A vexatious notification (concern) is one without substance, made with an intent to cause distress, detriment or harassment to a practitioner named in the notification. Vexatious notifications can come from anyone including patients, members of the public and other practitioners.
We have developed a framework for identifying and dealing with vexatious notifications. The framework supports Ahpra staff and regulatory decision makers to identify and manage potentially vexatious notifications.
This evidence-based framework will support earlier consideration of vexatiousness in a notification, prompting a range of management tasks to respond.
We have been conscious in the preparation of the framework to ensure that it does not discourage individuals with genuine concerns coming forward.
In 2017 Ahpra commissioned independent research that took the first international look at vexatious complaints. The report, Reducing, identifying and managing vexatious complaints found that vexatious complaints account for less than 1 percent of notifications received, and that there is greater risk of people not reporting concerns than of people making truly vexatious complaints.
The report also noted that being on the receiving end of any notification is a distressing experience for any health practitioner. Regulators need to have good processes for dealing with unfounded complaints quickly and fairly.
Access the full report here:
To help identify and manage potentially vexatious notifications, we have developed a framework for staff and regulatory decision makers, A framework for identifying and dealing with vexatious notifications.
This framework was developed following recommendations made in the Reducing, identifying and managing vexatious complaints’ report and forms part of our work to ensure a strong reporting culture so that genuine concerns about patient safety are reported and appropriately addressed.
The framework outlines:
Access the framework here:
We understand that practitioners who feel that they may be the subject of a vexatious notification are more likely to experience stress and anxiety. Our staff are equipped to identify and support these practitioners and to implement management strategies set out in our framework when a concern about vexatiousness is raised with us.
Our staff are here to help you before, during or after the notifications process. We encourage you to visit our General support services page where you can find the contact details for additional support services