In this Practice we take complaints very seriously and try to ensure that all our Patients are pleased with their experience of our service. When Patients complain, they are dealt with courteously and promptly so that the matter is resolved as quickly as possible. This procedure is based on these objectives.
Our aim is to react to complaints in the way in which we would want our complaint about a service to be handled. We learn from every mistake that we make and we endeavour to respond to Patients’ concerns in a caring and sensitive way.
1. The person responsible for dealing with any complaint is Sharon Whitehead, the Practice Complaints Manager.
2. If a Patient complains by telephone or in person, we will listen to their complaint and offer to refer him or her to the Complaints Manager immediately. If the Complaints Manager is not available at the time, then the Patient will be told when they will be able to talk to the Complaints Manager and arrangements will be made for this to happen. The member of staff will make a written record of the Patient complaint and pass it on to the Complaints Manager.
3. If the Patient complains in writing or by email it will be passed on immediately to the Complaints Manager.
4. If a complaint is about any aspect of clinical care or associated charges it will normally be referred to the Dentist concerned, unless the Patient does not want this to happen.
5. We will acknowledge the Patient’s complaint in writing and enclose a copy of this code of practice as soon as possible, normally within three working days. We will offer to discuss the complaint at a time agreed with the Patient, asking how the Patient would like to be kept informed of developments, for example, by telephone, face to face meetings, letters or e-mail. We will inform the Patient about how the complaint will be handled and the likely time that the investigation will take to be completed. If the Patient does not wish to discuss the complaint, we will still inform them of the expected timescale for completing the process.
6. We will seek to investigate the complaint speedily and efficiently and we will keep the Patient regularly informed, as far as reasonably practicable, as to the progress of the investigation. Investigations will normally be completed within ten working days.
7. When we have completed our investigation, we will provide the Patient with a full explanation of how the complaint has been considered, the conclusions reached in respect of each specific part of the complaint, details of any necessary remedial action and whether the practice is satisfied with any action it has already taken or will be taking as a result of the complaint.
8. Proper and comprehensive records are kept of any complaint received as well as any actions taken to improve services as a consequence of a complaint. Any complaints are discussed at the Practice Meeting to ensure the events leading to the complaint are not repeated.
9. If Patients are not satisfied with the result of our procedure then a complaint may be referred to:
• The Dental Complaints Service, Stephenson House, 2 Cherry Orchard Road, Croydon, CR0 6BA (Telephone: 08456 120 540) for complaints about private treatment
• The General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London, W1M 8DQ (Telephone: 0845 222 4141), the Dentists’ regulatory body for complaints about professional misconduct
• The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP -Telephone: 0345 015 4033 (www.ombudsman.org.uk)
• The General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London, W1M 8DQ (Telephone: 0845 222 4141), the dentists’ regulatory body for complaints about professional misconduct.
NHS patients who do not wish to raise their complaint directly with us in the first instance can make an ‘out of house’ complaint by contacting NHS England at PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT (firstname.lastname@example.org)