Practice Complaints Policy
Our code of practice
In our practice we take complaints very seriously indeed and 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. This procedure is based on these objectives.
Our aim is to react to complaints in the way in which we would all want a 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.
- If the patient complains in writing the letter will be passed on immediately to the Practice Manager: David Noon
- If a complaint is about any aspect of clinical care or associated charges it will normally be referred to the dentist.
- We will acknowledge the patient’s complaint verbally and / or in writing and enclose a copy of this code of practice within three working days. We will seek to investigate the complaint and provide a response within ten working days of the complaint being received. If this is not possible, we will inform the complainant in a timely manner of any unavoidable delays.
- We will confirm the decision about the complaint in writing to the patient immediately after completing our investigation.
- If complaining on behalf of someone else, please note that we keep strictly to the rules of confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we must know that you have permission to do so. A note signed by the person concerned will be needed, unless they are incapable (because of physical or mental capacity) of providing this or they are a child under 16 years of age.
- Appropriate and comprehensive records are kept of any complaint received, and these are stored separately from the patient’s clinical records.
- The person responsible within the Practice for dealing with any complaint about the service which we provide is: David Noon (Practice Manager)
- If a patient complains verbally on the telephone or in person, we will listen to his or her complaint and offer to refer him or her to David Noon immediately.
If David Noon is not available at that specific time, then the patient will be advised when she/he will be able to talk to the dentist and arrangements will be made for this to happen. A member of the staff will take full written 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, arrangements will be made for someone else to contact the patient as soon as possible.
David Noon: Practice Manager
St Raphael’s Dental Practice Ltd
65 Ormskirk Road
Informing us if you’re not satisfied
If you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from the dentists or any of the staff working in this practice, please let us know. We operate a practice complaints procedure. Our complaint system adheres to national criteria.
How to make a complaint
We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, at the time they arise and with the person concerned. If your problem cannot be sorted in this way and you wish to make a complaint, we would like you to let us know as soon as possible – ideally, within a matter of days or at most a few weeks – because this will enable us to establish what happened most easily. If it is not possible to do that, please let us have details of your complaint:
- Within 12 months of the incident that caused the problem; or
- Within 12 months of discovering that you have a problem, provided this is within 12 months of the incident.
Complaints about the treatment you received should be made to the dentist who normally sees you. Alternatively, you may ask for an appointment in order to discuss your concerns. He/She will explain the complaints procedure to you and will ensure that your concerns are dealt with promptly. It will help if you are as clear as possible about your complaint.
What we shall do
We shall acknowledge your complaint within 2 working days and aim to have looked into your complaint within 10 working days of the date when you raised it with us. We shall then be in a position to give you an explanation, or offer a meeting with those involved.
In investigating your complaint, we shall aim to:
- find out what happened and what went wrong
- enable you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like this;
- ensure you receive an apology, where this is appropriate;
- Identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again.
If you’re still not satisfied
We hope that, if you have a problem, you will make use of our practice complaints procedure. We believe this will provide the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve our practice. However this does not affect your right to complain to the NHS or the Dental Complaints Service, if you feel you cannot raise your complaint with us or you are dissatisfied with the result of our investigation. The Dental Complaints Service only investigates complaints about independent dental treatment. If you wish further advice about their service you should contact:
Dental Complaints Service
The Lansdowne Building
2 Lansdowne Road
Tel. 08456 120 540
For NHS treatment you have the options of raising your complaint with us or with NHS England Local Area Team. If you are dissatisfied with the firststage of the NHS complaints procedure you can escalate your complaint to:
The Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman
Tel: 0345 015 4033
If you are making a complaint on behalf of someone else, we have to know that you have the permission to do so. A note signed by the person concerned will be needed, unless that they are incapable of providing this because of physical or mental capacity or are a child under 16.