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Identifying and Receiving Complaints
Patients may raise concerns to any member of staff, verbally or in writing.
Complaints should be directed in the first instance to:
Oaklands Dental Surgery
378 Tag Lane
They will be directed to Oaklands Practice Manager or Complaints Lead to hear them, or to address a written concern.
In all cases an acknowledgement will be raised in writing and provided to the complainant within three working days, together with a copy of the Complaints Procedure if this has not been obtained before.
The reply will give an estimate of the time required to investigate the complaint and reply again, which would normally be within ten working days and no later than twenty days.
A written response, including the result of investigation, will be issued to the patient at that time. If this is not possible, the patient will be informed in writing why, and a new time frame issued.
Written documentation is retained.
Patients are informed of the address of the relevant commissioning body, PALS, Health Ombudsman and the GDC should they wish further information or address.
All complaints are recorded on a complaints record sheet. Regular review of complaints records will assist the Management team in identifying any trends.
All complaints will be acknowledged in writing within 3 working days. Complainants will be replied to within 10 working days of the complaint arising or we will give an estimate of the time required to investigate the complaint and the complainant will be given the opportunity to agree an alternative timescale if needed.
The response will substantiate or not substantiate all points made and give a detailed outcome response with all actions to be taken to resolve issues that have been raised.
Investigating the Complaint
Investigations and the related results will be recorded on the complaints form, including additional sheets, if required.
Complaints will be investigated in the first instance by Practice Manager and/or Complaints Lead, and referred up the chain of management as necessary to reach a satisfactory outcome for the complainant. The Registered Manager will become aware of the matters dealt with by other persons by way of the regular review of the file.
The Registered Manager will take corrective action if it is felt during this review that complaints are not being appropriately referred up the line of management.
The person investigating the complaint should gather the information or evidence necessary to fully understand the complainant’s concerns. This may include reviewing additional records or speaking to any witnesses.
Recording the Complaint
All employees are warned that written complaints recording rules must be complied with, and those records held where they are freely available to supervisors and managers. Any attempt to conceal a complaint may give rise to formal disciplinary action.
The complainant will be requested to examine the written records of the complaint and sign to indicate agreement with the outcome.
Records must be kept of all complaints, including those for which no actions were considered necessary after a full and fair investigation.
In the event of a continued disagreement which cannot be resolved internally, the complainant will be advised to approach an appropriate external authority, such as the CQC, funding authorities such as Social Services or NHS, an independent advocacy service or the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
The completed complaints form will then be handed to the Registered Manager nominated Complaints Lead for permanent filing, in the complaints file.
The Management Meeting will periodically (recommended every three months) review all complaints and significant event analysis carried out since the previous review, in order to identify trends and matters which may have appeared to be relatively minor at the time, but which indicate a deeper problem.
The services action plan should be updated to include all actions to be taken to resolve any requirements or recommendations made following any investigation.
The records are kept and provided to CQC at any time that they may ask for them.
Complaints Analysis – Following a full and fair investigation
The Registered Manager and/or Complaints Lead will conduct a significant event analysis (SEA) for each complaint received.
Findings from the SEA will be presented at a policy review meeting to make recommendations to improve services.
A full report of the SEA findings along with recommendations to prevent recurrences will be presented to the Registered Provider and after full consideration of the recommendations agreed, relevant policy changes will be made and the team updated.
Measures taken to improve services will be reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure that improvements have been maintained.
Duty of Candour
If the complaint is a notifiable incident, as per the Duty of Candour Policy and Procedure, we shall follow that procedure as indicated.
This practice will ensure that every team member is familiar with Oaklands complaints procedure.
We will provide initial training and regular updates to ensure staff can deal with patients concerns and complaints, and know how to apologise and offer practical solutions.
KEY CONTACTS FOR NHS PATIENTS
Care Quality Commission (CQC)
CQC National Customer Service Centre Citygate Gallowgate Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4PA
Telephone: 03000 616161
Fax: 03000 616171
Clinical Commissioning Group The Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Coventry CV4 0EH
Telephone: 0345 015 4033 or 0300 061 0614 Fax: 0300 061 4000
FOR PRIVATE PATIENTS
Dental Complaints Service: https://dcs.gdc-uk.org/
Helpline 0345 015 4033
The Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service (ISCAS)
ISCAS, CEDR, 3rd Floor 100 St. Paul’s Churchyard London EC4M 8BU
Phone: 020 7536 6091