Complaints handling policy
LHDP Smilecare 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 Dawn Langford the practice Patient Care Co-ordinator.
  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 Patient Care-Co-ordinator immediately. If the Patient Care Coordinator is not available at the time, then the patient will be told when they will be able to talk to them 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 Patient Care Co-ordinator. 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 Patient Care Co-ordinator.
  4. If a complaint is about any aspect of clinical care or associated charges it will normally be referred to the dentist concerned or Kirsten Grizzell, the Clinical Manager, 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 email. 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 14 working days. Should our investigations exceed this time you will be informed.
  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:
    • Worcestershire Primary Care Trust, Ground Floor West Wing, Wildwood, Wildwood Drive, Worcester, Worcestershire, WR5 2LG Tel: 01905 760 000 or the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank London SW1P 4QP, telephone: 0345 015 4033 or www.ombudsman.org.uk for complaints about NHS treatment.
    • The Dental Complaints Service, The Lansdowne Building, 2 Lansdowne Road, Croydon, Greater London CR9 2ER, 08456 120 540 or www.dentalcomplaints.org.uk for complaints about private treatment.
    • The General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London, W1M 8DQ the dentists’ registration body.

Testimonials

When I first went to Graham I was petrified of dentists. Now, not only do I have a fantastic smile that I am proud of for the first time in my life, I actually look forward to going to see him and his team who have been fabulous to me and have helped to build my confidence in more ways than one. Lovely people and a talented dentist - funny too! Rachel Baker
Last year I found I required four root canal fillings. I was terrified of what lay ahead; I had heard such horror stories that panic set in. I can honestly say that I found the root canal fillings totally painless and Giles was superb. He explained everything to me in detail and allayed my fears. He even had a DVD player with a screen on the ceiling so I watched the test match and also films of my choice whilst having the work done. After the anaesthetic wore off, I had only minimal discomfort that was relieved by simple analgesia. All the staff at LHDP Smilecare have been wonderful throughout my year of extensive treatment and I can honestly say I no longer dread going to the dentist. Jo Mitchell
Thank you for all the excellent treatment, i.e. Implants, titanium bridge and crowns. I truly am delighted and you really have given me back my smile. Thank you once again Diane Cocks
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