Synergy Complaints Policy

Patient concerns and complaints

At Synergy Dental Clinic we take complaints very seriously and try to ensure that all 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.

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.

Should you wish to contact a member of management please feel free:

Latifa Umar at patient-services@synergydental.org.uk

Alternatively, If you feel your complaint has not been resolved, you can contact:

For complaints about NHS treatment can be made to

NHS England,

PO Box 16738,

Redditch,

B97 9PT

E: England.contactus@nhs.net

T: 0300 311 22 33

Or complaints about private treatment can be made to

The Dental Complaints Service

T: 08456 120 540

You can also contact the General Dental Council on:

www.gdc-uk.org

Synergy Complaints Policy

At Synergy Dental Clinic we take complaints very seriously indeed and try to ensure that all 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.
Method of complaining:
A complaint may be made
• orally
• in writing
• electronically (e mail)
Who can complain?
A complaint may be made by

• The patient
• Their parent or guardian for a child
• For adults who are incapable of making a complaint, a relative or another adult person that has an interest in their welfare
• Staff Members
• Other healthcare Providers

Nominated person for handling complaints:

• The person nominated for dealing with any complaint about the service we provide is The Area Manager Latifa Umar.
Investigation and response
• If a patient complains on the telephone or at the reception desk, we will listen to his or her complaint and offer to refer him or her to The Area Manager immediately.
• If The Practice Manager is not available at the time, then the patient will be told when he or she 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 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.
• Written patient complaints will be passed on immediately to The Area Manager.
• If a complaint is about any aspect of clinical care or associated charges it will normally be referred to the Area Manager first before it is passed to the dentist, unless the patient does not want this to happen.
• We discuss with the complainant, at a time to be agreed with the complainant—
(A) The manner in which the complaint is to be handled; and
(B) The period (“the response period”) within which—
(i) The investigation of the complaint is likely to be completed; and
(ii) The response required is likely to be sent to the complainant.
• We will acknowledge the patient’s complaint in writing and enclose a copy of this code of practice as soon as possible, normally within 3 working days. The acknowledgement is made orally or in writing.
• We aim to investigate the complaint in a manner appropriate to resolve it speedily and efficiently.
• We will seek to investigate the complaint within 10 working days of the complaint being received to give an explanation of the circumstances which led to the complaint. If the patient does not wish to meet us, then we will attempt to talk to him or her on the telephone.
• During the investigation, we keep the complainant informed, as far as reasonably practicable, as to the progress of the investigation.
• If the investigation requires the patient’s records to be disclosed to a person other than the contractor or an employee of the contractor, the patient or complainant will be informed(this means disclosure to self-employed associates, hygienists or therapists)
• 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.
• As soon as reasonably practicable after completing the investigation, we send the complainant in writing a response, signed by the responsible person, which includes—
A report which includes the following matters—
(1) An explanation of how the complaint has been considered.
(2) The conclusions reached in relation to the complaint, including any matters for which the complaint specifies, or the practice considers, that remedial action is needed.
Time limit for making a complaint
• A complaint must be made not later than 12 months after—
(A) The date on which the matter which is the subject of the complaint occurred; or
(B) If later, the date on which the matter which is the subject of the complaint came to the notice of the complainant.
• The time limit in above shall not apply if the nominated person is satisfied that—
(a) The complainant had good reasons for not making the complaint within that time limit; and
(B) Not withstanding the delay, it is still possible to investigate the complaint effectively and fairly
Records of complaint handling:
• Records of complaints handling are for practice use only.
• Copies are kept of all correspondence and notes made at the time of telephone conversations and meetings, together with any relevant complaint, action/summary and interview forms and are provided for the person complaining, where this is requested.

Confidentiality

• Both the person who complains and the staff member who is complained about will receive assurance that, even within the practice, only those who need to know will learn of the complaint.
• Equally, patients should be assured that personal information about them will not be shared with anyone outside the practice unless they have given express permission for this to happen

Staff Support

• We ensure that any member of the staff who is complained about receives support from the person nominated to administer the practice procedure.
• We also ensure that person is made aware of the complaint at as early a stage as possible but think carefully about timing – it would not be helpful to be told of a complaint immediately before a stressful surgery session.
• The early involvement of the dentist responsible for the treatment is particularly important when a clinical complaint is made. We make sure that support continues to be available. Above all, keep the person concerned in touch with what is happening in all stages.
Training for staff about complaints handling
• We update our policy regularly and involve complaints handling in our practice meetings.
• We train new staff on complaints handling policy procedures and how to avoid complaints as part of staff Induction programme and keep records for the same.
• All new associates must attend a complaint’s handling course as part of Synergy Dental’s Training Policy

Equal opportunities:

• We provide our patients with equal opportunities form along with the acknowledgement letter.

If patients are not satisfied with the result of our procedure then a complaint may be made to our complaints department:
Email: Patient-services@synergydental.org.uk
Post: Complaints manager
Patient Services
Freepost RRRU-XLSY-CJYC
PO Box 2115
Blackpool, FY1 6WS
Or to the local health authority
Patient Experience Team
NHS England – Lancashire Area Team
Preston Business Centre
Level 2 – Room 207
Watling Street Road
Fulwood
Preston
Lancs
PR2 2DY
Email – complaint.pbc@nhs.net
Resources:
Department of Health
Standards for better oral health
Statutory Instruments, NHS Complaints England 2009.

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