Community Care Complaint FAQs

Here you will find frequently asked questions regarding the community care complaint process.

What is a long term care facility?

A long term care facility provides residential care and services for three or more individuals over the age of 19 who are dependent on caregivers for health care, assistance or direction. Long term care facilities are governed by the minimum health and safety requirements of the Community Care and Assisted Living Act, Residential Care Regulation and the Hospital Act. 

What is the purpose of a complaint investigation under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act? 

All complaints are investigated in a confidential and timely manner, with particular emphasis on the safety of persons in care and administrative fairness. Complaints are investigated in a fair and transparent manner and, if the complainant requests to be anonymous, every effort is made to protect their identity. However, it may not always be possible to protect confidentiality in circumstances where matters proceed to an appeal or to court. 
Under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act and Hospital Act, a complaint investigation determines if the facility is being operated in a manner that does not comply with the minimum health and safety requirements, and to intervene where the quality of care puts residents at risk. Protecting the overall health and safety of residents is the first priority of any investigation.  
In addition, the Patient Care Quality Office (PCQO) has been established to respond to quality care complaints about your own care, your loved ones care, or care that you or your loved one expected but did not receive. 

What happens when a complaint is substantiated?

Once a complaint has been investigated and is substantiated, the facility operator is required to identify and fix the violation or deficiency to prevent harm to persons in care
There are times when violations or deficiencies cannot be immediately fixed. In these instances, steps can be taken to ensure safety while an investigation is underway. This is referred to as a health and safety plan. A health and safety plan is a written plan of action developed by the facility operator to put in place the actions needed to ensure immediate safety. A health and safety plan remains in place until the violation or deficiency has been fixed, and is monitored for compliance. 
If required, the health authority can force a facility to comply to ensure the health and safety of persons in care.  

Why is complaint information being posted?

Posting summary information about substantiated complaints provides the public with information about long term care facilities, strengthening public accountability and transparency.

What will the complaint information tell me?

Only complaints which were substantiated through the investigation process will be posted on this website. The summary will include information that reflects the date of when the complaint was received, the area where the violation or deficiency was found, and indicate whether the facility has taken the necessary actions to ensure the health and safety of the persons in care. 
Complaints about a facility which were not substantiated during the investigation process will not appear on this website.   

What will the complaint information NOT tell me?

Summary complaint information will not:

  •  Rank or rate facilities against one another;
  • Issue a report card that grades facilities;
  • Provide personal information of residents;
  • Provide specific details of the complaint; or
  • Provide information about complaints that were not substantiated upon investigation.

Will personal information be posted in the complaint?

No. Personal identifying information regarding the residents, staff or complainants will not be posted on the website. The facility operator name and business contact information will be posted to allow people to contact the facility if they have any additional questions or concerns.

Why is there no information on the facility that I am interested in?

There may not be any substantiated complaints on the specific facility you are looking for as the practice of posting complaints only started in September 2012. It is also possible the facility you are looking for is not regulated as a long term care facility; it may be independent living, supportive housing or a registered assisted living residence.  ( www.health.gov.bc.ca/assisted/)

I made a complaint about a facility. Why is there no information on the website?

Every complaint received is investigated. The degree of the investigation depends on the nature of the complaint. Some complaints, such as those involving abuse, are of a serious and sometimes complex nature and may require additional resources and time to investigate. The investigation process takes immediate steps to address the safety of persons in care through a health and safety plan while gathering information to determine if the complaint can be substantiated.  
Information is not disclosed or posted on the website about a complaint during the investigation process. If the complaint is not substantiated during the investigation process, no information will be posted on the website.  

What can I do to ensure that my loved one is receiving appropriate care?

Regulations are in place to promote the health, safety, and dignity of residents. It is important to stay involved with your family member’s life after they have moved into a facility and to ask questions and observe any changes in their circumstance. Other ways to be involved include participating in the resident/family council and to taking part in your relative’s care planning. The following resources can assist you:

Is the information on this website current?

The information on this website is updated quarterly. 

How do I access more information about a complaint or investigations process? 

Additional information about the investigation process can be found by contacting your local community care office

Can I register a complaint through this website? How do I submit a complaint?

To submit a complaint please contact you local community care office.