4. Make your complaint

You can make a complaint to your Health Service Provider (HSP), Ontario Health Team (OHT), or the Home and Community Care Support Services (HCCSS) office.

Be sure to follow the complaint process for the organization you're complaining to. Send your complaint to the right address and be careful not to miss time limits.

In your complaint, include information like:

  • what happened to you
  • how it harmed you or put you at risk of being harmed
  • what you want to happen

Complaining about abuse, neglect, improper care

If you're complaining about abuse, neglect, or improper or incompetent care, it's very important to say how you've been:

  • harmed, or
  • put at risk of being harmed.

If you do that, the HSP, OHT, or HCCSS must confirm that they received your complaint and start looking into it right away.

Within 10 days, they must tell you what they've done about your complaint. And then they must finish their investigation and write a report within a “reasonable time”. The law does not say what amount of time is reasonable.

If they agree with your complaint, their report has to say:

  • what they've done about it, and
  • how they'll stop something similar from happening again.

If you don’t agree with a decision

There's no appeal process if you don't agree with how the HSP, OHT, or HCCSS handles your complaint about:

  • abuse,
  • neglect, or
  • poor care that causes harm or risk of harm.
There's a Health Services Appeal and Review Board. But you appeal to the Review Board only if you disagree with a decision about which care services are included or not included in your care plan.

You can't appeal to the Review Board if you disagree with how your complaint about abuse, neglect, or poor care was handled.

But you may be able to have your complaint looked into again by making another complaint. For example, you made your first complaint to the HSP and you're not satisfied with how they handled it. You could now complain to the OHT or HCCSS.

Make sure to say why you're not happy with how the HSP dealt with your complaint and what you think should be done.

Getting help with your complaint

There are other ways to get help with your complaint. If you want help from your HCCSS but are not sure who to talk to, you can call the Long-Term Care ACTION Line at 1-866-434-0144. Tell them what happened and ask them to contact the HCCSS office for you. They'll ask someone from the HCCSS office to call you.

You can also ask the ACTION Line to have an Independent Complaints Facilitator call you. They'll call you within 10 business days and talk to you about your complaint. They may talk to the HCCSS about your complaint and try to help you work out a solution. But they'll do that only if you say that it's okay.

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