Patient Complaints Policy


Patients’ and carers comments and complaints are listened to and acted on effectively. Patients and carers know that they will not be discriminated against for making a complaint.

A written complaints procedure is displayed in both waiting rooms

At Cuckfield Dental Practice we take complaints very seriously and try to ensure that all patients and carers 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.

We aim to learn from every mistake that we make and we respond to patients’ and carers concerns in a caring and sensitive way respecting their human rights, diversity in a fair and equal manner.

  1. The person responsible for managing with any complaint about the service we provide is: Kerry Davies.
  2. The responsible person at Cuckfield Dental Practice with overall responsibility is Simon Quelch.
  3. If a patient or carer complains on the telephone or at the reception desk, we will listen to his or her complaint and offer to refer him or her to Kerry Davies immediately. If Kerry Davies is not available at the time, then the patient will be told when he or she can be expected to be contacted for example today or tomorrow. The member of staff will take brief details of the complaint and pass them onto Alison. If we cannot arrange this within a reasonable period of time or if the patient does not wish to wait to discuss the matter, arrangements will be made for someone else to deal with it.
  4. If the patient complains in writing or by email, the letter will be passed on immediately to Kerry Davies.
  5. Kerry Davies is responsible to log all complaints on the “comment/complaint form” as accurately as possible.
  6. 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. The dentist will investigate thoroughly and prepare a draft response for Simon Quelch. It may be necessary for dentists to refer to their indemnity organisations.
  7. We will acknowledge the patient’s complaint in writing within 3 days and enclose a copy of this code of practice as soon as possible, normally within 14 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 or her on the telephone or correspond by email. If we are unable to investigate the complaint within ten working days we will notify the patient, giving reasons for the delay and a likely period within which the investigation will be completed.
  8. Following a thorough investigation and following Simon Quelch’s approval, the decision about the complaint will be sent in writing to the patient. On request by the CQC, Simon Quelch will produce a summary in a format set out by CQC within the time frame specified by CQC of complaints.
  9. Proper and comprehensive records are kept of any complaint received.
  10. Where a patient or carer lacks confidence or capacity to make a complaint, team members will help them through the means the patient or carer finds most supportive. Alternatively we will accept comments and complaints made by others acting on their behalf in line with the confidentiality guidelines.
  11. If patients are not satisfied with the result of a procedure then a complaint can be made to:

General Advice

Patient Advice and Liason Service
Brighton General Hospital
Elm Grove
East Sussex

Telephone 01273 242 292

Surrey and Sussex Area Team  
York house
18-20 Massetts Road

Telephone 01293 778899

NHS Treatment (secondary escalation)
NHS Ombudsmen Customer Helpline Telephone 0345 015 4033
Parlimentary Health Service Ombudsmen
Mill Bank Tower
30 Millbank

Private Treatment (secondary escalation)
Dental Complaints Service
37 Wimpole Street

020 8253 0800

Citizens Advice Bureau CAB (Haywards Heath)
Paddockhall Road
Haywards Heath
West Sussex
RH16 1HG

Telephone 0344 4771171 (Advice Line)