Code of practice for handling patient complaints
We want our service to meet your expectations. If you have a concern or complaint about any aspect of our service, we want to know what mistakes we made and identify how we can improve to ensure that we meet your expectations in future. Our aim is to learn from any feedback we receive and improve the service we provide to our patients.
We will deal with complaints courteously and promptly and aim to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.
Making a complaint
If you wish to make a complaint or simply let us know how we could have done better, please contact Charlie Briant-Evans, our Complaints’ Manager:
- By telephone on 01769 572672
- By email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- By letter to Whitehall Dental Practice, Cooks Cross, South Molton, Devon EX36 4AW
- In person
The Complaints’ Manager usually works at the practice on Monday, Wednesday & Friday and will endeavour to be available during these times. You may find it more convenient to make an appointment with the Complaints’ Manager to ensure that she can dedicate sufficient time to meet with you.
If you contact the practice to make a complaint and the Complaints’ Manager is not available, we will arrange a convenient time for them to contact you. We will ask you for brief details of your complaint so that the Complaints’ Manager can gather any useful information before contacting you. You will be given a copy of the notes made for the Complaints’ Manager.
If the matter requires a more immediate response, we will arrange for a senior member of the dental team to deal with it.
If your complaint is about your dental treatment or the fee charged, we will usually ask the dentist concerned to contact you, unless you do not want this.
We acknowledge all complaints in writing and enclose a copy of this code of practice as soon as possible, normally within 3 working days.
Investigating a complaint
We will offer to discuss the complaint with you and will ask how you would like to be kept informed of developments – by telephone, letters or e-mail or by face-to-face meetings. We will let you know how we will deal with your complaint and the likely time that the investigation will take to complete. If you do not wish to discuss the complaint further, we will still let you know the expected timescale for completing the investigation.
We aim for the investigation to be completed and for the individual to receive the report within 10 working days or, if the issue is complex, within 6 months. Where we anticipate a delay, we will explain this to the individual and provide an update on progress at least every 10 working days.
When we have completed our investigation, we will provide you with a full written report, unless you have told us that you do not wish for further communication. The report will explain how we considered the complaint, the conclusions we reached for each part of your complaint, details of any remedial action we have taken and whether further action is needed.
We keep proper and comprehensive records of any complaints that we receive and the action we have taken following investigation. We review these records regularly to ensure that we recognise our mistakes and take every opportunity to improve our service.
If you are not satisfied
If your complaint was about your dental treatment and you are not satisfied with the result of our investigation, you can take up the matter with a relevant external organisation.
For complaints about NHS treatment:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank London SW1P 4QP (0345 015 4033 or www.ombudsman.org.uk).
For complaints about private treatment:
Dental Complaints Service, Stephenson House, 2 Cherry Orchard Road, Croydon CR0 6BA (020 8253 0800).
Click here to download our Complaints Handling Policy as a PDF