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Complaints Handling Policy

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. This procedure is based on these
objectives.
Our aim is to react to complaints in the way in which we would want our own 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.

1. The person responsible for dealing with any complaint about the service which we provide is
The Practice Complaints Manager Louise Whiteside

2. If a patient complains by telephone or in person, we will listen to their complaint and attempt to
resolve the issue by explanation, or offer to refer him or her to the Complaints Manager
immediately if this does not prove to be acceptable. If the Complaints Manager is not available
at the time, then the patient will be told when they will be able to talk to the Complaints
Manager and arrangements will be made for this to happen. The member of staff will make a
written record of the complaint in the patient’s notes, and provide the patient with a copy as
well as passing it on to the Complaints Manager. If we cannot arrange this within a reasonable
period of time 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 or by email it will be passed on immediately to the Complaints
Manager.

4. 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.

5. We will acknowledge the patient’s complaint in writing and enclose a copy of this code of
practice as soon as possible, normally within 7 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 e-mail.
We will inform the patient about how the complaint will be handled and the likely time that the
investigation will take to be completed. If the patient does not wish to discuss the complaint, we
will still inform them of the expected timescale for completing the process.

6. We will seek to investigate the complaint speedily and efficiently and we will keep the patient
regularly informed, as far as reasonably practicable, as to the progress of the investigation.
Investigations will normally be completed within 4 weeks.

7. When we have completed 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
conclusions 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 a result of the complaint.

8. 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

9. If patients are not satisfied with the result of our procedure then a complaint may be referred
to:
The Dental Complaints Service, The Lansdowne Building, 2 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
The Care Quality Commission, Citygate, Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4PA, 03000
616161 or enquiries@cqc.org.uk