Patient Complaints Procedure

Patient Complaints Procedure

The Bristol Dental Practice takes all complaints very seriously and will try to ensure that all 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.

  1. The person responsible for overseeing any complaint about the service we provide is our Practice Manager.
  2. If a patient complains within the surgery, the clinician in charge will listen to the complaint and try to resolve any dispute immediately. If this is not possible the patient will be referred to the practice manager.
  3. If a patient complains on the telephone or at the reception desk, we will listen to the complaint, resolve immediately or offer to refer him / her to the practice manager as appropriate.
  4. If the practice manager is not available at the time, the patient will be told when they will be able to talk with the dentist and arrangements will be made for this to happen. The member of staff will take brief details of the complaint and pass them on. 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 head receptionist to deal with it.
  5. If the patient complains in writing the letter will be passed on immediately to the Practice Manager.
  6. If a complaint is about any aspect of clinical care or associated charges it will normally be referred to the dentist, unless the patient does not want this to happen.
  7. We will acknowledge the patient’s complaint in writing and enclose a copy of this code of practice as soon as possible, normally within 5 working days. We will seek to investigate the complaint within 20 working days of the complaint being received to give an explanation of the circumstances which led to the complaint. If the patient does not wish to meet us, then we will attempt to talk to him or her on the telephone. If we are unable to investigate the complaint within 20 working days we will notify the patient, giving reasons for the delay and a likely period within which the investigation will be completed and, if necessary, a progress report will be sent to the patient every 20 working days.
  8. We will confirm the decision about the complaint in writing to the patient immediately after completing our investigation.
  9. Proper and comprehensive reports are kept of any complaint received.
  10. We keep strictly to the rules of confidentiality. If there is a complaint on behalf of a patient, we need to be aware that the patient has given permission. A signed note from the individual patient, (provided they are capable and of age to provide permission), will be required to deal with persons acting on a patients behalf.

We hope that if there is a problem all patients will use and be satisfied with the practice complaints procedure. We believe this will be the best opportunity of putting right what has gone wrong, and an opportunity to improve our practice. If patients are not satisfied with the result of our procedure, then a complaint may be made to;

  • The Dental Complaints Service, for complaints about private treatment. Tel: 08456 120 540
  • The General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London, W1M 8DQ
  • The Healthcare Commission, Finsbury Tower, 103-105 Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8TG
  • Financial Ombudsman Service, 0800 023 4567