My rights as a carer

Legislation to support Western Australian carers
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The Western Australian Carers Recognition Act 2004 (the Act) recognises the role of carers in the community and includes the Western Australian Carers Charter, which outlines how carers are to be treated and how they are to be involved in delivering services that affect them and their caring role. 
The four principles of the Western Australian Carers Charter are:

  1. Carers must be treated with respect and dignity.
  2. The role of carers must be recognised by including carers in the assessment, planning, delivery and review of services that impact on them and the role of carers.
  3. The views and needs of carers must be taken into account along with the views, needs and best interests of people receiving care when decisions are made that impact on carers and the role of carers.
  4. Complaints made by carers in relation to services that impact on them and the role of carers must be given due attention and consideration.

What does the Act mean for carers?

A carer who believes a relevant service provider has not met their obligations under the Carers Charter should firstly raise their concerns with the service provider involved.

If the matter is not resolved carers may wish to contact the Health and Disability Service Complaints Office (HaDSCO). HaDSCO is an independent statutory authority that provides an impartial resolution service for complaints about Western Australian health or disability services.

HaDSCO contacts


See our Carer Complaints Fact Sheet.

Case study

Mary is the primary carer for her adult daughter Alice who has an intellectual disability.
Alice was recently hospitalised with a virus and is being discharged. Alice saw the doctor by herself and received instructions on how and when to take her medications.

Alice asked for information about the side effects of the medication, but the doctor would not respond, despite several requests. As Mary was not consulted in the discharge plan, she is unsure what medications Alice needs and when she should give them to her.

Mary complained to the hospital but was unhappy with the result. Mary then contacted HaDSCO and made a complaint under the Health and Disability Services (Complaints) Act 1995 on behalf of Alice as a patient, and herself as a carer under the Carers Recognition Act 2004.

HaDSCO liaised with Mary, Alice and the hospital to resolve the matter.

Mary and Alice had their issues resolved and the hospital was encouraged to communicate better and to involve carers in discharge planning.