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Bexleyheath Dental Practice complaints policy...

In this practice we take complaints very seriously indeed and try to ensure that all our patients are pleased with their experience of our service. When patients complain, we aim to deal with them 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 customers’ concerns in a caring and sensitive way.

  • 1. Any concern raised by a patient will be dealt with at the earliest opportunity and will only escalate into a complaint if it cannot be resolved at the earliest stage. The concern will be dealt with by the most appropriate person at the time, for example the Dentist or Receptionist. If the concern cannot be resolved, the person responsible for dealing with any complaint about the service which we provide is the Practice Manager.
  • 2. If a patient raises a concern on the telephone or in person at the Practice, we will listen to their concern and try to resolve the issue at that point. If this is not possible, the concern will be dealt with as a complaint and will be referred to the Practice Manager. If the Practice Manager is not available at the time, then the patient will be told when the Practice Manager will be able to talk to them and the member of staff will take brief details of the complaint and pass them onto the Practice Manager. Concerns received in writing will be passed directly to the Practice Manager who will try to resolve them or, if this isn’t possible, will escalate them into being dealt with as a complaint. Where possible, the Practice Manager will try to meet with or talk to the patient to better understand the concerns raised.
  • 3. We will acknowledge the patient’s complaint in writing and enclose a copy of this code of practice as soon as possible, normally within five working days.
  • 4. We will investigate the complaint and provide the complainant with a response within ten working days of receipt. If we are unable to respond in this time, we will notify the patient giving reasons for the delay and a likely period within which the investigation will be completed.
  • 5. 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.
  • 6. In our response we will set out the findings of the investigation and make every effort to achieve a resolution.
  • 7. If patients are not satisfied with the result of our procedure then a complaint may be made to:
    • The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank London SW1P 4QP, telephone: 0345 015 4033, www.ombudsman.org.uk for complaints about NHS treatment.
    • The General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London, W1M 8DQ (the dentists’ registration body)
    • The Dental Complaints Service, The Lansdowne Building, 2 Lansdowne Road, Croydon, Greater London CR9 2ER, 08456 120 540 or www.dentalcomplaints.org.uk for complaints about private treatment.
    • The Healthcare Commission, Finsbury Tower, 103-105 Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8TG (www.healthcarecommission.org.uk).

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