Market Place Dental Practice take complaints very seriously indeed and try to ensure 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.

If patients are not satisfied with the result of the procedure than a complaint may be made to;
The Dental Complaints Service (08456 120 540) for complaints about private treatment.
The General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street London W1M 8DQ
0845 222 4141

Care Quality CommissionCQC National Correspondence Citygate Gallowgate
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4PA 03000 616161

Market Place Dental Practice

Complaints Process

Aim of MPDP complaints process
1. To have in place a complaints process which is open and transparent and:
2. is easy for patients to access,
3. ensures that any complaints received are processed and resolved quickly, efficiently and courteously within the pre-determined timeframes,
4. ensures that solutions are implemented which satisfy and support both the complainant and the practice staff,
5. allows for the dental team to learn from complaints in an effort to improve service.

1. Responsibilities

1. Dr C Hardman will act as overall Complaints Coordinator.
2. All complaints must be handled with great sensitivity as each dentist ultimately has individual legal responsibility for their actions and will seek their own legal representation .Such negotiations are confidential. The relevant principal dentists (S. Goode, O. Guy, L.Breeze, C. Hardman) are responsible for:determining an acceptable timeframe for dealing with complaints and ensuring that all parties are aware of this timeframe.ensuring that all staff are appropriately trained in the procedures for dealing with complaints, have adequate administrative resource and access to senior managerial supervision and are fully supported in the event of a complaint being made against them.Monitoring the complaints process.
3. The relevant dental surgeon is responsible for ensuring that this procedure is followed and complaints are resolved effectively.

2. Method
1. The process for handling complaints is part of the induction programme and continuing education and all staff are fully trained in dealing with complaints.
2. A complaint should be handled positively and regarded as a challenge and an opportunity to improve the quality of the service.
3. Complaints may be received in a number of ways A.Directly to the principle dentist involved either verbal or in writing. Having received a complaint they must make a decision as to how they will deal with the complaint. As a Complaint Log has to be compiled the Complaints coordinator must be informed a complaint has been received and this will be entered into the log with a reference number It is not necessary to divulge any confidential information. B. At the Reception Desk The staff member receiving the complaint should make every effort to initiate a swift and appropriate resolution but if this is not possible then the complainant should be asked to contact the Complaints coordinator in writing. A complaints form should be filled in by the member of staff and be past to Dr C Hardman as soon as possible
4. The Complaint Form shall include full details of the complaint and should include the complainant’s name, date and time complaint was received, method by which the complaint was received, who it was received by, person(s) handling the complaint, immediate action taken, proposed follow-up and a record of any corrective action taken.
5. The Complaint Forms should be passed at the earliest opportunity to the Complaints Coordinator who will enter the complaint in the Complaint Log, giving it a unique number.
6. The Complaints Coordinator on receiving a complaints form will send the Complaint Acknowledgement Letter to the complainant normally within 24 hours acknowledging that the complaint has been received, the nature of the complaint has been understood and the complaint is being dealt with. If the complaints coordinator needs more information he will contact the complainant. Records of any correspondence should be attached to the Complaint Form. The complaints coordinator will attempt to resolve any general complaints but if the complaint is directed at a particular dentist then the coordinator will pass the complaint to that particular dentist for handling.
7. The complainant should be updated with the progress on a regular basis and these updates noted on the Complaint Form.
8. Once appropriate corrective action has been agreed and responsibilities assigned and documented on the Complaint Form, relevant dentist co-ordinates and monitors the implementing of the action.
9. A copy of the form is held in the Complaints file and the original is passed to the member(s) of staff responsible for resolving the complaint.
10. Complaints are reviewed at the Staff Meeting and any long-term preventive action is discussed, agreed and documented on the Complaint Form, and an ‘action by’ date is set. The status of complaints in progress is documented in the meeting minutes.
11. Any complaints which have not handled directly by a particular dentist that has not been completed by the ‘action by’ date shall be investigated by the complaints coordinator. The coordinator should document the findings on the Complaint Form, extending the ‘action by’ date if necessary.
12. Should there be a problem with deciding on or instigating the solution, the matter shall be referred to the principal dentists.
13. The relevant dentist should notify the patient in writing if there complaint was a general one that the problem has been resolved and what action was taken.
14. If appropriate, the corrective action taken should be monitored during the next internal audit of that area and, if effective, the relevant dentist should sign the original Complaint Form off as resolved.
15. Complaints are reviewed by the relevant dentist prior to Management Review to identify any trends. The results are documented in the Quality Manager’s report which is presented at Management Review and should include an analysis of the causes of complaints, emerging trends and the corrective actions taken (or proposed) to prevent recurrence.
16. Should a trend be identified at Management Review, or indeed prior to this, then it may be prudent to carry out a Patient Survey in order to more accurately determine how widespread the problem is. The results of the survey may indicate that further action is necessary.

3. External referencesInternet resources
1. Maintaining Standards, Section 3.13 Handling Complaints – General Dental Council
2. NHS Complaints Procedure – Evaluation Report

4.  Further Information
Department of Health website gives a list of publications and documents including important information regarding the complaints procedure. To simplify things, search either by title, subject or year.
The British Dental Association gives access to a wide range of information including a section for the public. An important site which will allow you to maintain your general dental knowledge, including the information patients have available to them.
The General Dental Council site provides information about the regulatory body of the dental profession including access to downloadable PDF files for, among many others, Maintaining Standards.
The Dental Defence Union website offers many interesting topics including risk management, case histories and a guide to good dental practice.
The Patient Advocacy and Liaison Service can help sort out any problems that patients may have about the NHS including information about the local health services and assistance to contact independent advocacy services in your area if required.