Code of Practice for Patient Complaints (NHS and Private)
In this practice we take complaints very seriously and try to ensure that all our patients are pleased with their experience and 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 we would want a complaint to be handled. We learn from every mistake that we make and we respond to customers’ concerns in a caring and sensitive way.
- The person responsible for dealing with any complaint about the service which we provide is the Practice Manager.
- If a patient complains on the telephone or at the reception desk, the person speaking to the patient will listen to the patient and if possible, immediately try to remedy the situation. If this is not possible or if the patient is asking for something that the staff member is unable to authorise (such as a refund of treatment fees), the staff member should contact the practice manager as soon as possible. If the Practice Manager is not available the complaint can be passed on to one of the Directors, or if the patient is able to wait, arrangements can be made for the Practice Manager to contact the patient when they are available. The staff member involved should take details of the complaint and pass this on to the practice manager.
- If the patient complains in writing the letter or email 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, unless the patient does not want this to happen. The dentist should make their defence organisation aware of the complaint so they can help resolve it effectively and efficiently.
- 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 seek to investigate the complaint within two 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 the concern has not already been discussed face to face. If we are unable to investigate the complaint within two 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 in the office of any written complaint received.
- In the event that a patient makes a complaint or commences/threatens to commence legal proceedings against the dentist/practice, we may need to provide information about the patient and the treatment they have received to a dental defence organisation. This will be done in line with the data protection policy and written consent from the patient/patient’s defence organisation must be provided before disclosing this information.
- If patients are not satisfied with the result of our procedure then a complaint may be made to:
- Private Treatment – The Dental Complaints Service, The Lansdowne Building, 2 Lansdowne Road, Croydon, Greater London CR9 2ER (Telephone: 08456 120 540) for complaints about private treatment
- NHS Treatment – NHS England Call Centre, tel: 0300 311 22 33 or email: England.firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch B97 9PT, or see website www.england.nhs.uk/contact-us/complaint/
- Complaints regarding professional misconduct – The General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London, W1M 8DQ (Telephone: 0845 222 4141)
- Devon PCT, County Hall, The Annexe, Topsham Road, Exeter, Devon EX2 4QL or the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank London SW1P 4QP, telephone: 0345 015 4033 or www.ombudsman.org.uk for complaints about NHS treatment.
Reviewed By: Joe Williams 06/07/2017
Review Due: July 2018