At Hockerill Dental in Hertfordshire, we want to ensure that all patients are pleased with their experience. We take complaints very seriously. If a patient makes a complaint, we will deal with the matter courteously and promptly so that it is resolved as quickly as possible.

We have an effective complaints system in place to ensure that the identifying, receiving, recording, handling and responding to any comments, observations or complaints occurs within a strict timetable which is clearly documented. The complaints system is clearly displayed, and all patients and visitors can be confident that they will be listened and responded to without fear of discrimination.

Any complainant will be treated in a sensitive manner, respecting the human rights and diversity of the patient. 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, patients will be supported by staff members at our Hertfordshire practice.

The complaint will be fully documented and fairly dealt with, and following an investigation, lessons learned can lead to changes being made to avoid future complaints.

These clear complaint procedures are monitored and reviewed, and the named contact who is accountable for doing this is Samantha Chilcott.

This Policy was implemented on 31/01/2018.

This policy and relevant procedures will be reviewed annually and are due for review on 31/01/2021 or before this date in accordance with new guidance or legislative changes.

Patient Complaints Procedures

If a patient complains via telephone or at the reception desk, we will listen to their complaint and offer to refer him/her to Samantha Chilcott immediately. If Samantha Chilcott is not available at the time, then the patient will be able to speak to her promptly, and arrangements will be made for this to happen.

The staff member will take brief details of the complaint and pass them on.

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.

Complaints in Summary

  • If the patient complains in writing the letter will be passed on immediately to Samantha Chilcott.
  • 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 registrant’s 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 two working days. We will seek to investigate the complaint within ten working days of receipt of the complaint. If the patient does not wish to meet us, 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.
  • We will confirm the decision about the complaint in writing immediately after completing our investigation.
  • Proper and comprehensive records are kept of any complaint received.

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

  • The Dental Complaints Service for complaints about private treatment:
    Stephenson House, 2 Cherry Orchard, Croydon, CR0 6BA.
    Phone 020 8253 0800. Email: [email protected]
  • The General Dental Council:
    37 Wimpole Street, London, W1M 8DQ (the dentists’ registration body).
    Phone: 020 7167 6000. Email: [email protected]
  • NHS England for complaints about NHS treatment:
    PO Box 6738, Redditch, B97 9PT.
    Phone: 0300 311 2233. Email: [email protected]
  • The Care Quality Commission at Citygate, Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE14PA.
    Phone: 03000 616161. Email: [email protected]
  • Healthwatch Hertfordshire
    (this is a signposting service to provide advice to NHS Patients unsure what to do next).
    1 Sliver Court, Watchemead, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, AL7 1LT.
    Tel: 01707 275978. Email: [email protected]

The Hockerill Dental Code of Practice for Patients Who Wish to Raise Concerns

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. We aim to respond to patients’ concerns in a caring and sensitive way. 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 two days.

If a concern has been raised in writing, the written acknowledgement will also include a copy of this Code of Practice, normally within two 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.

We will confirm the outcome of the investigation and any decisions made in writing.

Proper and comprehensive records are kept of any concerns or complaints received.