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Patient Rights & Advocacy

How are we doing in patient care?

One of the core values guiding our work across BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS) is putting the needs of our patients first. You can help us live this value and improve our services by providing your feedback.

What’s the first step if I have a concern about quality of care?

Concerns about quality of care are best addressed and resolved at the time and place they occur. If you have a concern, speak with the person who provided the service or to the manager of the area. If you are not comfortable speaking to your service provider, see the section below: What if my complaint is not resolved?

If you have a comment, an issue, or a compliment about the Forensic Psychiatric Services Commission, one way to share it with us is to fill out a Patient Concerns form. Copies are available on all patient units and information desks at the hospital, and also at each Forensic Regional Clinic. Please ask patient / client care staff if you need assistance getting a feedback form.

E-mail us
You can also email us at feedback@bcmhs.bc.ca

We appreciate your feedback about our services.

What if my complaint is not resolved?

Contact the Provincial Health Services Authority’s (PHSA) Patient Care Quality Office directly. The office is open Monday to Friday (except statutory holidays) from 8:30am–4:30pm. Provide as much detail as you can about your experience and the site or program to which you are referring.

Effective October 2008, each of BC's 6 health authorities (including PHSA) has a centralized Patient Care Quality Office (PCQO). Patients or family members who have concerns about their experience are encouraged to first try to resolve the issue with the hospital or program, and if still unsatisfied, to contact the PCQO. The office registers all complaints and tracks them through the review process to ensure a timely response. If you feel your concern is still not resolved by the PCQO, you can take it to a review board for consideration of an independent review.

PHSA Patient Care Quality Office
4th floor, Women's Health Centre
Room F404, 4500 Oak St
Vancouver, BC V6H 3N1

Phone: 1-888-875-3256 (toll free)

Fax: 604-875-3813
Email: pcqo@phsa.ca
Website: www.phsa.ca/PatientCareOffice

What if English is my second language?

The PCQO has translated versions of the PCQO information brochure available in Chinese (simple), Chinese (traditional), Farsi, French, German and Punjabi. You can also request translation services when you contact them.

What can I expect if I complain to the Patient Care Quality Office?

The PCQO handles patient care quality complaints in an open, transparent manner, serving as a liaison between patients and health care providers during the complaint process. Your feedback will be used to identify improvements to the quality and safety of patient care.

The Patient Care Quality Office:

What if I am still not satisfied?

If the response from the PHSA Patient Care Quality Office has not resolved your complaint, you may contact the BC Patient Care Quality Review Board for an independent assessment of the matter.

To request a review of your complaint, please contact:

Patient Care Quality Review Board
PO Box 9643
Victoria, BC V8W 9P1

Phone: 1-866-952-2448 (toll-free)

Email: contact@patientcarequalityreviewboard.ca
Fax: 250-952-2428

Advance Care Planning: Making Your Future Health Care Decisions

On September 1, 2011, advance directives became a new legal option for capable adults in British Columbia. An advance directive is a written instruction that gives or refuses consent to health care treatment at some point in the future, in the event the adult is not capable of giving or refusing consent to treatment when it is needed. Advance care planning is the process of thinking about, and writing down, your wishes or instructions for future health care treatment in the event you become incapable of deciding for yourself. When these discussions are written down and appropriately witnessed, it becomes an Advanced Directive (AD).

For more information about advance care planning, including how to make an advance care plan, name a Representative in a Representation Agreement, or to make an advance directive, visit the Ministry of Health Advance Care Planning page.

If you are a health care provider in BC and want to know more about BC's health care consent laws, see the updated Health Care Providers’ Guide to Consent to Health Care.

Legal Assistance
The Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS) is a local organization that runs a Mental Health Law Program (MHLP). The MHLP provides much-needed legal services to persons with a mental health disorder receiving regulated secured treatment in BC. It is the only program of its kind in the province, and provides representation at BC Review Board Hearings and Review Panel hearings, and independent legal information on detention issues to persons detained under the BC Mental Health Act.

See their website for more information and assistance:


Recent BCMHSUS Publications

Contact Us

BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services
Email: feedback@bcmhs.bc.ca