Code of practice for patient complaints
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.
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 patients’ concerns in a caring and sensitive way.
- The person responsible for dealing with any complaint about the service that we provide is Helen Hutcheson.
- If a patient complains by telephone or in person, we will listen to their complaint and offer to refer them to Helen Hutcheson. If the Helen Hutcheson is not available at the time, we will advise the patient when she will be able to talk and make arrangements for this to happen. The member of staff will take brief details of the complaint to pass to Helen Hutcheson and provide the patient with a copy. 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 a complaint is about any aspect of clinical care or associated charges, it will usually 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 as soon as possible, normally within 3 working days. We will offer to discuss the complaint at a time agreed with the patient, and confirm how the patient would like to be kept informed of developments – by telephone, letters or e-mail or by face-to-face meetings. We will inform the patient about how the complaint will be handled and the likely time that the investigation will take to complete. If the patient does not wish to discuss the complaint further, we will still inform them of the expected timescale for completing the investigation.
- We will seek to investigate the complaint within 10 working days and, as far as reasonably practicable, we will keep the patient informed as to the progress of the investigation.
- When we have completed our investigation, we will provide the patient with a full written report, which will include an explanation of how we considered the complaint, the conclusions reached in respect of each specific part of the complaint, details of any necessary remedial action taken and whether further action will be taken.
- Proper and comprehensive records will be kept of any complaints received and the action we take.
- If patients are not satisfied with the result of our procedure then a complaint may be referred to:
General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London, W1M 8DQ
The British Dental Health Foundation helpline; 0845 063 1188