Complaints Handling Policy (NHS Treatment)
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 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 Rouzbeh Nateghi Elahi, the practice Complaints Manager.
2. If a patient complains by telephone or in person, we will listen to their complaint and offer to refer him or her to the Complaints Manager immediately. 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 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 or if the patient does not wish to discuss the matter, arrangements will be made for someone else to deal with it.
3. If the patient complains in writing or by e-mail 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 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 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 6 months.
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.
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.
If patients are not satisfied with the result of our procedure then a complaint may be referred to:
If you are not happy with the way in which your formal complaint was handled (either by the dental practice or NHS England, if you chose to go to them) you can go to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO). The Ombudsman makes the final decision on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS in England.
East Anglia Area Team
Complaints, CPC1, Capital Park, Fulbourn, Cambridge, CB21 5XE, 0113 825 5566
The General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London, W1M 8DQ the dentists’ registration body. To be reviewed 01/18
If you had private dental treatment
1. The quickest and simplest way to resolve the problem is to contact the practice, who may be able to sort it out there and then.
If an informal approach doesn’t solve the problem, ask for a copy of the complaints procedure. Any private dental practice must have one.
2. If you have already made a formal approach to the practice, and the problem has not been resolved, you can contact the Dental Complaints Service (DCS).
The DCS provides a free and impartial service to help private dental patients and dental professionals to settle complaints about private dental care fairly and efficiently.
The DCS can deal with your complaint if you would like an apology, a refund or a contribution to the cost of further treatment. They cannot deal with claims for compensation, or with complaints about dental plans.
If your private treatment was through a dental plan, you should contact your plan provider as they will have a complaints process.
If you have safety concerns about a dentist or practice.
If the problem is so serious that you think the dental professional could be a risk to other patients, you should contact the General Dental Council (GDC), which regulates dental professionals in the UK. If the issue is serious enough, the GDC can stop individual dentists from practising. The GDC does not get involved in complaints that are being managed locally. It does not resolve complaints or award compensation.
If the problem is so serious that you think the care provided at the practice could be a risk to other patients, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) would like to know about it. CQC cannot investigate individual complaints, but its inspectors use information when they inspect services to make sure that they are meeting quality and safety standards.
Where to get help with your complaint
If you need further advice, you can contact local Healthwatch for information about how to make a complaint about NHS dental services.