Code of practice for patient complaints
In this practice, we take complaints seriously to ensure that our service meets expectations. All complaints are dealt with courteously and in a timely manner to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.
Our aim is to respond to complaints and reflect on any learning requirement which may be identified from the complaint.
For a complaint regarding NHS treatment, the patient can either complain directly to the practice, or to the Ombudsman, but not both.
- The person responsible for dealing with any complaints about the service that we provide is our Practice Manager. In the absence of the Practice Manager, the deputy complaints manager will take care of the complaint.
- If we receive a complaint by telephone or in person, we will listen and offer to refer the individual to the Practice Manager immediately. If the Practice Manager is not available at the time, we arrange a convenient time for the Practice Manager to contact the individual. The member of staff will take brief details of the issue and pass it to the Practice Manager and provide the individual with a copy. If the matter requires a more immediate response, we will arrange for the Deputy complaints manager to deal with it.
- If we receive a complaint in writing or by email, it will be passed immediately to the Practice Manager. If we receive a verbal complaint this will be followed up with a letter detailing the issue.
- If a complaint is about any aspect of clinical care or associated charges, it will usually be referred to the clinician concerned, unless the individual does not want this to happen.
- We will acknowledge a complaint in writing and enclose a copy of our complaints handling policy as soon as possible, normally within 3 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.
- We will seek to investigate the complaint within six months and, as far as reasonably practicable, we will keep the individual informed as to the progress of the investigation.
- 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 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:
For complaints about NHS treatment:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
14th Floor, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP
Tel: 0345 015 4033
For complaints about private treatment:
Dental Complaints Service
37 Wimpole Street
Tel: 020 8253 0800 (Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm)