In our practices we take complaints very seriously indeed and try to ensure that all our patients are pleased with their experience of our service.
Code of practice for patient complaints
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 respond to customers’ concerns in a caring and sensitive way.
- If a patient complains on the telephone or in person, we will listen to their complaint and offer to refer him or her to the practice manager immediately. If the practice manager is not available at the time, then the patient will be informed when they will be able to talk to the practice manager and arrangements will be made for this to happen. 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.
- If the patient complains in writing or by email, it will be passed on immediately to the Practice Manager.
- 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.
- We will acknowledge the patient’s complaint in writing and enclose a copy of this code of practice within three working days.
- We will seek to investigate the complaint within ten 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 ten working days we will notify the patient, giving reasons for the delay and a likely period within which the investigation will be completed.
- We will confirm the decision about the complaint in writing immediately after completing our investigation.
- 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.
- If patients are not satisfied with the result of our procedure then a complaint may be made to:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP. Telephone: 0345 015 4033 www.ombudsman.org.uk
The Dental Complaints Service, The Lansdowne Building, 2 Lansdowne Road, Croydon, Greater London, CR9 2ER. Telephone: 08456 120 540 www.dentalcomplaints.org.uk
The General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London. W1N 8DQ. Telephone: 0845 222 4141, the dentists’ regulatory body for complaints about professional misconduct
Date: July 2013
Review Date: July 2014