PATIENT COMPLAINTS POLICY

In this practice, we take complaints very seriously 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 want our complaint about a service to be handled.  We learn from every mistake that we make and we respond to patient’s concerns in a caring and sensitive way.

  1. The person responsible for dealing with any complaint about the service which we provide is: Mrs Kate Powell, Practice Manager and in her absence Ms Debby Aldridge, Receptionist.
  1. A complaint must normally be made not later than 12 months after the date on which the matter which is subject of the complaint occurred; or if later, the date on which the matter came to the notice of the complainant.
  1. If a patient complains on the telephone or at the reception desk, we will listen to his or her complaint and endeavour to resolve it straight away. We do not have to go through the complaints procedure if a complaint is made orally and resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction not later than the next working day after the day on which the complaint was made.
  1. If however, we are unable to resolve the complaint straight away or the patient wishes to take it further and talk to someone else, we will offer to refer him or her to one of the Practice Principals. If either of the Practice Principals are not available at the time, then the patient will be told when he/she will be able to talk to the dentist and arrangements will be made for this to happen. The member of 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.
  1. If the patient complains in writing the letter will be passed on immediately to:

Dr Raj Dhami, Dr Amita Janda, Dr Ralitsa Patanwala or Dr Hussein Patanwala, Practice Principals.

 

  1. 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.

7a    We will acknowledge the patient’s complaint in writing and enclose a copy of this code of practice as soon as possible normally within three working days.

b          We will seek to investigate the complaint as speedily and efficiently as possible, this could take a maximum of six months.

c          We will keep you informed as far as reasonably practicable, as to the progress of the investigation.

d          We will give an explanation of the circumstances which led to the complaint. If the patient does not wish to meet us, then we will attempt to talk to him or her on the telephone.

e                      If we are unable to investigate the complaint within six months we will notify the patient, giving reasons for the delay and a likely period within which the investigation will be completed.

f           We will confirm the decision about the complaint in writing to the patient immediately after completing our investigation.

Stage 1

Complainants have the option of complaining to either our Practice (Sutton Dental Care) or NHS England.  If NHS England receives a complaint which they consider is more appropriate for the Practice to investigate then, with the complainants consent, it will be forwarded to the Practice.

If the practice investigates the complaint and it is not resolved, NHS England cannot undertake further investigation, stage 2 would commence.

Stage 2

Anyone who feels their complaint has not been handled satisfactorily by either the Practice or NHS England can now complain directly to the Health Service Ombudsman.  The Ombudsman is now the second and final point of contact for complainants.

Contact Details

  • NHS England: contact NHS England Commissioner

Telephone 0300 311 2233 or email : england.contactus@nhs.net

(please put ‘for the attention of the complaints team’ in the subject line)

Or write to: NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, Birmingham, B18 7QH

  • NHS: Health Care Ombudsman – The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London. SW1P 4QP, telephone: 0345 015 4033 or www.ombudsman.org.uk
  • Private: The Dental Complaints Service. 2 Cherry Orchard Road, Croydon, Greater London CR0 6BA, Telephone: 020 8253 0800 for complaints about private treatment received within the last 12 months. After 12 months telephone: 0207 167 6000

Or email info@dentalcomplaints.org.uk

Other Useful Contacts: Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) Tel: 0121 507 5836 or 0121 607 3369