COVID-19: NOTICE TO ALL PATIENTS

Dear All,

As you will have heard, dental practices in the UK are allowed to re-open from the 8th June. The health and safety of our patients and staff are paramount, and we will therefore be making a number of changes to our service in line with the latest COVID-19 policies. We therefore ask you to kindly bear with us as we will initially be running a reduced by-appointment-only service dealing with dental emergencies, urgent open courses of treatment and filtering through any backlog as a result of the lockdown. We will be contacting patients that have open courses of treatments and rearranging their appointments.

There have been numerous changes in our guidelines necessary to maintain patient safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a result our service is limited for the foreseeable future, we will be slowly increasing our availability for routine care to normalise our services. In the meantime we are open and providing urgent care, if you have a dental emergency please call us on 0208 303 4077 or NHS 111 out of hours.

We would also like to ask that you kindly pay attention to the following changes:

  1. Please only arrive at the practice if you have an appointment. If you do not have an appointment and wish to speak to someone please contact us via telephone or email:reception@bexleyheathdental.co.uk.
  2. Please arrive a few minutes before your appointment and a member of staff will greet you. You will be provided with an alcohol hand rub and escorted to your treatment surgery.
  3. Please maintain social distancing of 2 metres while on-site. We kindly ask you not to bring any other members of your family or friends with you to your appointment. If your child is attending the practice for an appointment, then we ask for only one escorting adult to attend with them.
  4. To avoid large queues at the desk and build-up of traffic within the practice, for your safety we ask that you call back to book any follow-up appointments. Please bring your own pen to fill out any necessary forms.
  5. We would also like to ask that all payments aremade by card where possible for cross-infection reasons.
  6. If you are a patient classed as at risk or shielding, please advise the receptionist when making an appointment.
  7. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, you should not attend the practice

For orthodontic patients, please note that we will contact you on Thursday 4th June in order to rebook your appointments. Again we kindly ask for your patience and flexibility when re-booking appointments, as the lockdown has inadvertently lengthened treatment times and we will endeavour to do our best to get everyone's treatment back on track.

Thank you for your understanding and we are looking forward to welcoming you once again into the practice.

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Complaints

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Our 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).