Your Rights and Responsibilities

Consulting a dietitian? What are your rights and responsibilities?

Accredited Practising Dietitians and members of DAA 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
  • you may make a complaint to the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) which has a Code of Professional Conduct and a formal Complaints and Disciplinary Procedure which can be viewed on the DAA website or
  • lodge a complaint with the healthcare complaints body in your state or territory if one exists.

Please note: DAA can only act on complaints about Accredited Practising Dietitians and members of the Association. Anonymous complaints cannot be accepted.

To lodge a complaint with DAA, please refer to ‘How to make a complaint’ or contact the Operations Support Officer on email operations@daa.asn.au or phone 02 6189 1221