CODE OF PRACTICE FOR PATIENT COMPLAINTS
In this 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.
- The person responsible within the practice for dealing with any complaint about the service which we provide is the Practice Manager.
- If a complaint is verbal the details will be listened to on the telephone or at the reception desk, and we offer to refer him/her to the Practice Manager immediately if available.
- If the Practice Manager is not available at that specific time, then the patient will be told when he/she will be able to talk to the manager and arrangements will be made for this to happen. A member of the staff 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, arrangements will be made for someone else to deal with it.
- If the patient is still not satisfied after speaking to the Practice Manager then we would request that the complaint be put in writing and addressed to the Practice Manager.
- We will acknowledge the written patient’s complaint in writing and enclose a copy of this code of practice as soon as possible, but normally within 3 working days.
- If a complaint is about any aspect of clinical care, or associated charges, it will normally be referred to the dentist involved unless the patient does not want this.
- We will seek to investigate the complaint internally and respond within 20 working days of the complaint being received to give explanation of the circumstances which led to the complaint.
- 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 illness) of providing this.
- Proper and comprehensive records are kept of any complaint received.