Patient Complaint Policy
We aim to always have satisfied patients, to meet their expectations of care and service, to deal with complaints quickly, to investigate complaints in a full and fair way and to respect patient confidentiality.
If you’re not happy with the care or treatment you’ve received or you’ve been refused treatment for a condition, you have the right to complain, have your complaint investigated, and be given a full and prompt reply. Please let us know as soon as possible to allow us to address your concerns promptly. We never discriminate against patients who have made a complaint and we aim to resolve complaints as quickly, effectively and smoothly as possible. If you wish to make a complaint it’s important to consider what you want to happen. Are you content with an apology, do you want action to be taken against a member of staff, or do you want a change to the system? Whatever action you’re seeking, please make this clear.
Whether you decide to complain orally or in writing, try to make your explanations as short and clear as possible. Processing a complaint can take a while, and you might be asked to verify some information at a later stage. It is important that an attempt is made to resolve the situation at the local level before considering taking a complaint further.
To Whom Should I Complain?
NHS Patients – there is a two stage complaints procedure:
Stage 1 – a patient can complain either to the Practice or NHS England.
Stage 2 – if the complaint is not resolved at local level (stage 1) a patient may submit their complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service ombudsman.
Private Patients – there is a two stage complaints procedure:
Stage 1 – a patient should complain to the Practice.
Stage 2 – if the complaint is not resolved at local level (stage 1) a patient may submit their complaint to the Dental Complaints Service (DCS).
To complain to the Practice, raise the matter (in person or in writing) with Dr Qadeer, or a Receptionist who will pass your complaint to Dr Qadeer.
If you wish to make a complaint on the telephone please ask for the Dr Qadeer. If she is unavailable, we will take brief details about the complaint and let you know when you can talk to her, within a reasonable period of time.
When Should I Complain?
As soon as possible. Complaints should normally be made as soon as the matter first comes to your attention, or made within 12 months of the date of the event that you’re complaining about. We understand that there may be situations in which it would be difficult for you to complain earlier, for example during bereavement or if undergoing trauma, but you should understand that the longer a complaint is left the more difficult it is for us to investigate.
What Happens Next?
We will keep comprehensive and confidential records of your complaint. All details will be stored securely and only those persons who need to know about it will be informed.
For each complaint a written record will be made by the Practice and included in the Practice’s Annual Complaints Report, which is available to anyone who requests it. Copies of all complaint documentation are stored securely, separate from the patient’s records, for future reference.
Every effort will be made to resolve oral complaints within 24 hours. If any complaint cannot be resolved within 24 hours, you will receive an initial response within 3 working days (by post, e-mail or telephone). We will provide a full response within a reasonable time. If the investigation is likely to take longer than a time we have agreed with you, you will be informed about the reasons for the delay and the date the investigation will be completed. You will also be informed about the progress of the investigation and of any further delays.
The Principal will carry out a comprehensive investigation of each complaint, involving the relevant staff. Details of the investigation will be kept and within 28 working days an Investigation Report is sent to you, with the results and any proposed actions. In the event of a delay, you will be notified with the reasons and the likely date for the report. You will be invited to meet the Principal to discuss the proposed solutions. Complaints should normally be resolved within 6 months.
It is the policy of this practice to analyse any patient complaints to learn from them and to improve our standards of care and service. That’s why we always welcome your feedback, comments, suggestions and complaints.
Dr Oberah Qadeer, the Practice Principal
Shine Dental Clinic, 3 Wargrave Road, Twyford, Berk. RG10 9NY
Tel: 0118 934 9703
Dental Complaints Service (DCS)
Stephenson House, 2 Cherry Orchard Road, Croydon CR0 6BA,
Tel. 020 8253 0800
PO Box 16738, Redditch B97 9PT
Tel. 0300 311 22 33
The Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman
Tel. 0345 015 4033
Copies of this document are available in the Practice waiting area and on the Practice web site (www.shine-dental.co.uk). Large print copies are available from Reception on request.