Our opinion on complaint handling best practice, the six core principles

When I am working with a practice on their patient experience, handling complaints can be on the agenda. Unfortunately sometimes dealing with rude and abusive patients is on the agenda too.

This week the “six core principles for handling complaints” has been released. This is a joint initiative by 28 organisations in Dentistry to support complaint handling in practice with the aim of reducing patients going directly to the General Dental Council.

When dealing with a disgruntled patient I always advise that the team listen, use positive body language and encourage the patient to use the practice’s complaints procedure – this can worry practice owners and managers as complaints are seen as a negative. To me they can be really positive as they may:

For me, there are three categories of complaint:

Minor – parking issues, roadworks and the clinician running up to five minutes late.

Medium – Running over five minutes late, cancelling patients, charging a patient for an FTA, failed treatment, unhappy outcome from treatment.

Major – GDC, CQC, legal letter.

All of the minor and medium complaints need to be logged regardless of a patient making a formal complaint.

I agree with the recommendations in the poster but do want to stress that the team do need to be trained on how to handle a complaint and they must know the complaints procedure so that they can communicate it with ease.

For more information and to download the poster and leaflets click here









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