At Prince George Dental practice Havant the need for the strict confidentiality of personal information about patients is taken very seriously. All members of the practice team must maintain confidentiality as part of their contract of employment/contract for services with the practice.
The relationship between dentist and patient is based on the understanding that any information revealed by the patient to the dentist will not be divulged without the patient’s consent. Patients have the right to privacy and it is vital that they give the dentist full information on their state of health to ensure that treatment is carried out safely. If confidentiality is breached, the dentist may be liable to investigation by the General Dental Council with the possibility of erasure from the Dentists Register. The dentist may also face legal action by the patient for damages and/or prosecution for breach of the 1998 Data Protection Act.
In this practice we take complaints very seriously indeed 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.
If you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from the dentist or any staff working in this practice, please let us know. We operate a practice complaints procedure. Our complaint system adheres to national criteria.
How to complain
We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, at the time they arise and with the person concerned. If your problem cannot be sorted in this way and you wish to make a complaint, we would like you to let us know as soon as possible – ideally, within a matter of days or at most a few weeks – because this will enable us to establish what happened most easily. If it is not possible to do that, please let us have details of your complaint:
- within 6 months of the incident that caused the problem; or
- with 6 months of discovering that you have a problem, provided this is within 12 months of the incident.
Complaints about the treatment you received should be made to the dentist who normally sees you. You may ask for an appointment for a consultation in order to discuss your concerns. He/she will explain the complaints procedure to you and will ensure that your concerns are dealt with promptly. It will help if you are as clear as possible about your complaint.
If a patient complains on the telephone or at the reception desk, we will listen to their complaint and the patient will be told when they will be able to talk to the dentist and arrangements will be made for this to happen. The member of staff will take brief details of the complaint and pass them on. 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.
If the patient complains in writing the letter will be passed immediately to the Dentist concerned.
What we shall do
We shall acknowledge you complaint within 2 working days and aim to have looked into your complaint within 10 working days of the date when you raised it with us. We shall then be in a position to give you an explanation, or offer a meeting with those involved.
In investigating your complaint, we shall aim to:
- find out what happened and what went wrong
- enable you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like this;
- ensure you receive and apology, where this is appropriate;
- identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again.
Complaining on behalf of someone else
Please note that we keep strictly to the rules of confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we have to know that you have permission to do so. A note signed by the person concerned will be needed, unless they are incapable of providing this because of physical or mental illness or a child under 16 years.
Complaining to Dental Complaints Service
We hope that, if you have a problem, you will make use of our practice complaints procedure. We believe that this will provide the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve our practice. However this does not affect your right to complain to the Dental Complaints Service, if you feel you cannot raise your complaint with us or you are dissatisfied with the result of our investigation. If you wish further advice you should contact:
Dental Complaints Service
The Lansdowne Building, 2 Lansdowne Road, Croydon CR9 2ER tel. 08456 120 540
You may also like to contact The General Dental Council for more advice
The General Dental Council
37 Wimpole Street, London W1M 8DQ tel. 020 7887 3800
email. [email protected]
For those patients registered with the practice with Denplan, contact Denplan by telephone for advice:
Denplan tel. 0800 169 7220