Your Rights and Responsibilities
Consulting a dietitian? What are your rights and responsibilities?
Accredited Practising Dietitians and members of DA adhere to a Code of Professional Conduct and and agree that patients/clients have the right to:
- be listened to and treated with respect and consideration;
- receive services without exploitation;
- receive services without discrimination, including, but not limited to, issues of age, sex, culture, ethnicity, religion, political belief, sexual orientation or health status;
- receive safe and high quality services supported by current evidence based knowledge and/or practice guidelines;
- be included within decisions and choices about their treatment or care;
- receive sufficient information, in a form which they can understand, about their condition and its treatment options to allow them to make informed decisions and act on advice;
- be referred to another practitioner where another opinion or specialist service is required or requested;
- grant, withhold or withdraw consent to treatment or the performance of any procedure at any stage during a course of treatment or care;
- raise any concerns and have these addressed;
- have information relating to them kept confidential and released to others only with their permission or when the law or the safety of the public requires release;
- receive a copy of the results of any tests and analyses conducted;
- have a copy or summary of their records sent to another practitioner when required or requested;
- receive an itemised account detailing fees and charges;
- complain without fear of any repercussions; and
- access a formal complaints process if an issue cannot be resolved with the practitioner.
In order for the dietitian to provide you with the best service and advice you are responsible for:
- attending appointments on time or making a cancellation if necessary;
- ensuring all documentation, such as referrals and results from the doctor or other health professional, is given to the dietitian and up to date;
- providing sufficient information to allow the dietitian to make an accurate assessment;
- being truthful when asked about eating patterns, portion sizes, physical activity, medical history or other related issues;
- not expecting the dietitian to provide treatment or advice beyond their scope of practice;
- understanding that individuals need to take responsibility for their own health; and
- paying accounts, if any, in a timely manner.
When something doesn’t seem right — How do I make a complaint?
If you are unhappy with some aspect of your treatment or believe that the dietitian has acted inappropriately the following options are available:
- speak to the dietitian in the first instance and voice your concerns. Most issues can be dealt with this way especially if there has been a misunderstanding.
If the direct approach doesn’t work or the matter is more serious you may:
- use the formal complaints process or speak to their supervisor where the dietitian is employed in a health service, hospital or large practice; and
- make a complaint to the DA via the formal Complaints and Disciplinary Procedure; or
- lodge a complaint with the healthcare complaints body in your state or territory if one exists.
Please note: DA can only act on complaints about Accredited Practising Dietitians and members of the Association.