Complaints

Please read our complaints policy below.

Download our complaints form – MS Word version or Adobe PDF version

1.0          Introduction

St George’s Dental Practice takes complaints seriously. When a complaint is received, it is dealt with courteously and promptly so that the matter is resolved as quickly as possible. We strive to respond to complainants concerns in a caring and sensitive way.

2.0          Responsibility

The person responsible for dealing with any complaint about the service we provide is the Practice Manager, or the Assistant Practice Manager in their absence.  However, patients’ may make a complaint to any member of the Practice Team if they are unhappy with any aspect of their dental care.

3.0          Verbal Complaints

If a complainant complains on the telephone to the Reception Team or in person at the reception desk, the receptionist – or Senior Receptionist – will listen to the complaint and attempt to resolve it.

In the event that a solution cannot be immediately identified the complainant will be offered a Complaints Form in order for them to present their case in writing as a formal complaint to the Practice Manager.

Complainants who prefer for their complaint to be managed as a verbal complaint will have their complaint referred to the Practice Manager/Assistant Practice Manager.  A verbal complaint report will be completed for Practice records by the person managing the complaint; however a verbal complaint is informal, and although details will be kept on file, it does not necessarily require a written response from the Practice.

If the Practice Manager and/or Assistant Practice Manager are not available at the time, the receptionist dealing with the complaint will either involve the Reception Manager (if available), or take full details of the complaint and pass the information on to the Practice Manager/Assistant Practice Manager in a timely fashion.

4.0          Written Complaints

Formal written complaints – which include completed Complaints Forms, letters and email – will be passed on immediately to the Practice Manager/Assistant Practice Manager to be dealt with.

We acknowledge written complaints in writing, enclosing a copy of this policy, as soon as possible, and normally within seven working days.

4.1          Investigation

We seek to investigate the complaint within a reasonable time frame, and aim to give an explanation of the circumstances which led to the complaint, and normally within fourteen working days.

In the event that we are unable to investigate the complaint within a reasonable time frame we will notify the patient, giving reasons for the delay, and the likely period within which the investigation will be completed.

If any complaint is about any aspect of clinical care – or associated charges – it will be discussed with the treating dentist, their nurse, and the reception team (as appropriate).

We will confirm the outcome of the complaint in writing, by way of a letter to the patient from the Practice Manager, immediately after completing the investigation.  However, in some cases the treating dentist may elect to respond to their patient in writing personally.

4.2          Investigation Follow Up

In the event that a patient remains unhappy with the initial outcome of their complaint and writes to the Practice Manager and/or Practice Partners with some new evidence, or requesting their case to be re-reviewed, their complaint will be re-investigated and a final response issued to the patient in due course.

4.3          Record Keeping

Proper and comprehensive reports are kept of all complaints – both verbal complaint reports and written complaints – in a central location, and are available for scrutiny by NHS Auditors, the CQC (Care Quality Commission) etc as required.

Complaints are monitored internally as part of a commitment to improve Practice standards, and where necessary feedback is provided to the Practice Team, and procedures updated as a result.

Information about the written complaints we manage are requested and collected by the NHS Commissioning Board on an annual basis.

5.0          Further Help Available

In the event a patient remains unsatisfied with the final response provided by the Practice, independent bodies are available for complainants to progress their complaint to.

  • NHS Patients

If patients who are complaining about NHS care are not satisfied with the outcome of their complaint patients take their complaint to NHS England or the CQC:-

Customer Contact Centre
NHS England
PO Box 16738
Redditch B97 9PT

Tel: 0300 311 2233

Email: england.contactus@nhs.net

National Contact Centre
CQC National Correspondence
Citygate
Gallowgate
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE1 4PA

Tel: 03000 616161

Email (via website): www.cqc.org.uk/contact-us

 

If an NHS Patient remains unsatisfied, then a final complaint may be made to:-

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower
Millbank
London SW1P 4QP

Helpline : 0345 015 4033

Textphone (Minicom) : 0300 061 4298

Call Back : 07624 813 005 (text “call back” with your name and mobile number).

(8:30 to 5:30pm Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays)

Website  : http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/make-a-complaint/how-to-complain/what-can-we-help-with

 

5.2          Private Patients       

If Private Patients remain unsatisfied, then a complaint may be made to:-

Dental Complaints Service
Stephenson House
2 Cherry Orchard Road
Croydon
CR0 6BA

Helpline : 08456 120540 (9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday)

Email : info@dentalcomplaints.org.uk

Website : www.dentalcomplaints.org.uk

The Dental Complaints Service is an independent dental complaints service funded by the General Dental Council.

 

17 October 2016