We want all our patients to be pleased with the service they receive, so we take complaints seriously. If a patient makes a complaint we will deal with it promptly and courteously. Our aim is to resolve the matter as quickly as possible following the agreed procedure and, wherever possible, to the satisfaction of the patient.
A complaint may indicate a failing on our part, which we can learn from and make improvements to our service. We will adopt a ‘no blame’ approach when investigating a complaint and especially where individuals are identified, with the aim of reaching a satisfactory conclusion. We will at all times be polite and respectful to our patients.
1. The Practice Manager is responsible for dealing with all complaints about our service.
2. If a patient makes a complaint in person or by telephone, the member of staff receiving the complaint will make an initial record of their concerns and check this for accuracy with the patient. The patient will be given a copy of the record and the original will be passed to the Practice Manager. If the Practice Manager is available, the patient will be asked whether they would like to see her immediately. Otherwise the patient will be advised when the Practice Manager will make contact to arrange a meeting in person or by telephone.
3. If the patient complains in writing or by e-mail, the complaint will be passed immediately to the Practice Manager.
4. Complaints about clinical care or the amount charged for treatment will be referred to the dentist concerned, unless the patient requests otherwise.
5. All complaints are acknowledged in writing as soon as possible but within two working days. A copy of this code of practice will be sent with the acknowledgement. If the patient has not yet discussed the matter with the Practice Manager, they will be offered the opportunity to do so and also be asked how they would like to be kept informed of developments – by letter, e-mail, and telephone or face-to-face meetings. The patient will also be advised of the process we will follow in resolving the complaint and the anticipated timescale.
6. We will investigate the complaint speedily and efficiently and as far a reasonably practicable, will keep the patient informed of our progress. Investigations will normally be completed within 20 days or when an investigation is on-going, a full response is sent within 5 working days of its conclusion.
7. On completion of our investigation, we will provide the patient with a full written report which will include:
- An 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.
- 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 will be kept of any complaint received as well as any actions taken to improve services as a consequence of a complaint.
9. If patients are not satisfied with the result, then the complaint may be referred to:
- NHS England North, Cheshire & Merseyside, 1829 Building, Countess of Chester Health Park, Liverpool Rd, Chester, CH2 1HJ
- The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank London, SW1P 4QP, telephone 0345 015 4033
- www.ombudsman.org.uk for complaints about NHS treatment
- The Dental Complaints Service, The Lansdowne Road, Croydon, Greater London CR9 2ER, 08456 120 540 or www.dentalcomplaints.org.uk for complaints about private treatment
- The General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London, W1M 8DQ the dentists’ registration body.
Reviewed April 2015
Next Review April 2016