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Making a complaint
Most problems can be sorted out quickly and easily, often at the time they arise with the person concerned, and this may be the approach you try first.
Where you are not able to resolve your complaint in this way, and wish to make a formal complaint, you should do so, preferably in writing as soon as possible after the event and ideally within a few days, as this helps us to establish what happened more easily. In any event, this should be:
If you are a registered patient you can complain about your own care. You are unable to complain about someone else’s treatment without their written authority.
Send your written complaint to: Miss Lauren Smith, The Health Centre Dental Practice, Station Approach,
What we do next
We look to settle complaints as soon as possible. We will acknowledge receipt within 2 working days, and aim to have looked into the matter within 10 working days. You may then receive a formal reply in writing, or you may be invited to meet with the person(s) concerned to attempt to resolve the issue. If the matter is likely to take longer than this we will let you know and keep you informed as the investigation progresses.
When looking into a complaint we attempt to see what happened and why, to see if there is something we can learn from this, and make it possible for you to discuss the issue with those involved if you would like to do so.
When the investigations are complete your complaint will be determined and final response sent to you.
Where your complaint involves more than one organisation (e.g. social services) we will liaise with that organisation so that you receive one coordinated reply. We may need your consent to do this. Where your complaint has been sent initially to an incorrect organisation, we may seek your consent to forward this to the correct person to deal with. The final response letter will include details of the result of your complaint and also your right to escalate the matter further if you remain dissatisfied with the response.
Complaining on behalf of someone else
We keep to the strict rules of medical and personal confidentiality. If you wish to make a complaint and are not the patient involved, we will require the written consent of the patient to confirm they are unhappy with their treatment and that we can deal with someone else about it.
Where the patient is incapable of providing consent due to illness or accident it may still be possible to deal with the complaint. Please provide the precise details of the circumstances which prevent this in your covering letter.
Please note that we are unable to discuss any issue relating to someone else without their express permission, which must be in writing, unless the circumstances above apply. We may still need to correspond directly with the patient, or may be able to deal directly with the third party, but this depends on wording of the written authority provided.
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome
We hope that if you have a problem you will use our practice complaints procedure. We believe this will give us the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and the opportunity to improve out practice. However, this does not affect your right to approach the Primary Care Trust if you feel you cannot raise your complaint with us, or you are dissatisfied with the way we are dealing with your complaint. The Patient Advice and Liaison Service based at NHS Wiltshire provides confidential advice and support and will guide you through the different services available from the NHS:
Patient Advice and Liaison Service
NHS Bath and North
Telephone number: 08003897671
You also have the right to approach the Ombudsman. The contact details are:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Telephone number: 03450154033