In this practice we take complaints very seriously and try to ensure that our patients are pleased with their experience of our service. When patients complain, they dealt with courteously and promptly so that the matter is resolved as quickly as possible. The procedure is based on these objectives.
Our aim is to react to complaints 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.
1. The person responsible for dealing with any complaint about a service we provide is our Complaints 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 Complaints Manager. If the Complaints Manager is not available, the patient will be advised of an appropriate date/time and arrangements will be made. The member of staff will take brief details of the complaint and pass them on to the Complaints 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 Complaints Manager.
4. If a complaint is 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. We will inform the patient of how the complaint within 10 working days we will notify the patient, giving reasons for the delay and a likely period within which the investigation will be completed.
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 take 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 result of complaint.
8. Proper and comprehensive records are kept of any complaint received.
9. It would be expected that ‘on island’ 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 a complaint may be made to:
The General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London. W1N 8DQ. Telephone: 0845 222 4141, the dentists’ regulatory body for complaints about professional misconduct