COMPLAINTS HANDLING POLICY

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Code of practice for patient complaints

In this practice we take complaints very seriously and try to ensure that all our patients 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.  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 patients’ concerns in a caring and sensitive way.


1. The person responsible for dealing with any complaint about the service that we provide is  Ms Priyadharshini Srinivasan, the practice Complaints Manager. 


2. If a patient complains by telephone or in person, we will listen to their complaint and offer to refer him or her to the Complaints Manager immediately. If the Complaints Manager is not available at the time, then the patient will be told when they will be able to talk to the Complaints Manager and arrangements will be made for this to happen. The member of staff will make a written record of your complaint and provide the patient with a copy as well as passing it on to the Complaints Manager. If we cannot arrange this within a reasonable period or if the patient does not wish to wait to discuss the matter, arrangements will be made for someone else to deal with it. 


3. If the patient complains in writing or by e-mail it will be passed on immediately to the Complaints Manager. 


4. If a complaint is about any aspect of clinical care or associated charges it will normally be referred to the dentist concerned, unless the patient does not want this to happen.  


5. 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. We will offer to discuss the complaint at a time agreed with the patient, asking how the patient would like to be kept informed of developments, for example, by telephone, face to face meetings, letters or e-mail. We will inform the patient about how the complaint will be handled and the likely time that the investigation will take to be completed. If the patient does not wish to discuss the complaint, we will still inform them of the expected timescale for completing the process. 


6. We will seek to investigate the complaint speedily and efficiently and we will keep the patient regularly informed, as far as is reasonably practicable, as to the progress of the investigation. Investigations will normally be completed within six months. 


7. When we have completed our investigation, we will provide the patient with a full written report. The report will include an explanation of how the complaint has been considered, the conclusions reached in respect of each specific part of the complaint, details of any necessary remedial action and whether the practice is satisfied with any action it has already taken or will be taking as a result of the complaint.  


8. Proper and comprehensive records are kept of any complaint received as well as any actions taken to improve services as a consequence of a complaint 


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


Private Patients:

 • The Dental Complaints Service, The Lansdowne Building, 2 Lansdowne Road, Croydon, Greater London CR9 2ER, 08456 120 540 or www.dentalcomplaints.org.uk 

• The General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London, W1M 8DQ the dentists’ registration body.


NHS Patients: 

• Patient Experience Service, Omega House, 112 Southampton Road, Eastleigh SO50 5PB 

• The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank London SW1P 4QP, telephone: 0345 015 4033 or www.ombudsman.org.uk

GDPR

Data Protection Code of Practice


Our data protection code of practice lays out our procedures that ensure Highlands Dental Practice and our employees comply with The Data Protection Law, 2001 and The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) 


What personal data do we hold? 

To provide patients with a high standard of dental care and attention, we need to hold their personal information. This personal data can include:

Past and current medical and dental condition; 

personal details such as age, address, telephone number and general medical practitioner 

Radiographs, clinical photographs and study models Information about their treatment that we have provided or propose and its cost 

Notes of conversations or incidents that might occur for which a record needs to be kept 

Records of consent to treatment 

Any correspondence relating to them and other health care professionals, for example in the hospital or Medical Specialist Group. 


Why do we hold information about you? 

We need to keep comprehensive and accurate personal data about patients to provide you with safe and appropriate dental care. We will ask you yearly to update your medical history and contact details. 


Retaining information 

We will retain your dental records and orthodontic study models while you are a practice patient and after you cease to be a patient, for at least eleven years, or for children until age 25, whichever is the longer. 


Security of information 

Personal data about you is held in the practice’s computer system and/or in a locked manual filing system. The information is only accessible to authorised team members. Our computer system has secure audit trails and we back up information routinely. 


Disclosure of information 

To provide proper and safe dental care we may need to disclose personal information about you to: 

Your general medical practitioner 

Other health professionals caring for you 

Private dental schemes of which you are a member Medical Specialist Group Agents and Third parties as required by legal and law 

Disclosure will take place on a ‘need-to-know’ basis. Only those individuals/organisations who need to know to provide care for you and for the proper administration of Government (whose personnel are covered by strict confidentiality rules) will be given the information. 

In very limited circumstances or when required by law or a court order, personal data may have to be disclosed to a third party not connected with your health care. In all other situations, disclosure that is not covered by this Code of Practice will only occur when we have your specific consent. Where possible you will be informed of these requests for disclosure. 


Access to your records 

You have the right of access to the data that we hold about you and to receive a copy. Parents may access their child’s records if this is in the child’s best interests and not contrary to a competent child’s wishes. Formal applications for access must be in writing to The Practice Manager. 



If you do not wish personal data that we hold about you to be disclosed or used in the way that is described in this Code of Practice, please discuss the matter with your dentist. You have the right to object; however, this may affect our ability to provide you with dental care. 


You have a right to withdraw your consent at any time, however this will not be retrospective.


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