code of practice for patient complaints.

The practice takes complaints very seriously and we always try to ensure that all 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. 

  1. The person responsible for dealing with any complaint about the service which we provide is the Practice Manager. 
  2. If a patient complains on the telephone or at the reception desk, we will listen to his or her complaint and offer to refer him or her to the Practice Manager or Duty Manager immediately whenever possible. Should the patient require somewhere private to discuss their complaint this can be arranged on request or whenever appropriate. If the manager is not available at the time, then the patient will be told when she/he will be able to talk to the manager and arrangements will be made for this to happen. The team member will take brief details of the complaint and pass them on. If we cannot arrange this within a reasonable period or if the patient does not wish to wait to discuss the matter, then arrangements will be made for someone else to deal with it. 
  3. If the patient complains in writing the letter will be passed on immediately to the Practice Manager.  
  4. 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. 
  5. We will acknowledge formal complaints in writing and enclose a copy of this code of practice as soon as possible - normally within two working days. We will seek to investigate the complaint within ten working days of the complaint being received 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 him or her on the telephone. If we are unable to investigate the complaint within ten 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 confirm the decision about the complaint in writing to the patient immediately after completing our investigation. 
  7. Proper and comprehensive records are kept of any complaint received. 
  8. If patients are not satisfied with the result of our procedure then a complaint may be made in writing to:  The General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London W1M 8DQ. This is the dentists’ registration body.

We hope you never need to complain, but if you do we apologise in advance. Thank you.