Care Issues and Concerns

Who to talk to?  What to do?

There may be times in care situations where an issue or concern arises.  If you are not sure what to do or who to talk to you will find some suggestions and organizations that can support you.

Concerns are best handled as close to the point of delivery of care as possible. An open conversation with the care provider at the time of the incident or after the fact can often resolve the concern. An alternative is to speak to a supervisor, or the unit manager or facility administrator in order to share questions or concerns and seek resolution.  

Sometimes the problem may be a misunderstanding or difference of opinion.  You can find some suggestions with Solving Problems on Your Own.

If talking directly to the supervisor, unit manager or facility administrator is not possible or effective, you can contact the Regional Health Authority Quality of Care Coordinator (QCC) or Client Representative. The role of the QCC is to: 

  • Assist individuals and families with questions or concerns about the health services they have received;
  • Ensure individuals are informed about their rights and options; and
  • Recommend changes and improvements to enhance the quality of health services delivered in the region based on their findings and trends of concerns raised.

Every regional health authority has at least one QCC (in some regions referred to as a Client Representative) in place, as does the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency. Each region advertises the contact information for their QCC in relevant publications and the Ministry maintains a complete listing on the Saskatchewan Health Web site. More info here.

Concerns may be initiated by or on behalf of anyone who receives health care services. They may also be brought forward anonymously. The QCC is in the best position to work with clients and family members on a local level to address their care concerns.The QCC is one part of a comprehensive approach to identify health care concerns, conduct an appropriate level of investigation, provide a response to the client and/or family and, if applicable, make recommendations for service enhancements to the region’s senior administration. QCCs operate under four guiding principles.

  1. Concerns will be handled in a timely manner.
  2. Concerns should be resolved as close to the point of care and/or service as possible.
  3. The individual’s right to quality care and service will not be compromised as a result of lodging a concern.
  4. No documentation of the concern, or even the existence of the concern, shall appear on the individual’s chart.

The QCC may receive concerns by phone, fax, letter, e-mail or in person. The QCC is responsible for investigating the concern.  The depth and breadth of an investigation varies from case to case and is dependent on the individual circumstances. The QCCs are also encouraged to advise all clients or family members of their additional rights (such as contacting legal counsel and/or referral to regulatory body), depending on the type of concern.

Province-wide contact info is available here

When concerns extend beyond the boundaries of one regional health authority or involve multiple agencies or complex care, or in cases where the family encounters difficulty working with regional Client Representatives/Quality of Care Coordinators, it is possible to involve the Provincial Quality of Care Coordinators (PQCC). The PQCCs can be reached in Regina at (306) 787-2718.

If, at the conclusion of a review, a client/patient/family feels that they have been treated unfairly in the review and follow up of their concerns by the health region and/or by the Ministry of Health, they may wish to share your concerns with the office of Ombudsman Saskatchewan.

Ombudsman Saskatchewan is an independent office, headed by the provincial Ombudsman who is appointed by the Legislative Assembly appoints the Ombudsman. The role of the Ombudsman is to hold the government (including RHAs) accountable in matters of fairness. Ombudsman Saskatchewan promotes fairness by taking complaints about unfairness in government services and making recommendations to government or government agencies about fair practices.

Learn more about how Ombudsman Saskatchewan may be able to support you by clicking here.

Resources – Ministry of Health Provincial Quality of Care Coordinator, Ombudsman Saskatchewan 

Last Updated: 11/08/2017