We take pride in our practices and we undertake rigorous quality assurance procedures, to meet, and where possible exceed, the standards expected by the General Dental Council, NHS, Care Quality Commission / Healthcare in Wales and other regulatory bodies. Our service is led by specialist orthodontists. This is a protected title, signifying extensive training in orthodontics and relevant qualifications recognised by the General Dental Council.
So, what do we do to make sure our patients are safe and well treated in our practices?
- All our staff have in depth checks before they start work, including criminal records checks, registration checks, identity verification and health checks.
- Our practice managers check that we keep up to date and organise core training (such as medical emergencies training, safeguarding, and cross-infection control).
- We keep up to date with all regulations regarding sterilising equipment and keeping our surgeries clean. If you would like to see what goes on behind the scenes let us know – we are happy to show you.
- Our practices have safeguarding leads. If there is anything you are worried about regarding the safety of a child or vulnerable adult, ask to speak to Linda Roberts at our Chepstow branch, or Helen Leach at our Shirehampton branch, in confidence.
- We have an audit programme to ensure that treatment standards are high, and that policies are implemented properly.
- Our staff are regularly appraised and their performance standards are monitored.
- We operate a complaints procedure to respond to any concerns patients or their parents / carers have. We will use this system to learn from any mistakes we make.
- We listen to patients and the public. If there is anything you think we could do better, speak to us, send us an email. Or drop a note in our suggestions box. We are also grateful to those families who fill in our annual survey.
We recognise that despite our best efforts, there may be occasions where patients or families have concerns and that mistakes do happen. Our complaints procedure is designed to resolve concerns and problems in the fairest way and in as short a timescale as possible. Use of the complaints policy will never be held against a patient or their family.
SMILE SOLUTION COMPLAINTS POLICY
In this practice we take complaints very seriously indeed and try to ensure that all patients are pleased with their experience of our service.
We will do our best to learn from every mistake that we make and we will respond to a patient’s concern in a caring and sensitive way.
- The person responsible for dealing with any complaint about the service we provide is our practice manager, who will be contacted via the reception staff.
- We will listen to his/her complaint and offer to refer him/her to the practice manager immediately.
- If the practice manager is not available at the time, then the patient will be told when he/she will be able to talk to the orthodontist and arrangements will be made for this to happen.
- If the patient complains in writing the letter will be passed on immediately to the practice manager.
- If a complaint is about any aspect of clinical care or associated charges it will normally be referred to the orthodontist, unless the patient does not want this to happen.
- We will acknowledge the patient’s complaint in writing and enclose a copy of our code of practice as soon as possible, normally within two working days. We will seek to investigate the complaint within ten working days of the complaint being received 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 him/her on the telephone. If we are unable to investigate the complaint within ten working days we will notify the patient, giving reasons for the delay and the likely period within which the investigation will be completed.
- We will confirm the decision about the complaint in writing to the patient immediately after completing our investigation.
- Proper and comprehensive reports are kept in the event of any complaint received.
If patients are not satisfied with the result of our procedure, then complaints may escalated:
- Bristol NHS patients – either NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT / telephone 0300 311 22 33 / e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org(mailto:email@example.com). If you are making a complaint please mark it for the attention of the complaints team in the subject line.
- Bristol private patients – General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London W1M 8DQ or www.dentalcomplaints.org.uk.
- Chepstow NHS patients – Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, 1 Ffordd yr Hen Gae, Pencoed, CF35 5LJ, 0300 790 0203, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Chepstow private patients – Dental Complaints Service, Stephenson House, 2 Cherry Orchard Road, Croydon CR0 6BA, 020 8253 0800, email@example.com.