Complaints handling policy
The Harrow Dental Practice (NHS Treatment)
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 Miss L Spencer, our Complaints Manager.
- If a patient complains by telephone or in person, we will listen to their complaint and offer to refer them to the Complaints Manager immediately. If the Complaints Manager is not available at
the time, we will advise the patient when they will be able to talk to the Complaints Manager and make arrangements for this to happen. The member of staff will take brief details of the complaint
to pass to the Complaints Manager and provide the patient with a copy. 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 a patient complains 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 patient does not want this to happen.
- We will acknowledge the patient’s complaint in writing and enclose a copy of this policy as soon as possible, normally within 3 working days. We will offer to discuss the complaint at a time agreed with the patient, and confirm how the patient would like to be kept informed of developments – by telephone, letters or e-mail or by face-to-face meetings. We will inform the patient about how the complaint will be handled and the likely time that the investigation will take to complete. If the patient 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 agree a date for the response, allowing time for the complaint to be thoroughly investigated. Should the investigation take longer than anticipated, we will keep the patient informed as to the progress of the investigation every 10 working days either in letter or email.
- When we have completed our investigation, we will provide the patient with a full written response, 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.
- If the patient remains dissatisfied we are more than willing to investigate their concerns further.
- 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.
- Following the above, if local resolution has not or cannot be achieved, the complaint may be referred to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank London SW1P 4QP (0345 015 4033 or www.ombudsman.org.uk).