Supported residential services provide accommodation and care for people who need support in everyday life - for example, people who are frail or who have a disability. If you live in a supported residential service (SRS), you have rights under the Health Services Act 1988.
If you live in a supported residential service (SRS), you have rights under the Health Services Act 1988. They include the right to information and quality care, and the right to complain.
A new Act, the Supported Residential Services (Private Proprietors) Act 2010 was passed by Parliament and comes into effect in July 2012. It will include a number of changes to the regulation of SRS, with more protections for residents and proprietors, and simpler administrative requirements.
Supported residential services provide accommodation and care for people who need support in everyday life – for example, people who are frail or who have a disability, including disability associated with a mental health issue. They are usually private businesses. Supported residential services do not receive government funding but must be registered with the state government and are monitored to ensure they provide certain standards of care and accommodation.
Your right to information
Before you decide to move into a supported residential service, the manager of the facility should give you a written document, which is usually referred to as ‘Information for prospective residents’. This document, which should be dated, should explain:
- The objectives and philosophies of the management of the service
- The number of residents cared for at the service
- The types of services being provided
- All fees and charges applying to those services
- How and when you will be informed of any changes to the provision of goods and services, fees and charges
- The health and community services available to residents from outside the home
- Your rights and responsibilities in the home
- The times of routines affecting residents of the service – for example, meal times
- Procedures for receiving and handling complaints, including the external avenues of complaint available to residents
- The options for ongoing management of the resident’s financial and legal affairs.
Your right to personal and special care
The personal care coordinator of the home must develop a care plan with you. This care plan should include:
- Your health and special or personal care needs
- Your preferred doctors and healthcare professionals
- Your dietary and nutritional needs
- The social activities you prefer
- The services that will be provided for you.
Your right to quality care
You have the right to:
- Be served balanced, varied and nutritious food
- Privacy in safe, home-like surroundings
- Be treated with respect and dignity
- Choose your own recreational activities
- Be socially active
- Look after your own finances where appropriate
- Complain about services without fear of punishment.
Your right to safe administration of drugs
Where you are provided with assistance to administer your medication, the personal care coordinator of the home must make sure that your medications are:
- Safely and securely stored at all times
- Taken at the right times in the right doses, as prescribed by your doctor
- Kept in the container supplied by the chemist.
Your right to complain
Your home has a complaints process in place and all complaints have to be recorded along with the response to the complaint. Where possible, any complaints or concerns should be raised with the owner or manager first.
Authorised Officers visit SRSs on a regular basis and are responsible for monitoring SRS compliance with the relevant Act and regulations.
If you have a concern or complaint about the services you or a relative is receiving at an SRS, or the way in which the SRS where you or your relative is living is being operated, you can contact an Authorised Officer at the Department of Human Services regional office (see the SRS website) for a list of contact phone numbers).
Where to get help
- The staff in your supported residential service
- The Authorised Officer from the Department of Health in your region
- The community visitors at your SRS
Things to remember
- If you live in a supported residential service, you have rights.
- If you have a complaint, first tell the staff at the home.
- If you need to take your complaint further, call the Authorised Officer in your region.
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Last reviewed: October 2012
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