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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 3 July 2013
Date of Publication: 31 July 2013
Inspection Report published 31 July 2013 PDF | 88.03 KB

People should have their complaints listened to and acted on properly (outcome 17)

Meeting this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Are sure that their comments and complaints are listened to and acted on effectively.
  • Know that they will not be discriminated against for making a complaint.

How this check was done

We looked at the personal care or treatment records of people who use the service, carried out a visit on 3 July 2013, observed how people were being cared for and talked with people who use the service. We talked with staff.

Our judgement

There was an effective complaints system available. Comments and complaints people made were responded to appropriately.

Reasons for our judgement

People had their comments and complaints listened to and acted on, without the fear that they would be penalised for making a complaint.

We saw that Southcot dental surgery had a complaints policy and procedure. The procedure was on the wall both in the reception and in the waiting area upstairs so that it was available to people who used the service. The complaints policy we saw contained information on timescale for responding to complaint, who and where to contact. There were details and information on where to refer patients to if their complaint remained unresolved locally, such as the GDC and CQC. We noted that the details and contact numbers of the Dental Complaints Service for complaints about private treatment were in the complaint’s policy. This meant that the surgery had a system in place for dealing with complaint.

The provider may find it useful to note that some patients we spoke with informed us that they were not made aware of whom they should contact if they had any concerns or complaints. One patient said, “I have never been informed of the complaint procedure and do not know about it”. This meant that some patients had not been given access to all the information on their rights to make a complaint about the practice.

The care records we looked at showed that people were regularly involved in their treatment plan. Patients were regularly asked if they were happy with their treatment or wanted to make any changes. One patient said, “Throughout the treatment session, they continuously checked on me. This is reassuring”. We observed this practice during our visit.

Staff we spoke with knew what to do if someone approached them with a concern or complaint and had confidence that the practice manager would take any complaint seriously. A member of staff said, “We encourage patients to put their complaint in writing, so that we can deal with it”. Another staff said, “We respond immediately to complaints and resolve them with patients as quickly as possible to their satisfaction”. This showed that staff were aware of the complaints procedure.