Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a care quality complaint?
- What kind of complaints will the review boards review?
- What kind of complaints will the review boards not review?
- Will the review boards review complaints about physicians or other health professionals?
- Can the review board review complaints about residential care facilities?
- How do I request a review?
- When can I request a review?
- What happens when I request a review?
- Why can’t I submit my review request anonymously?
- What kind of recommendations could a review board make?
- Can I appeal a review board’s findings?
- What is the relationship between the review boards and the Ombudsman?
- What is the relationship between the review boards and the health authority boards?
- Are the Patient Care Quality Review Boards different from the Health Professions Review Board?
- Why are there six review boards rather than one?
- How are review board members chosen?
- How many members sit on each review board?
- Where are the review board offices located?
- What is the role of the Secretariat?
- How many people work in the Secretariat?
- Can I request a review in a language other than English?
A “care quality complaint” refers to a complaint about the quality of any health care service that a patient/client/resident received, or expected but did not receive, from a health authority.
Review boards will review:
- Complaints about the quality of any health care service under the jurisdiction of the health authorities. (These complaints must first have been addressed by a health authority Patient Care Quality Office.)
- Complaints about services expected but not delivered by the health authority
- Complaints that were not addressed by the Patient Care Quality Office in a timely way
- Matters directed by the Minister of Health Services
Review boards will not review care quality complaints regarding:
- Health professionals providing services in private practice, where the services are funded by MSP or PharmaCare (e.g. general practitioner and pharmacist services)
- Health care or related services that are paid for entirely by the patient, or by the patient and a private insurer (e.g. dental care, alternative therapies, fully private pay home support)
- Health care or services provided in privately funded surgical centres or facilities, unless these are provided under contract with a health authority
- Health care or services provided by HealthLines Services BC, such as Nurse Line, Dial-a-Dietician and bcbedline, where the services are funded by the Ministry of Health Services
- BC Ambulance Service that do not involve inter-facility transfer (i.e. services are funded by patients and the Ministry of Health Services)
- Child care complaints
- Complaints about assisted living services that were not provided by a health authority
- Complaints about involuntary admissions under the Mental Health Act
- Complaints about a decision of a Medical Health Officer or delegate under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act
- Complaints about a decision of the Community Care and Assisted Living Act Appeal Board.
If a review board receives a complaint about a physician or other health professional contracted to or employed by a health authority to provide services (e.g. within a hospital) the board will assess the nature of the complaint to determine whether it is the most appropriate body to conduct a review. If another body is more appropriate to review the complaint (e.g. The College of Physicians and Surgeons considers complaints related to breaches of professional conduct) the review board may redirect the complainant to that body. The Patient Care Quality Review Board Act does not replace the complaint investigation authority of professional bodies.
Yes, residential care facilities licensed or funded by health authorities are covered by the Patient Care Quality Review Board Act. People who wish to complain about care received in a residential care facility are encouraged to contact the facility administrator or the health authority’s Patient Care Quality Office. People who feel that their complaint about care received in a residential care facility was not addressed to their satisfaction at the health authority level may request an independent review by the Patient Care Quality Review Board.
You can request a review by sending the completed review request form by mail, fax or email to the Patient Care Quality Review Board at:
Patient Care Quality Review Board
PO Box 9412
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9V1
If you are unable to submit a written request, please call 1-866-952-2448. A review board officer will complete the form on your behalf and send you a copy for your records.
If you are not satisfied with how the health authority’s Patient Care Quality Office (PCQO) handled your complaint or the response you received, or if you have not received a response from the PCQO within 30 business days, you can request a review by the appropriate review board.
Read more about the review process here.
Review boards cannot consider anonymous review requests because they must be able to obtain the consent of the complainant before reviewing his/her personal health information.
A review board could make a broad range of recommendations. For example, it could recommend that the health authority Patient Care Quality Office reconsider the complaint, or it could recommend changes in policies, procedures and practices to improve patient care quality.
No. However, if you are not satisfied with the review board’s review of your complaint, you may wish to make a complaint with the BC Ombudsman. For more information, please visit the BC Ombudsman’s website at http://www.ombud.gov.bc.ca/.
Patient Care Quality Review Boards (PCQRB) and the Ombudsman have no formal relationship. The intent of the review boards is to provide people with timely reviews of complaints related to health care services, and to provide a mechanism for tracking and monitoring patient care quality complaints. The Office of the Ombudsman considers a broad range of complaints relating to the practices and services of a variety of provincial government ministries or agencies. Complainants are encouraged to submit their complaint for review through the patient care quality mechanisms available (i.e. the Patient Care Quality Office in the health authority, the independent review board) before referring to the Office of the Ombudsman.
Patient Care Quality Review Boards are independent of the health authorities, and accountable to the Minister of Health Services. Recommendations by review boards to health authorities will be issued from board to board. A copy of the recommendations will be sent to the health authority board and copied to the CEO and Patient Care Quality Office, as well as the Minister. Health authority boards are accountable to the Minister for the operation of the health authority, and therefore the organization’s response to recommendations.
Yes. The Patient Care Quality Review Boards review patient complaints related to the quality of care provided by a health authority. By contrast, the new Health Professions Review Board will review college decisions regarding individual cases of registration refusal or complaints from members of the public about registrants.
Just as six separate health authorities are necessary to effectively represent local regions around the province, six corresponding boards will better ensure local needs are met and complaints are resolved in a timely manner.
Members of the review boards are appointed by the Minister of Health Services based on their expertise and experience, and will exclude current health authority employees, board members and contractors.
Collectively, the review board members may reflect the following qualities:
- clinical experience;
- experience in procedural/administrative law and/or experience in adjudication or decision-making;
- knowledge of the health care system with an interest in quality improvement;
- previous experience in client relations or a strong service orientation; and
- knowledge of, and an appreciation for, a broad range of cultural interests.
The review boards for Vancouver Island Health Authority, Interior Health, and Northern Health will each have up to five members including the Board Chair. The Lower Mainland health authorities (Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health and the Provincial Health Services) will have up to seven members each, who are cross-appointed to the three boards.
Review boards do not have physical offices. Their members meet as required in a mutually convenient location. A single Secretariat located in Victoria provides administrative support to the six review boards.
The Secretariat provides administrative support to the six review boards. The Secretariat is the liaison between the review boards, and the health authorities and Minister of Health Services. The Secretariat works on behalf of the review boards to receive requests from people wishing to have a review.
Currently, the Secretariat has a staff of nine, including a director, a manager, a board coordinator, an administrator and five review board officers.
Yes. To request a review in another language, please call 1-866-952-2448. An interpreter will call you back shortly and you will be connected with a review board officer in a three-way telephone call. This translation service is provided free of charge. Translation services are available in over 130 languages, including Farsi, Punjabi, German, Chinese (Mandarin) and French.