Code of Practice for Patient Complaints

In this practice we take complaints very seriously indeed and try to ensure that all patients are pleased with their experience of our service.  We adopt a nondiscriminatory approach to dealing with patient complaints and treat all patients with courtesy and respect. Our practice is committed to ensuring and safeguarding patient rights. We adhere to The Equality Act 2010. When patients complain, they are dealt with courteously and promptly so that the matter is resolved as quickly as possible. 

  1. The person responsible within the Practice for dealing with any complaint about the service which we provide is the Practice Manager.
  2. However a patient complaint is received, whether by letter, e-mail, telephone, or handed in at reception, we will listen to the patient’s complaint and offer to refer him or her to the Practice Manager immediately.
  3. If the Practice Manager is not available at that specific time, then the patient will be told when they will be available and arrangements will be made for this to happen. A 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.
  4. If a complaint is about any aspect of clinical care or associated charges it will normally be referred to the dentist for their comments.
  5. We will acknowledge the patient’s complaint either verbally or in writing and will enclose a copy of this code of practice within three working days. We will seek to investigate the complaint and provide a response within twenty working days of the complaint being received. If this is not possible, we will inform the complainant, in a timely manner, of any unavoidable delays.
  6. We will confirm the decision about the complaint in writing to the patient immediately after completing our investigation.
  7. If complaining on behalf of someone else, please note that we adhere strictly to the rules of confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we must know that you have permission to do so.  A note signed by the person concerned will be required, unless they are incapable (because of physical or mental illness) of providing this.
  8. If preferred, a patient may want to copy in their local NHS Area Team who will be happy to monitor how we handle the complaint, or they may want to contact them directly and they will forward the complaint onto us. Alternatively for further advice patients could contact ICAS (Independent Complaints Advocacy Service) Helpline 08453373054 or the Dental Complaints Service (Private Patients only) Helpline 08456 120 540. There may be other advocacy services in the area and details of these can be obtained from the Practice Manager.
  9. If patients are not satisfied at the end of local resolution then they may approach the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman at Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP Tel: 0345 0154033 to request an independent review.
  10. Patients can also report their concerns to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) 03000 616161. The CQC make sure hospitals, care homes, dental and GP surgeries, and all other care services in England provide people with safe, effective, compassionate and high quality care, and they encourage them to make improvements.
  11. Proper and comprehensive records are kept of any complaint received.