New online learning series on consumer rights will ‘strengthen patient relationship’ — HDC

November 28, 2022

New online learning modules to support health professionals’ working knowledge and understanding of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights have been launched.

Online training for health and disability services consumer rights will:


  • Improve your knowledge and understanding of the code and how it applies to health and disability services
  • Show you how you can apply the code to your practice
  • Improve your knowledge and understanding of the complexities of informed consent and how you can apply this to your practice
  • Improve your knowledge, understanding and application of your legal obligations for managing complaints, and the factors that encourage early resolution and optimal outcomes.

For more information, please email: [email protected].


Health and disability commissioner Morag McDowell said she hoped they would lead to safer health care and stronger relationships with patients.

“I understand complaints can be stressful and time-consuming for providers. However, they offer a significant learning opportunity for providers to understand the experience of consumers directly as they often reflect what people care most about,” McDowell said. “If handled well they can strengthen the relationship with patients”.

Acknowledging the “intense pressure” health care professionals were under currently, she said better understanding of the code would “improve quality care and avoid complaints”.


The modules were for health and disability care providers of all levels, with practical steps to understanding best practice. They were designed to be interactive, relatable — with real scenarios — and accessible as possible, allowing learners to do them in their own time at work or at home, McDowell said.

Morag McDowell

She hoped they would “bring the code to life” for health professionals.

They include topics such as:

  • Understanding the purpose of the code
  • Applying it to practice
  • Informed consent
  • Understanding the right to complain
  • Providers’ legal obligations in managing complaints
  • Factors that support early resolution

On completion of each module, participants would receive a certificate, which can contribute to their continuing professional development.

Further online learning to help the public understand their rights under the code was planned for next year, she said.

To register for the online learning module click here