Complaints Handling Policy
In order to competently offer a satisfactory customer experience, it is crucial that the clinic listens to and responds to complaints. In the case of a compliant being made, those involved should act professionally having been brief on an official procedure that teaches them how to deal with the complaint sensitively and quickly.
This procedure should incorporate the following stages:
- A member of staff who is allocated to dealing with the query and who patients will be referred to when making a complaint face-to-face, by telephone or by email. Where this staff member is unavailable, a message should be passed on to them on their return with details of the situation, or where there is a long period of absence a substitute staff member should be selected to deal with it. However, unless the patient has requested otherwise, complaints directly related to clinical care or associated charges should be referred to the clinical dental technician.
- The patient making the complaint should receive a written response within three working days of supplying the circumstances leading to the complaint and should be updated about the actions intended to be taken within ten working days. All complaints should be recorded and in circumstances where there is a delay to this response time, they should be informed as soon as possible. In order to handle the complaint sensitively, it may be necessary to deal with the patient over the telephone or make other arrangements at their request.
- At the manager’s discrepancy, it might be wise to offer reimbursement or a replacement to help satisfy the customer, whether this be work redone with only the laboratory costs charged, a full refund or using the same on year rule for repair and replacement of private work as applies to NHS care. However, this should be offered as a goodwill gesture rather than an apology.
Following this procedure, if a patient remains displeased with the outcome then they should be referred to:
The Dental Complaints Service on 08456 120 540 for complaints regarding private treatments
The General Dental Council at 37 Wimpole Street, London W1M 8DG for both private and NHS related queries