Complaints about certain serious misconduct or corruption involving our staff or the hospital can be made directly to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC).
Western Health encourages individuals to raise their concerns with IBAC if:
They are uncomfortable raising their concerns directly with Western Health, or
They feel some detrimental action has been, or may be, taken against them if they make a complaint
Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) Victoria
If you have a complaint about "improper conduct" (such as serious misconduct or corruption) involving our employees or the hospital itself, contact the IBAC directly.
You should also contact IBAC if you are worried that someone might take some detrimental action (such as a reprisal) against you, because you have made a complaint or are co-operating in an investigation about corruption.
Your complaints to IBAC may be termed Public Interest Disclosures.
Find out more about the complaints process at IBAC.
The Public Interest Disclosure Act protects you if you genuinely believe your complaint is valid. You must also have reasonable grounds to believe the information you have supports your complaint.
Western Health is committed to extending the protections under the Act. Penalties may apply (such as fines, imprisonment) to anyone who merely threatens to take detrimental action against you, even if you intend to make a Public Interest Disclosure or intend to cooperate with an investigation of a Public Interest Disclosure.
All our employees are obliged to report to our Chief Executive any allegations you make about detrimental action that affects you or anyone else. They are also required to keep confidential the identity of anyone making a Public Interest Disclosure; if they do not, they may be liable for criminal penalties (such as fines, imprisonment).
Your complaint will not be protected if:
It is already known by others. That is because it is already in the public domain and has lost its protection
It is a mere assertion, allegation or conclusion. That is because it must be capable of being investigated
There are no reasonable grounds to believe your information supports your complaint
You (alone or with others) may make a Public Interest Disclosure, but a company cannot.
You can make your disclosure to IBAC directly by telephone, in person, in writing (email, ordinary post and personal delivery), or anonymously. You cannot make a Public Interest Disclosure by facsimile.
You can remain anonymous by using unverifiable email addresses, anonymous phone calls or refuse to identify yourself if you meet IBAC officers. If you make a disclosure on behalf of someone else, then you are the "notifier" and may be protected, but not the other person. That encourages everyone to make proper disclosures.
IBAC will manage your disclosures in accordance with its own guidelines and processes. After its investigation IBAC must provide you with information about the results of its investigation, including any recommendations and action IBAC will take.
You will be protected from various civil and criminal liabilities if your complaint/disclosure is made to IBAC in the proper way. That also includes protection from claims for defamation, or breaches of any legislation that requires confidentiality. You will be protected from the time you make your complaint/disclosure and that protection continues to apply even if IBAC determines that it is not a Public Interest Disclosure.
But you will not be protected if:
You knowingly provide false or misleading information
If you repeat your disclosure to someone other than IBAC
You tell others that IBAC has decided to investigate or refer your complaint
Protecting your identity
Your identity will be protected whether you make an anonymous disclosure (see above), or not.
That is because the Public Interest Disclosure Act imposes strict confidentiality over your identity and your disclosure. Also penalties (such as fines, imprisonment) apply for any breach.
Please note that details of you and your disclosure may need to be used by IBAC for its investigation, and our employees may need to disclose when required to assist IBAC.
No one can use the Freedom of Information Act as a way to get a copy of documents from us relating to your Public Interest Disclosure, or any documents that would likely to lead your identification. We will contact IBAC first, before considering any application made under the Freedom of Information Act.
If you are injured, or incur a loss or damage from any reprisal for making a disclosure, you may wish to obtain legal advice. The Act sets out remedies that are available to you.
You can make complaints to Western Health directly here Making a complaint at Western Health
Western Health’s procedures are currently being reviewed to ensure they meet the objectives of the Act and accord with IBAC's guidelines.