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Complaints Handling Policy

It is the aim of this practice to ‘Have a Clear and Effective Complaints Procedure’ by meeting the GDC ‘Standards for the Dental Team’, and deliver good practice in complaint handling.

The practice has appointed a complaints manager, and our complaints procedure is on display in all waiting rooms.

Frances Kinnaird – Putney Practice

Nadia Struckman – Welwyn Garden City Practice

We have published our in the process of publishing our complaints procedure on our website in line with GDC advertising standards.

Feedback and complaints handling framework

This practice has developed a framework for managing complaints and feedback based on these principles:

  • All patient feedback is important to us
  • We want to make it easy for patients to raise a concern or complain, if they need to
  • We follow a complaints procedure and keep patients informed
  • We will try to answer all patient questions and any concern you raise
  • We want patients to have a positive experience of making a complaint
  • Patient feedback helps us to improve our service

Recognising complaints

Our team are aware that complaints are any expression of dissatisfaction by a patient (or their representative) about a dental service or treatment. Complaints can be verbal or written and can be about any part of the service we provide.

Recording complaints

All complaints are recorded on an Event Record and also logged in our Event Register. All correspondence or investigation records are stored with the Record and Register. Complaints Records are treated as confidential at all times and kept separate from clinical records. Only authorised persons have access to the Complaints Records. We submit our annual complaints report to the GDC or CQC if required and will make it available in person if requested

Handling complaints

The practice team is trained to resolve all complaints promptly, efficiently and politely by following our Patient Complaints Procedure and Complaint Management procedures. The team responds to complaints in the time limits set by the Patient Complaints Procedure and always provides constructive responses to complaints. The practice never discriminates against a patient who has made a complaint.

Team members cannot react defensively to a complaint but must listen carefully to a patient who makes one whilst involving them fully in the process of managing it. The team members will, to the best of their abilities, endeavour to meet any outcomes the patient expects and offer sincere apologies when appropriate.

If a patient is not satisfied despite our best efforts to resolve the complaint they will be informed about other avenues that are open to them such as the GDC Dental Complaints Service.

The team are regularly trained in complaint handling and are involved in the regular review of complaints, complaints procedures and management to ensure updates are undertaken where needed.

Response timescales

All complaints will be acknowledged and responded to by the practice within 24 hours. An investigation will be undertaken and a response will follow within 2 weeks with the aim to resolve the complaint as quickly as possible. If following the 2 weeks further investigations are required, the practice will inform the patient and aim to reply with a resolution within a further 2 weeks.

We keep patients informed of the status of the complaint during the investigation stage and always aim to resolve the complaint within the timeframe specified in our policies and procedures or as agreed with the complainant.

Online reviews

The practice appoints a team member to regularly check for online reviews. All feedback, both positive and negative is acknowledged and we follow the recommendations for dealing with poor reviews as per our complaints procedures.