In our dental practice, we take complaints very seriously and try to ensure that our patients are pleased with our service. Any patient complaints will be dealt with courteously and promptly so that the matter is resolved as quickly as possible. The complaints procedure is based on the following objectives.
Our aim is to react to complaints in a manner that is professional and prompt. We learn from every mistake and respond to customers’ concerns in a caring and sensitive way.
- 1. The person responsible for dealing with any complaint about a service we provide is our Practice Manager.
- 2. If a patient complains over the telephone or at the reception desk, we will listen to their complaint and offer to refer him/her to the Practice Manager. If the Practice Manager is not available, the patient will be advised of an appropriate date/time and arrangements will be made for them to contact the patient. The member of staff will take brief details of the complaint and pass them on to the Practice Manager. If we cannot arrange this within a reasonable period, or if the patient does not wish to wait to discuss the matter, arrangements will be made for someone else to deal with it.
- 3. If the patient complains in writing, the letter or email will be passed on to the Practice Manager.
- 4. If a complaint is made regarding any aspect of clinical care or associated charges, it will normally be referred to the dentist, unless the patient does not want this to happen.
- 5. We will acknowledge the patients’ complaint in writing, normally within 3 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 email.
- 6. We will seek to investigate the complaint within 10 working days of receipt to give an explanation of the circumstances which led to the complaint. If the patient does not wish to meet us, then we will attempt to talk to them on the telephone. If we are unable to investigate the complaint within 10 working days we will notify the patient.
- 7. On completion of our investigation, we will provide the patient with a full written report. The report will include an explanation of how the complaint has been considered, the conclusion 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.
- 9. It would be expected that ‘in house’ arbitration would have been sought before taking matters further to the General Dental Council.
- 10. If patients are not satisfied with the result of our procedure then a complaint may be made to:
a. The Dental Complaints Service 020 8253 0800 or by visiting http://www.dentalcomplaints.org.uk/ for complaints about private dental treatment.
b. The General Dental Council, at http://www.gdc-uk.org/ or by calling 020 7167 6000.
c. The Care Quality Commission by calling 03000 616161.
d. NHS England – firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 0300 311 2233 for complaints about NHS treatment.
e. The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank London SW1P 4QP (tel: 0345 015 4033 or www.ombudsman.org.uk for complaints about NHS treatment).