Users can also report certain situations to the CAAP if they feel that the rights of one or more users have not been respected. Anyone can notify the CAAP of such a situation. If the person wishes, they can remain anonymous.
A good example of this type of reporting is the report filed by a Salvation Army point of service in March 2017 to raise awareness about a problem in a hospital emergency ward.
Thomas, a Salvation Army employee, contacted his local CAAP to ask for help filing a complaint against the hospital in question. The Salvation Army clientele are often homeless and have mental health and substance abuse issues. As a result, they are often uncooperative at the hospital, even if they require emergency care. Emergency room staff were not well equipped to deal with this type of clientele. They often let patients go without providing them with proper care. Thomas saw this as a form of systemic abuse.
Salvation Army users are very vulnerable and will not file complaints on their own. Since Thomas had observed how users were treated but had not experienced the situation himself, he didn’t know how to make his concerns known to emergency room officials The CAAP advisor offered to help him report the situation. Together, they documented the experiences reported by the Salvation Army in a report that Thomas submitted to the Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner of the hospital in question.
“It got people talking about the issue, identifying behaviours, and recognizing that our clientele is not treated in the same way [as other users]. The CAAP helped us structure our approach, know where we were going, and be more comfortable. We got a quick response because our document was taken seriously. The CAAP gave us credibility. We’d been trying to change things for years.”
– Thomas, Salvation Army case worker
The Commissioner took the report very seriously and measures are being put in place to improve the relationship between the hospital and the Salvation Army.