Complaints Procedure

Middleton St George Dental Care takes patient complaints very seriously indeed and tries to ensure that all our patients are pleased with their experience of our service.


When patients complain, the complaint must be 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.


1. The person responsible for dealing with any complaint made on the telephone or at the reception desk about the service we provide is: the Practice Manager


2. If a patient complains on the telephone or at the reception desk, we will listen to their complaint and offer to refer him or her to the Practice Manager immediately. If the Practice Manager is not available at the time, then the patient will be informed of the soonest possible time when they will be able to talk to the Practice Manager and appropriate contact details will be taken in order for the Practice Manager to contact the patient when convenient. The member of staff initially dealing with the complaint will take brief details of the complaint and pass them on. These details are also to be recorded in the “Comms” section of the patient’s file on R4. 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 the Business Manager, or one of the Principals, to speak to the patient.


3. If the patient complains in writing the letter will be passed on immediately to one of the Principals. The details of the written complaint are to be briefly recorded in the “Comms” section of the patient’s file on R4.


4. If a complaint is about a specific aspect of clinical treatment or associated charges it will normally be referred to the dentist who provided the treatment, unless the patient does not want this to happen.


5. We will acknowledge any written complaint in writing and enclose a copy of this code of practice as soon as possible, normally within three working days. We will seek to investigate the complaint within ten working days of receipt to give an explanation of the circumstances which led to the complaint. The patient will then be contacted by one of the Principals. 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.


6. We will confirm the decision about the complaint in writing immediately after completing our investigation.


7. Proper and comprehensive records are always to be kept of any complaint received, and copies of any written correspondence kept in the patient’s card.


8. If patients are not satisfied with the result of our procedure then a complaint may be made to:

? The Dental Complaints Service (08456 120 540) for complaints about private treatment

? The General Dental Council (the regulatory body of all dental professionals in the UK), 37 Wimpole Street, London, W1M 8DQ (020 7887300)

? The Chief Executive, County Durham Primary Care Trust, John Snow House, Durham University Science Park, Durham DH1 3YG for complaints about NHS treatment only

? The Care Quality Commission, Citygate, Gallowgate, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 4PA

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