Patient Complaints

Patient Complaints Policy and Procedures

At dentalcare@62, we want to ensure that all our patients are pleased with their experience of our service. We take complaints very seriously indeed. If a patient makes a complaint, we will deal with the matter courteously and promptly so that it is resolved as quickly as possible. Our procedure is based on these objectives.

We display the General Dental Council’s 6 core principles for ensuring that we get the most from patient feedback and complaints for the benefit of all.

Dental Care @ 62 has an effective complaints system in place to ensure that identifying, receiving, recording, handling and response to any comments, observations or complaints occurs within a strict timetable which is clearly documented. Our Code of Practice for patients who wish to raise concerns is displayed in Reception / Waiting Room and all patients and visitors should feel confident that they will be listened to and responded to without fear of discrimination or recrimination.

Our Complaints Policy and Procedures are displayed in waiting room, and copy can also be found in the office upstairs or on our website.

Any complainant can be assured that they will be treated in a manner respecting their human rights and diversity; in a sensitive manner. We recognise that a complaint is any expression of dis- satisfaction with our service, treatment or advice and that the complaint can be made by a variety of methods either verbally, by sign language or in writing.

Where they lack confidence or require help they will be supported by helpful staff members. Their complaint will be fully documented and fairly dealt with and following investigation, lessons learned can lead to changes being made to avoid future complaints.

At Dental Care @ 62, we view complaints as an opportunity to improve our service delivery and to learn lessons that will help us make changes with the intention of avoiding a repetition of any similar complaint. To help us learn lessons from complaints, we track and analyse all our complaints to identify trends that will help us improve our service.

These clear complaint procedures are monitored and reviewed and the named contact who is accountable for doing this is Mr V Singla.

This Policy was implemented on: March 2017

This policy and relevant procedures will be reviewed annually and are due for review

on: April 2019 or prior to this date in accordance with new guidance or legislative changes.

The policy was re-reviewed in January 2019, secondary to expansion of team.

Review Date: January 2021

Next Review Date: January 2022

Patient Complaints Procedures

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.

Verbal complaints

If a patient complains on the telephone, at the reception desk or anywhere else in the practice, we will listen sympathetically to their complaint and make notes about his/her issues or problems, provided that the patient consents to us doing this.

Having first listened to the patient’s complaint, we will offer to refer him/her to Veenu Singla immediately. If Veenu Singla is not available at the time, the patient will be advised of when they will be able to speak to him and arrangements will be made for this to happen. If the patient has consented to their concerns or issues being written down, the team member will take brief details of the complaint and pass them on. If we cannot arrange this within a reasonable time period or if the patient does not wish to wait to discuss the matter, arrangements will be made for Anchal Singla to deal with it.

Our aim in handling verbal complaints is always to try to resolve the issue to the patient’s satisfaction so that it does not escalate and become a written complaint.

Written complaints

We acknowledge all complaints in writing and enclose a copy of this code of practice as soon as possible, normally within 3 working days.

  • If the patient complains in writing the letter will be passed on immediately to Mr Veenu Singla
  • Complaints about clinical care or associated charges will be referred to the clinician concerned, unless the patient does not want this to happen.
  • If a claim has begun, or if a complaint to one of the regulatory bodies has been made or intimated, advice and assistance should be sought from the relevant registrants indemnity provider
  • A written response to a complaint with accompanying copy of our code of practice will be sent as soon as possible, normally within three working days. We will investigate the complaint to enable us to give an explanation of the circumstances that led to the complaint within ten working days of receipt
  • If the patient does not wish to meet us, then we will attempt to talk to them on the telephone. 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
  • We will confirm the decision about the complaint in writing immediately after completing our investigation.
  • We make and keep proper and comprehensive records of any complaint

Making a complaint

If you wish to make a complaint or simply let us know how we could have done better, please contact

Veenu Singla, our Complaints’ Manager:

  • By telephone on 0161 221 0062
  • By email at info@dentalcare62.com
  • By letter to Veenu Singla, Complaints Manager, Dental Care @ 62, 62 Market Street, Marple SK6 7AD,
  • In person.

The Complaints’ Manager usually works at the practice from 0900 hours till 1700 hours Monday to Fri- day and will endeavour to be available during these times. You may find it more convenient to make an appointment with Complaints’ Manager to ensure that he 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 giv- en 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.

Acknowledgement

The acknowledgement will include

  • Confirmation that the matter will be investigated and that the individual will receive a re- port of the findings
  • An offer to meet with the individual to discuss the complaint and gather information
  • A description of how the complaint will be handled and who will be involved
  • Anticipated timescales for the investigation and preparation of the report
  • How the individual would like to be kept informed of progress
  • Local organisations that can provide
  • The individual will be informed that they can obtain advice and information from the Inde- pendent Complaints Advocacy Team at the local NHS Healthwatch –Healthwatch Stockport, Land of Cakes, 48 Middle Hillgate, Stockport SK1 3DL; Phone: 0161 9740 753

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 will seek to investigate the complaint within ten working days of receipt 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 them on the telephone. 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.
  • 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 re- port 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.

Records

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 res- ult of our investigation, you can take up the matter with a relevant external organisation.

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

For complaints about NHS treatment:

  • The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Mill- bank, London SW1P 4QP; Phone: 0345 015 4033 or ombudsman.or- g.uk.
  • NHS England for complaints about NHS treatment. PO Box 6738, Redditch, B97 9PT; Phone: 0300 311 2233; Email: contactus@nhs.net
  • The Care Quality Commission at Citygate, Gallowgate,Newcastle upon Tyne NE14PA; Phone: 03000 616161; Email: enquires@cqc.org.uk

+44 161 221 0062        info@dentalcare62.com www.dentalcare62.com

For complaints about private treatment:

  • The Dental Complaints Service, Stephenson House, 2 Cherry orchard, Croydon, CR0 6BA; Phone: 020 8253 0800; Email: info@dentalcomplaint- s.org.uk

Complaints Notice Template

We have display a notice to patients about how to raise concerns. This is kept in reception area, added to relevant practice literature and also available on website.

We shall Give (or send) any patient who raises a concern, the Dental Care @ 62 Code of Practice, for Patients Who Wish to Raise Concerns (see below).

Complaints should be analysed graphically to identify trends.

Code of Practice for Patients who wish to Raise Concerns

We are committed to providing high quality care for all and will ensure that our patients and their representatives can seek advice, provide feedback or make a complaint about any aspect our service. This policy describes how we receive, manage, respond to and learn from complaints made about our service. All members of the team are expected to understand and follow this policy when dealing with a patient complaint.

In this practice we place great emphasis on meeting and whenever possible, exceeding our patient’s expectations. We try to ensure that all patients are pleased with their experience of our service and we take any concerns a patient may have, very seriously.

If you have a concern regarding any aspect of your care, please let us know. We will do all that we can to resolve your concern to your satisfaction both promptly and professionally.

The key aspects of this policy are that:

  • Our patients know how to complain and are confident that we will take their complaint seriously
  • We will investigate all complaints and will keep the patient informed of the findings of our investigation
  • We will learn from any complaints, concerns and feedback that we receive and use these lessons to improve our

Our aim is to respond to patients’ concerns in a caring and sensitive way.

Information for patients

We believe that if a patient wishes to make a complaint or register a concern about any aspect of our service, they should find it easy to do so. Our code of practice for handling complaints, encourages patients to let us know when our service has not met their expectations and ex- plains how we will investigate their complaint and keep them informed.

Copies of our code are available at reception and also displayed in the waiting room and on our website.

Our approach to complaints

A complaint can be made by a patient of the practice or a person acting on their behalf if the patient is a child, has physical or mental incapacity, has consented to the person acting on their behalf, or has delegated authority to act on their behalf. A complaint can also be made by an individual who is, or is likely to be, affected by our actions, inactions, decisions or omissions.

A complaint provides us with the opportunity to identify where our practice systems have failed and what we can do to improve our service. In dealing with a complaint, we will

  • Be open and transparent to ensure that all those involved understand the process and what to expect
  • Acknowledge a complaint promptly
  • Undertake evidence-based investigations
  • Provide sympathetic responses within appropriate time frames
  • Identify the causes of complaints and act to prevent recurrence
  • Learn lessons and implement change
  • if the individual is a patient of the practice, ensure that their ongoing care is not adversely affected by the

Practice complaints process

Handling a complaint efficiently and sympathetically from the outset may encourage early resolution and avoid the need for a formal complaint process, involving investigation and formal reports. which is stressful and time-consuming for all concerned.

When making a complaint, an individual usually wants an apology and to know what happened and why, what will be done to put it right, what action will be taken immediately and to prevent the cause for complaint happening again.

The practice Complaints Manger, Veenu Singla, is responsible for dealing with all complaints received by the practice, unless immediate resolution is possible. The responsible person in charge of overseeing our complaints procedure and implementing changes where necessary is Veenu Singla and is also a Provider of NHS services at the practice. Veenu Singla, is also a Practice Service Coordinator.

If a patient raises an issue they are unhappy about on the telephone or at the reception desk, after listening to a description of the problem, we will immediately contact the Practice Service Coordinator. Should the designated person or other responsible person not be available at the time, the patient will be informed when they will be available and arrangements will be made for the two to meet or speak. The member of staff will take brief details of the concern and pass them to the Practice Service Coordinator.

If a patient writes to express their concern, the letter will be passed on to the relevant person immediately.

We will acknowledge any concerns raised in writing within three working days. If a concern has been raised in writing, the written acknowledgement will also include a copy of this Code of Practice, again, normally within three working days. We will investigate the concern and report back within ten working days of it being received. If we are unable to complete our investigations within ten working days for any reason, we will notify the patient, giving reasons for the delay and the likely period within which the investigation will be completed.

Investigation

The purpose of the investigation is to

  • Understand what the complaint is about
  • Establish what the individual would consider to be a satisfactory resolution
  • Seek the views of other team members and seek suggestions on how to resolve the matter
  • Identify other useful sources of information – for example, published research, suppliers

We aim for the investigation to be completed and for the individual to receive the report within 10 working days. Where we anticipate a delay, we will explain this to the individual and provide an update on progress at least every 10 working days.

Response

Before providing a written response, we will invite the individual to a meeting to discuss the findings of our investigation.

Our written response to the individual will

  • Address all the issues raised and demonstrate that each has been fully and fairly investigated
  • Include an apology where something has gone wrong
  • Explain our conclusions and any action that we have taken as a result or explain why no further action is needed
  • Include details of how to contact the NHS Ombudsman or the Dental Complaints Service if

the individual remains dissatisfied

Records

The Complaints Manager keeps full records of all complaints, investigations and responses. These records are kept securely and not with the individual’s clinical records (if they are a patient of the practice). These records include:

  • The date a complaint was received, by who and how (verbally or in writing)
  • Details of the complaint and the results of the investigation
  • Copies of any communications and records of telephone conversations and meetings
  • The outcome of the complaint and any action that we took as a result
  • Correspondence between the patient and the

Learning from complaints

We adopt a no-blame approach to complaints that we receive but recognise that all feedback provides an opportunity for us to develop and improve our service.

As soon as possible after a complaint has been dealt with, we will ensure that those involved are given individual feedback. Where our investigations identify a need to improve or review our practice systems, we will encourage general discussion at practice meetings and seek suggestions for improvement. Any agreed changes will be kept under review.

We will undertake ongoing monitoring of all complaints to identify trends and assess training requirements.

If, for any reason, a patient is not satisfied with the outcome or the procedure, he/she may refer to:

For complaints about NHS treatment:

  • The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Mill- bank, London SW1P 4QP; Phone: 0345 015 4033 or ombudsman.or- g.uk.
  • NHS England for complaints about NHS treatment. PO Box 6738, Redditch, B97 9PT; Phone: 0300 311 2233; Email: contactus@nhs.net
  • The Care Quality Commission at Citygate, Gallowgate,Newcastle upon Tyne NE14PA; Phone: 03000 616161; Email: enquires@cqc.org.uk

For complaints about private treatment:

  • The Dental Complaints Service, Stephenson House, 2 Cherry orchard, Croydon, CR0 6BA; Phone: 020 8253 0800; Email: info@dentalcomplaint- s.org.uk