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Code of practice for complaints

In this practice, we take complaints seriously to ensure that our service meets expectations.  All complaints are dealt with courteously and promptly to resolved the matter as quickly as possible.

Our aim is to react to complaints and learn from every mistake that we make. We respond to any concerns in a caring and sensitive way.

The person responsible for dealing with any complaints about the service that we provide is Chris Dunham, our Complaints Manager.

If we receive a complaint by telephone or in person, we will listen and offer to refer the individual to the Complaints Manager immediately. If the Complaints Manager is not available at the time, we arrange a convenient time for the Complaints Manager to contact the individual.  The member of staff will take brief details of the issue and pass it to the Complaints Manager and provide the individual with a copy. If the matter requires a more immediate response, we will arrange for a senior member of the dental team to deal with it.

If we receive a complaint in writing or by e-mail, it will be passed immediately to the Complaints Manager.

If a complaint is about any aspect of clinical care or associated charges, it will usually be referred to the dentist concerned, unless the individual does not want this to happen.

We will acknowledge a complaint in writing and enclose a copy of this code of practice as soon as possible, normally within three working days. We will offer to discuss the complaint with the individual, and confirm how they would like to be kept informed of developments – by telephone, letters or e-mail or by face-to-face meetings. We will inform the individual about how the complaint will be handled and the likely time that the investigation will take to complete. If the individual does not wish to discuss the complaint further, we will still inform them of the expected timescale for completing the investigation.

We will seek to investigate the complaint within 10 working days and, as far as reasonably practicable, we will keep the individual informed as to the progress of the investigation. If we are unable to investigate the complaint within ten working days we will notify the patient, giving reasons for the delay and a likely period within which the investigation will be completed.

When we have completed our investigation, we will provide the individual with a full written report, which will include an explanation of how we considered the complaint, the conclusions reached in respect of each specific part of the complaint, details of any necessary remedial action taken and whether further action will be taken.

Proper and comprehensive records will be kept of any complaints received and the action we take. These records will be reviewed regularly to ensure that we take every opportunity to improve our service

If the individual making the complaint is not satisfied with the result of our investigation, we will advise them to refer the complaint to:

Dental Complaints Service, Stephenson House, 2 Cherry Orchard Road, Croydon, CR0 6BA (08456 120 540).

General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London, W1M 8DQ