Policies and complaints procedure at Marine Dental Practice
The satisfaction of our patients at Marine Dental Practice is a priority for us. It is for this reason that we have set in place a simple and effective procedure for complaints.
In the unlikely event that you are dissatisfied with any aspect of a treatment or any other service, you can complain to us directly. By directly informing us of your dissatisfaction, we can provide you with a prompt resolution to your complaint. Our complaints procedure is easy, friendly and ensures that you can get a response to your complaint within the shortest possible time.
If you are dissatisfied with our response to your complaint, you can pursue the option of a formal complaint against the practice with the Dental Complaints’ Service (DCS). The DCS provides a free and impartial service which is designed assist you in settling complaints which arise from dental care which was provided either ‘unfairly or inefficiently’. We are willing to provide you with a copy of the policy which will inform you on how to go about accomplishing this.
Further assistance in making a formal complaint can be attained through an NHS Complaints’ Advocate. If you are dissatisfied with the way in which our practice, or NHS England, handled your formal complaint, you can approach the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO). The PHSO is responsible for making final decisions concerning complaints which haven’t been satisfactorily resolved by the NHS.
Policy concerning patient choice at Marine Dental Practice
Our goal is to provide you with continuing dental care from one dentist whom you trust and are comfortable with. But in a scenario where this is impossible for some reason, such as the unavoidable absence of your preferred dentist on the day of your visit, we can provide you with an equally competent dentist to care for your needs.
To ensure that your preferred dentist will be available on the day you choose to visit, simply give us a call to book an appointment with your preferred specialist and we’ll do our best to accommodate your request.
Policy concerning cancellations at Marine Dental Practice
Any appointment you’ve made with us requires at least 24 hours’ notice of cancellation. But if your appointment is with one of our hygienists, we’d prefer you to inform us at least one week before the appointment date if you’d like to cancel.
We do not charge for missed NHS appointments, but if you fail to provide the required notice we may not be able to see you on an NHS basis in the future.
On the other hand, if you are a private patient and you do not provide us with a notice of cancellation as required, you may incur charges for the full cost of the appointment.
Safety concerns about our dentistry or practice
If, for whatever reason, you are concerned about the level of safety of our practice, or that our services might in some way place our patients at risk, please feel free to talk to us about it or contact the General Dental Council (GDC). The GDC is responsible for regulating the activities of dental professionals in the UK. But keep in mind that the GDC doesn’t resolve complaints or award compensation.
You can also inform the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which will investigate such a complaint and use the provided information to see if we’re operating according to their quality and safety standards – which we always are.
Independent Complaints and Advocacy Services (ICAS)
At any point during your complaint, you can access free advice and assistance from the Independent Complaints and Advocacy Service (ICAS). ICAS operates independently of the NHS and its staff serve as advocates. Working with ICAS will give you an opportunity to speak confidentially and gain impartial assistance from someone who cannot be influenced by the NHS.
Speaking to ICAS staff will also give you the opportunity to explore all the options available to you concerning settling your complaint. They can also help you to write an effective and concise letter which clearly states your grievances. Assistance with preparing for and attending any necessary meetings will also be at your disposal. And if you need any help contacting or speaking to any third parties, ICAS can help, with your consent.
Complaints made to ICAS need to be lodged within 12 months of the date of the incident you are complaining about, or within 12 months of you being aware of the issue. For people in exceptional cases, this time frame may be extended.
If you have a complaint about treatment which has been provided to you, be it on a private or NHS basis, please contact us via telephone or in writing to our complaints manager so we can promptly solve the problem. And if you prefer, we can direct you on which governing bodies you can contact to further pursue a complaint.