
Tel: 06 759 0966 or 0800 4 like minds (0800 454 536)                             

Nationwide Health & Disability Advocacy Network Service - New Plymouth
Tel: 06 759 2111 or 0800 555 050

District Inspector of Mental Health Services - Taranaki

Murray Cochrane,
P O Box 243,
New Plymouth.
Tel: 06 757 3944

In addition, there are a number of National Agencies dedicated to handling complaints:

For further information about these regional agencies - please ring their toll free numbers.

The Health and Disability Commissioner
P O Box 1791,
Tel: 0800 11 22 33

The Human Rights Commission
P O Box 5045, 
Tel: 0800 496 877

The Privacy Commissioner
P O Box 10-094,
Tel: 0800 803 909

Ombudsman - Office of
70 The Terrace,
Tel: 0800 802 602

Like Minds Taranaki gratefully acknowledges the financial support of this website by the Ministry of Health

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Taranaki Mental Health Sector