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NHS Patient Complaints Procedure

Code of practice – Patient information

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.

Our aim is to react to complaints in the way in which we would want our complaint about a service to be handled. We learn from every mistake that we make and respond to customers concerns in a caring and sensitive manner.

If you have been dissatisfied or concerned about the service you have received from a dentist or any member of staff working in the practice, please let us know. We operate a complaints procedure for registered NHS patients in the practice.

We hope that most problems can be resolved easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned. If your problem cannot be resolved 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 a week at the most. This enables us to establish what happened more easily. If it is not possible to do this, please let us have the details of the complaint.

  • Within 6 months of the incident that caused the problem
  • Within 6 months of discovering that you have a problem, provided this is within 12 months of the incident
  1. The person responsible for dealing with any complaint about the service we provide is :
    Cathy Jones – Area Manager
    Louise Anderson – HR / Practice Manager

  2. If a person complaints on the telephone or at reception desk, we will listen to their complaint and offer to refer him/her to Cathy or Louise immediately. If Cathy or Louise are not available at the time, then the patients will be told 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. Cathy and Lousie will explain the procedure to you and ensure that your concerns are dealt with promptly. It would be a great help if you are specific as possible about your concern.

  3. If the complaint is in writing the letter will be passed on immediately to:
    Cathy Jones or Louise Anderson

  4. If a complaint is about any aspect of clinical care or associated charges it will normally be referred to the dentist, unless the patient does not want this to happen.

  5. We shall acknowledge the patients complaint in writing and enclose a copy of this code of practice as soon as possible within 2 working days. We will seek to investigate the complaint within 10 working days of receipt to give an explanation of the circumstances which led to the complaint. If the patient does not wish to meet us, then we will attempt to talk to them on the telephone. If we are unable to investigate the complaint within 10 working days we will notify the patient, giving reasons for the delay and a likely period within which the investigation will be completed.

    In investigating the complaint we shall aim to:

    • Find out what happened and what went wrong
    • Make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned
    • Make sure you receive an apology, where it is appropriate
    • Identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not arise again
    • Please not 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 letter signed by the person concerned will be needed unless they are incapable because of physical and mental illness to do so.
  6. We will confirm the decision about the complaint in writing immediately after completing our investigation.

  7. Proper and comprehensive records are kept of any complaint received.

  8. If the patients are not satisfied with the result of our procedure then it can passed to:

    Putting Things Right
    Hywel Dda Local Health Board
    Phone: 0300 0200 159
    Email: hdhb.patientsupportservices@wales.nhs.uk

    Letter: Attention of Chief Executive
    Freepost RTJR-ZKJG-JZTC
    Patient Support Services
    Hywel Dda University Health Board
    Fishguard Road
    SA61 2PZ
    Fax: 01437 773353
    Texting: 07891 142 240

    Public Services Ombudsman for Wales
    0845 601 0987
    Email: www.ombudsman-wales.org.uk

    1 Ffordd yr Hen Gae
    CF35 5LJ

    You are able to get free help, support and advice in assisting you to make your complaint from Hywel Dda Community Health Council ( CHC). This is a free and independent advocacy service.

    Hywel Dda Community Health Council
    Suite 1,Cedar Court
    Havens Head
    Milford Haven
    SA73 3LS

    Tel: 01646 697610
    Fax: 01646 697256