Complaints, Compliments and Suggestions

Te Whatu Ora, South Canterbury welcomes compliments, suggestions and complaints from consumers. Receiving such feedback gives us an opportunity to improve our services as well as pass on compliments.

We welcome your comments about:
  • Any service provided by the Te Whatu Ora, South Canterbury or any of its contracted providers.
Who can comment?
  • Any member of the public.
  • While complaints can certainly be made by a third party (i.e. a relative, parent or friend) on another’s behalf, the person must consent to or endorse the complaint, as its investigation involves access to a person’s records. Where appropriate, consent will be sought as part of the complaints process.
What do we do with your comments?

We take all complaints, compliments and suggestions seriously, because they offer us the opportunity to improve the services we provide. Your suggestions may help prevent the same issue recurring in the future.

  • Your complaint will be acknowledged within five working days.
  • Your comment, complaint or compliment will be referred to the manager of the hospital area concerned.
  • All complaints are treated confidentially and will be discussed only with the people directly involved.
  • We aim to respond to all complaints within 20 working days. If we are unable to respond in that timeframe we will write to you and let you know the reason and an expected completion timeframe. If your complaint is complex or requires additional investigation we will keep you updated on a monthly basis until it is resolved.
Please be assured that making a complaint will not adversely affect the care that you receive, now or in the future.

If you have a concern or complaint about the care you are receiving we encourage you to speak directly to the staff looking after you. Often such issues can be resolved straight away. However, if you feel you cannot do so, please choose one of the methods described below and we will send it through to the department concerned.

You can make a complaint, compliment or suggestion in any of the following ways:



Write to us at

Quality and Risk
Level 4, Gardens Block
Te Whatu Ora, South Canterbury
Private bag 911
Timaru, 7910

Email us


Verbal complaints can be recorded by any staff member and passed on to the Feedback Team.


Call 03 687 2100 Extn 8292, and ask to speak to the Feedback Team.

National Advocacy Service or the health and Disability Commissioner (HDC)

Verbal complaints can be recorded by any staff member and passed on to the Feedback Team.

If you need help making your complaint or want to speak to someone outside of of Te Whatu Ora South Canterbury, you can do so by:

Contacting the nationwide Health and Disability Advocacy Service. Phone the local advocate on 03 687 2291, or the national call centre on toll free 0800 555 050.

Calling the office of the Health and Disability Commissioner on 0800 11 22 33.

If you become dissatisfied with how your complaint is being handled, or if you are not totally satisfied with the response you receive, you may discuss your concerns with an investigation officer at the office of the Health and Disability Commissioner,  phone 0800 11 22 33.