We take complaints very seriously because we want all our patients to be delighted with our service. If a patient makes a complaint, it is important to us that this is dealt with courteously and promptly so that the matter is resolved as quickly as possible. Our aim is to react to complaints in the way in which we would want our own complaint about a service to be handled, to learn from any mistakes we make and to respond to patients’ concerns in a caring and sensitive way. This policy sets out the procedures we will follow to ensure that we achieve these objectives.
We encourage our patients to give positive and negative feedback and, where they are unhappy, to make a complaint if we haven’t met their expectations. We want to stress that this is important to us because it helps us to improve the service we provide.
Patients will not be discriminated against for making a complaint and it will not have a negative effect on their treatment.
Where it is requested, advice and advocacy support will be provided to those who require it. Even if it is not requested, we may offer to arrange such assistance where it appears to us that this may be appropriate in the circumstances.
The person with overall responsibility for dealing with complaints at Smile Implant Clinics is our practice manager. However, any patient wishing to make a complaint should not hesitate to raise the matter with any member of the team, as they prefer.
If a patient makes a verbal complaint, the member of staff they are speaking to will listen to the patient and, if they are able, immediately attempt to remedy the problem. If this is not possible, or if the patient is asking for something that the staff member is not authorised to provide, the staff member will contact the appropriate person immediately so that this can be dealt with swiftly. If the person in charge is not available, the patient will be informed when we will contact and resolve the matter. The member of staff will take brief details of the complaint and pass them on to the practice manager.)
Written complaints, whether in a letter or an email, will be passed immediately to the practice manager to deal with.
Complaints relating to clinical care or associated charges will usually be referred to the dentist unless the patient does not want this to happen.
We will acknowledge the complaint in writing within 3 practice working days. We will provide a full response (with redress or details of action to be taken, where appropriate) within 10 practice working days. If this is not possible for any reason, we will notify the patient, giving reasons for the delay and the likely period within which the investigation will be completed.
The full response may initially be given at a meeting or by telephone if the patient prefers and confirmed in writing.
We will keep proper and comprehensive records of any complaints we receive, responses we give and any action taken.
Where a patient is not satisfied with the response to a complaint, they may refer the matter to:
The Dental Complaints Service, The Lansdowne Building, 2 Lansdowne Road, Croydon, Greater London, CR9 2ER, telephone 08456 120540 – for complaints about private treatment.