In this practice we take complaints very seriously 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.

The person responsible for dealing with any complaint about the service which we provide is Mrs Heather Fair, Practice Manager.

How to Complain

We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, at the time they arise and with the person concerned. If your problem cannot be sorted in 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 at most a few weeks – because this will enable us to establish what happened most easily.

You should try to complain as soon as possible, usually within six months of you becoming aware that you have a cause for complaint and normally no longer than 12 months after the event.

You should try to provide details of:

1) how to contact you

2) who or what you are complaining about

3) where and when the event that caused your complaint happened

  • if possible, what you would like to be done to address your complaint.

Who to Complain to?

You can speak to any member of staff who is involved in your treatment or care about your complaint. Complaints about the dental treatment you received should be made to the dentist who normally sees you.

If this does not deal with your complaint, you may raise a complaint with Mrs Fair by

  • Writing to or emailing Mrs Fair
  • Asking Mrs Fair to telephone you or
  • Arranging for a meeting with Mrs Fair

Mrs Fair will explain the complaints procedure to you and will ensure that your concerns are dealt with promptly. It will help if you are as clear as possible about your complaint.

Complaining on Behalf of Someone Else

Please note 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 their permission to do so. A note signed by the person concerned will be needed, unless they are incapable of providing this – either because of physical or mental illness or because they are a child under 16 years.

What We Shall Do

Mrs Fair will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days and aim to have looked into your complaint within 10 working days of the date when you raised it.

She will then be in a position to give you an explanation, or offer a meeting with those involved.

In investigating your complaint, she shall aim to:

  • find out what happened and what went wrong
  • enable you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like this;
  • make sure you receive an apology, where this is appropriate;
  • identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again.

Complaining to Dental Complaints Service

We hope that, if you have a problem, you will make use of our practice complaints procedure. We believe this will provide the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve our practice. However this does not affect your right to complain to the Health Ombudsman, if you feel you cannot raise your complaint with us or you are dissatisfied with the result of our investigation.

The Ombudsman, Freepost BEL 1478, Belfast BT1 6BR  tel: 0800 34 34 24

If you need help with your complaint regarding treatment under the NHS, you can get advice from the Health & Social Care Board, Complaints Office, 12-22 Linenhall Street, Belfast BT2 8BS, tel:028 9032 1313, email complaints.hscb@hscni.net

If you have a problem with private treatment you may contact

The Dental Complaints Service The Landsdown Building, 2 Landsdown Road, Croyden, Greater London CR9 2ER, Tel: 08456 120 540

The British Dental Health Foundation has a telephone line, 0845 063 2288 to advise and support you. The Patient & Client Council, tel: freefone 0800 917 0222  can also help you.

The practice is inspected by RQIA, 9th Floor, Riverside Tower, 5 Lanyon Place, Belfast BT1 3BT tel: 028 9051 7500  email: info @rqia.org.

The General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London W1M 8DQ, is the Dental Professionals registration body.