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Complaints Procedure

Here at the practice we take complaints very seriously indeed and try to ensure that all patients of the practice 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 listed below.

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 patient’s concerns in a caring and sensitive way.

  1. The person responsible for dealing with any complaint about the service which we provide is the Practice Operations & CQC Registered Manager Alison Murdock.
  2. If a patient complains on the telephone or at the reception desk, you will be asked for your name and the details surrounding your concerns. We will listen to his or her complaint and if requested offer to refer him or her to Alison Murdock immediately, if they are available, this may not however always be possible.
  3. If Alison is not available, then the patient will be told when she/he will be able to talk to the dentist and arrangements will be made for this to happen. The member of staff will take brief details of the complaint to pass them on. If we cannot arrange this within a reasonable period of time or if the patient does not wish to wait to discuss the matter, arrangements will be made for someone else to deal with it until their suitable return.
  4. If the patient complains in writing, then the letter will be passed on immediately to Alison Murdock.
  5. 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. However, In order to investigate any complaint effectively it may be necessary to liaise with the dentist for clarification if the complaint is to be fully understood. These facts will/might be necessary to conclude accurately the complaint satisfactorily.
  6. We will acknowledge the patient’s complaint in writing and enclose a copy of this code of practice as soon as possible normally within three working days from its receipt. We will seek to investigate the complaint within ten working days of the complaint being received, to enable us to give an explanation and understand the circumstances that led to the complaint. If the patient does not wish to meet with us, then we will attempt to talk to him/her 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. (This may be due to a significant employee/clinician being off sick or on annual leave).
  7. We will confirm the decision about the complaint in writing to the patient immediately after our investigation is completed.
  8. Accurate, proper and comprehensive records are kept of any complaint received, and any communications made, such as details of communication, dates, times and names.
  9. If patients are not satisfied following our complaint procedure then a complaint may be made to:
    NHS England has set up a new centralised Customer Contact Centre (CCC) which will handle/co-ordinate all patient complaints, Freedom of Information requests and general queries relating to services commissioned by area teams of behalf of NHS England.
    All patient queries that would have been directed to the PCT should now go through the CCC as follows-
    • Tel: 0300 311 22 33
    • Email:
    • Write to: NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch B97 9PT

Policy for preventing violence and aggression at work

  • This policy is designed to protect everyone who works at the practice from possible harm from violent or aggressive behaviour. It also helps to fulfil the practice’s obligations to provide a safe place of work.
  • Our philosophy is that violence is unacceptable in any form and for whatever reason.
  • It is the responsibility of every member of the practice to take reasonable care of his or her health and safety and of that of other persons who might be affected by his or her acts and omissions at work.
  • This policy covers everyone who is engaged by the practice including self-employed contractors, temporary and casual workers.
  • The operation of this policy is the responsibility of the Practice Operations & CQC Registered Manager Alison Murdock
  • We define violence and aggression as:
    • Actual or threatened physical assaults on staff
    • Psychological abuse of staff
    • Verbal abuse which includes shouting, swearing and gestures
    • Threats against practice personnel which occur in the workplace
  • The workplace is defined as the practice premises and all other premises where work is undertaken as part of the person’s official duties. Travelling to and from the workplace other than practice premises is also included in this definition.
  • To comply with this policy we will:
    • undertake a risk assessment
    • ensure that the practice premises are secure
    • install a panic button at the reception desk and check it’s function weekly
    • provide regular training in dealing with difficult/aggressive patients
    • provide training in dealing with assaults
    • provide personnel who are required to stay on the premises after 9pm, where necessary, with the cost of a taxi home
    • provide personnel who are required to do domiciliary visits with a personal alarm (this is no longer an active feature 2015)
    • aim to operate an effective appointment system and make the reception area as relaxing as possible to minimise delays and tension
    • operate a protocol for dealing with out of hours emergencies, including logging calls
  • All incidents (however trivial) must be reported at once to Dr Wong and a recording form completed. In the event of any actual or threatened violence, the police will be called. Injuries will be recorded in the accident book.
  • The practice will undertake to provide support, assistance and, if necessary, counselling, to members of the practice who are victims of violence and aggression in the course of their work. In appropriate cases, a discretionary period of sick leave on full pay will be grated.
  • This policy will be reviewed and updated regularly.

Practice Policy on any Failed Appointments

At our practice we will endeavour to always manage our appointment system to avoid delays in our patient’s appointment times and minimise the loss of surgery time through cancellations and failed appointments.

In our Practice we:-

  • Communicate with patients is a courteous, friendly and professional manner at all times, as we would wish to be spoke too.
  • Make sure that all our patient’s receive full information about our services, their treatment and all the costs involved.
  • Provide advice and treatment outside normal surgery hours where necessary, backed by out of hours 111.
  • Refer patients for further professional advice and treatment where appropriate.

In our Practice we will:-

  • Manage our appointment system so that treatment appointments are booked no more than 10 - 12 weeks ahead where possible.
  • Ensure that patients should have to wait no longer than 10 minutes to be seen. Where there is a further delay we will explain the reasons.
  • Attempt a courtesy call to remind our patients by phone or e-mail (as preferred) for all their appointments when staffing levels permit.
  • Monitor our waiting times for (i) treatment and (ii) for booking appointments.
  • Provide as much notice as possible when appointments have to be changed or cancelled and explain the reasons for this.
  • Advise all patients if there is a change of dentist/hygienist for their scheduled appointments.

In return, we would like you to:-

  • Participate in your dental treatment, particularly any advice about prevention and diet that we have asked you to continue at home.
  • Advise us of any changes to any of your personal contact details to keep our records up to date and ensure we are able to contact you.
  • Arrive on time for your appointment. Please give the practice at least 24 hours notice if you are unable to keep your appointment.

We may charge for any missed Independent appointments where we have NOT been notified (dentist discretion).

NHS patients who miss an appointment on two occasions without notification please be advised that we may review the future provision of your NHS dental treatment at this practice, you may have to seek the care of another dentist.