Information for Patients about Feedback, Concerns, Comments and our Complaints Policy
Our aim is to give the best possible care and treatment to our patients.
We welcome feedback and comments about our services and aim to deal with any concerns or complaints promptly, courteously and efficiently.
We take steps to make patients aware of how they can give feedback or make a complaint and where they can obtain support for making a complaint.
We consider all feedback, comments, concerns and complaints as a positive way of looking at what we do and making changes to improve our service to patients.
If we cannot resolve matters in the way you want, we will explain why it is not possible to do as you suggest. All views, even those that are anonymous, will be taken seriously and our procedures are in line with the NHS Scotland Complaints Procedure.
The practice Feedback and Complaints Officer is:
Margaret Dow, tel: 0131 334 0891 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Margaret is responsible for the management and handling of feedback, comments, concerns and complaints and for seeing complaints through to resolution.
Feedback, Comments and Concerns
We want you to let us know if something is important to you, such as:
You can tell us by:
We will use the information you give us to improve the services we provide.
Complaints about NHS treatment
You can make a complaint about:
It is not possible to list everything you can complain about. If you want to complain about something not listed above, we encourage you to do so.
You cannot use this complaints procedure:
NB: We will we always offer to resolve your complaint through this complaints procedure before legal action commences
It is not possible to list everything you cannot complain about. If other procedures can help you resolve your concerns, we will give information and advice to help you.
Time limits: Normally, you must make your complaint within 6 months of:
How to make a complaint:
When making your complaint, please give:
*You can make an anonymous complaint but this is likely to limit the ability of the practice to resolve it.
What we will do:
We have a two-stage complaints handling procedure. We will always consider if a complaint can be dealt with at Stage 1 first. If we think the complaint is too complex or serious and clearly needs to be investigated we will go straight to Stage 2. You also have the right to ask for an investigation (without going through Stage 1).
Stage 1: Early Stage
Stage 2 – Investigation
Complaining on someone’s behalf- You can complain for someone else if you:
We follow the same complaints procedure for complaints about private treatment. However, if you require help to make your complaint, or if you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint, the Dental Complaints Service (a department of the General Dental Council) offers a complaints resolution service for private dental patients and dentists (see Contacts below).
If you change your mind after making a complaint
You can change your mind about making a complaint at any time. Please let us know as soon as possible. It would be helpful if you could write or e-mail and tell us, but otherwise a phone call will do.
Help with your complaint
Patient Advice and Support Service
If you would like to speak to someone for independent advice about your rights and responsibilities when using NHS services, including help to make a complaint, please contact your local Patient Advice and Support Service which is available through your local Citizens Advice Scotland bureau (CAS). To find your local CAS office, go to www.cas.org.uk/bureaux and enter your postcode.
If you want someone to help you express your views, you can ask for an advocate. An advocate is independent of the NHS and can help make sure your views are heard and get access to the information you need to make your own decisions. The Feedback and Complaints Officer at Lothian Health Board can tell you more about advocacy services available.
Mediation (also known as Alternative Dispute Resolution):
Information about mediation
If you are not happy with our response to your complaint
If you are still not happy with our response, or if you are not happy with the way we are dealing with your complaint, e.g. if you think we are taking too long, you can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) to consider your complaint further.
The SPSO is the final stage for complaints about public services in Scotland. This includes complaints about the NHS in Scotland. If you remain dissatisfied with an NHS Board or service provider (e.g. a dental practice) after its complaints process has concluded, you can ask the SPSO to look at your complaint.
The SPSO cannot normally look at:
Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO)
4 Melville Street
Tel.: 0800 377 7330
Open from 9.00am – 5.00pm (Mon – Fri), from 10.00am – 5.00pm (Tues)
Feedback and Complaints Manager: Patient Experience Team NHS Lothian
2-4 Waterloo Place
tel: 0131 536 3370
Helpline 0800 22 44 88 (textphone 18001 0800 22 44 88);
Patient Advice and Support Service – available via Citizens Advice Scotland. www.patientadvicescotland.org.uk
Dental Complaints Service
2 Cherry Orchard Road
Both the St John’s Road and East Craigs Dental Practices are open. Due to Covid 19, however, the Scottish Government has imposed extremely strict limitations both on the way all dental practices can operate due to social distancing requirements and on the type of treatment all NHS dentists can carry out.
If patients need advice or treatment in an emergency, they should phone the Practices on the usual numbers and we will help you.
The Scottish Government restrictions mean that although a very limited category of routine treatment is available, the vast majority of treatment options are not yet able to be provided on the NHS. In addition, due to the strict distancing requirements, we are only allowed to operate at a fraction of our normal capacity to ensure the safety of our patients and team members.
Unfortunately, these Government restrictions mean that the majority of treatment that was in progress when we were told to close in March is not yet possible. We realise this is terribly frustrating for our patients and we are also desperate to get back to working normally.
We will contact those patients awaiting treatment once it is able to be carried out. If anyone has any concerns about this, please phone our reception team and ask if the Practice Manager could call you back.
We have huge sympathy for those patients who have been impacted by our enforced closure and the subsequent Government restrictions on dentists in Scotland. We are very keen to return to working normally as soon as we are permitted & we thank all our patients for your support and understanding throughout this challenging time for everyone.