Raising Complaints

Introduction
A complaint can be made verbally or in writing by:

Complaints Process
Once a complaint has been received it will be dealt with using a formal process. Whenever possible Edgbaston Smile Clinic Limited will attempt to resolve the issue immediately to the satisfaction of the complainant. However, if a complaint cannot be resolved to the complainant's satisfaction within 24 hours we will send a letter of acknowledgement to the complainant within three days of receipt of the complaint.

Before beginning an investigation, Edgbaston Smile Clinic Limited will assess the seriousness of the complaint using the Department of Health toolkit1 on assessing and investigating complaints and the BMA complaints handling planning tool2

A meeting will be arranged for the complaint investigator to discuss the complaint with the complainant. At the earliest opportunity, Edgbaston Smile Clinic Limited will establish what outcome the complainant expects and let the complainant know whether this is a realistic expectation. At this meeting we will agree an action plan, preferred communication method and timescale for the investigation and review date. Following the investigation, we will write to the complainant with the findings and proposed remedies, if indicated. We will offer a further meeting, if appropriate.

If the complainant is not satisfied with our response and proposed plans to remedy the complaint they can take the matter to the Dental Complaints Service3

Time Limits for Submitting a Complaint
Complaints can be made up to 12 months after the incident that gave rise to the complaint, or from the time the complainant was made aware thereof. Beyond this timescale, it is at the discretion of Edgbaston Smile Clinic Limited whether or not to investigate the matter.

The Complaints Register
A separate file will be kept for complaints, records and letters. These will not appear in a patient's electronic or paper medical records.
The register will contain all correspondence from each complaint received including the following:

Any complaint resolved by Edgbaston Smile Clinic Limited via the formal complaint’s procedure will be kept on record for 10 years. The Clinic will comply with Data Protection legislation and General Data Protection regulations in relation to complaint handling, recording, storing and archiving.

References

1 Listening, Responding, Improving: a Guide to Better Customer Care 2009 https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk

2 BMA complaints handling planning tool https://www.bma.org.uk/advice/employment/gp-practices/service-provision/nhs-complaints-procedure

3 Dental Complaints Service https://dcs.gdc-uk.org