PRIVATE & NHS PATIENTS
Code of Practice For Patient Complaints
In this practice we take complaints very seriously and try to ensure that all our 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 want our 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 for dealing with any complaint about the service that we provide is Katharine Crowther, Practice Manager.
- If a patient complains by telephone or in person, we will listen to their complaint and offer to refer him or her to the Katharine Crowther immediately. If Katharine Crowther is not available at the time, then the patient will be told when they will be able to talk to her and arrangements will be made for this to happen. The member of staff will make a written record of your complaint and provide the patient with a copy as well as passing it on to the Katharine Crowther. 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 complains in writing or by e-mail it will be passed on immediately to Katharine Crowther, Practice Manger.
- If a complaint is about any aspect of clinical care or associated charges it will normally be referred to the dentist concerned, unless the patient does not want this to happen.
- We will acknowledge the patient’s complaint in writing and enclose a copy of this code of practice as soon as possible, normally within 3 working days. We will offer to discuss the complaint at a time agreed with the patient, asking how the patient would like to be kept informed of developments, for example, by telephone, face to face meetings, letters or e-mail. We will inform the patient about how the complaint will be handled and the likely time that the investigation will take to be completed. If the patient does not wish to discuss the complaint, we will still inform them of the expected timescale for completing the process. If we are unable to investigate the complaint within 14 days we will notify the patient and give the reasons for the delay and a likely period within which the investigation will be completed.
- We will seek to investigate the complaint speedily and efficiently, within 10 working days of receipt and we will keep the patient regularly informed, as far as is reasonably practicable, as to the progress of the investigation. Investigations could take up to 6 months to complete.
- When we have completed our investigation, we will provide the patient with a full written report. The report will include an explanation of how the complaint has been considered, the conclusions reached in respect of each specific part of the complaint, details of any necessary remedial action and whether the practice is satisfied with any action it has already taken or will be taking as a result of the complaint.
- Proper and comprehensive records are kept of any complaint received as well as any actions taken to improve services as a consequence of a complaint.