Policies and Complaints' Procedure
The satisfaction of our patients at Marine Dental Practice is our key priority. It is for this reason that we have set in place a simple and effective complaints’ system.
In the unlikely event that you are dissatisfied with any aspect of a treatment by Marine Dental Practice, you can complain to us directly and we will offer a prompt resolution.
If you remain dissatisfied, you can pursue the option of a formal complaint against the practice with the Dental Complaints’ Service (DCS). The DCS exists to help with those complaints arising from dental care which was provided @either unfairly or inefficiently’. We will furnish you with a copy of the DCS policy upon request.
Further assistance in making a formal complaint can be obtained from an NHS Complaints’ Advocate. If you are still dissatisfied with the way in which our practice, or NHS England, has handled your formal complaint, you can also approach the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) the person responsible for making final decisions concerning NHS complaints which haven’t so far been satisfactorily resolved.
Policy concerning patient choice at Marine Dental Practice
Our goal is to provide you with continuing dental care from one dentist whom you trust. But in a scenario where this is impossible to do this, such as the unavoidable absence of your preferred dentist on the day of your visit, we can assign you with an equally competent dentist. To maximise the chance that your preferred dentist will be available on the day in question, call us early to book an appointment 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 of cancellation at least seven days before the appointment date. While it is not our policy to charge for missed NHS appointments, be advised that if you fail to provide the required notice we may not be able to see you on an NHS basis in future. If you are a private patient and you do not provide us with any notice of cancellation, 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. Working with ICAS will give you an opportunity to speak confidentially and gain assistance from someone who is truly impartial.
Speaking to ICAS staff will also give you the opportunity to explore all your options. They can help write an effective and concise letter which clarifies and pinpoints your grievances. They will assist in preparing for meetings and speak to third parties on your behalf as well as giving advice about methods of reaching a settlement.
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 becoming aware of the issue. For people in exceptional cases, this time frame may be extended.
If you have a complaint about treatment provided by us – on a private or NHS basis – please contact our complaints’ manager so we can promptly resolve the matter. If you prefer, we can put you in direct touch with the formal bodies who investigate dental complaints.