Complaints procedure

At Smiles Dental Care, we pride ourselves on the high quality of care we provide our patients. Our aim is to look after you as we wish to be looked after ourselves.

However, if you have any concerns or comments regarding your dental care, we will address these as a matter of priority.

We welcome all feedback, both positive and negative, regarding all feedback as an opportunity to learn and improve our service in the future.  We will not react  unnecessarily defensively, and your confidentiality and access to our services will be protected.

How do I complain?

If you wish to complain to the practice, you can do so directly to your dentist or any member of the Smiles Dental Care team, either verbally or in writing.  Please contact the practice on the below details, should you wish to make a complaint.

Smiles Dental Care 14 Ballymoney Rd Ballymena Northern Ireland BT43 5BY tel: 028 2565 5060email: reception.smilesdentalcare@portmanhealthcare.co.uk

Timescales

We hope that most concerns can be resolved swiftly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned. If your concern cannot be resolved this way and you wish to make a complaint, please contact the practice as soon as possible. 

Whilst you should make your complaint as soon as possible after the event, we can consider complaints made within six months of the date of discovering the problem, provided this is within twelve months of the incident. If it is clearly unreasonable in the circumstances to make a complaint earlier and where it is still possible to investigate the facts of the case, we can consider extending this time limit. 

Complaining on behalf of someone else

Please note that we keep strictly to the rules of confidentially. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we have to know that you have his or her permission to do so, (except where the patient is a minor and the person concerned has parental responsibilities). 

How will my complaint be handled?

Verbal

A verbal complaint made to a member of the practice team will be immediately logged and we will try and resolve your concerns at that time.  If appropriate, the Practice Manager, will be able to discuss your complaint to try and resolve the situation for you.

As all of our dentists operate as independent practitioners, any complaint concerning clinical care will be immediately passed to your treating dentist.  Regarding a verbal complaint over your care, the treating dentist should be available to discuss and resolve your concerns.

Written

You can make a complaint in writing to Smiles Dental Care, for attention of the Practice Manager or the dentist, and it will be handled as outlined below.

  1. An acknowledgement letter of your complaint will be sent to you within 3 working days.
  2. Our Complaints Manager, Dr. Laura Hunter, will be made aware of your complaint.
  3. If your complaint is regarding clinical care, it will be passed to your treating dentist for them to provide a response and resolution. 
  4. A full response will be provided to you within 15 working days.

If we anticipate any delays in providing a full response, you will be notified and kept updated every 10 working days of the progress of your complaint.

Sharing your complaint

Anonymised copies of all NHS complaints and their respective responses are required to be forwarded to the Health and Social Care Board, (the Board), 12 – 22 Linenhall Street, Belfast, BT2 8BS, for monitoring purposes. If you do not wish for your complaints correspondence to be shared with the Board, please let us know.

What do I do if I’m not satisfied with the complaints process?

If you’re not happy with how your complaint has been handled, then please get in touch with our Complaints Manager, Dr. Laura Hunter, who can be contacted at:

Laura Hunter
Portman Healthcare
Rosehill
New Barn Lane
Cheltenham
Gloucestershire
GL52 3LZ
email: laura.hunter@portmanhealthcare.co.uk

Complaints in relation to NHS Treatment

We hope that if you have a concern, you will make use of our Practice Complaints procedure. We believe that 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 approach the Health and Social Care Board, (the Board), if you feel that you cannot raise your complaint with us or you are dissatisfied with the result of our investigation. If this is the case, please contact the Board’s Complaints Officer for advice and assistance. The Board can act as an ‘honest broker’ or intermediary between you and the Practice to hopefully resolve your complaint at Practice level. 

Health & Social Care Board
Complaints Office
12-22 Linenhall Street
HSC Board Headquarters
Belfast
BT2 8BS
tel: 028 95363893
email: complaints.hscb@hscni.net
website: http://www.hscboard.hscni.net/contacts/complaints-team/

Patient and Client Council

You can be supported throughout the complaints process by the Patient and Client Council (PCC), which can act as an advocate for you. The PCC can be contacted at: 

email:complaints.pcc@hscni.net
tel: 0800 917 0222

Complaints in relation to Private Treatment

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint you may contact:

Dental Complaints Service 
37 Wimpole Street
London
W1G 8DQ
tel: 020 8253 0800 in office hours (Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm)email:info@dentalcomplaints.org.uk
website: www.dentalcomplaints.org.uk

OR

The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority
9thFloor Riverside Tower
Lanyon Place
Belfast
BT1 3BT
tel:
02890 517500
fax:
02890 517501
website
:www.rqia.org.uk

How do I complain about the service received by Denplan, Simply Health Professionals?

If you wish to complain about the service received in relation to your Denplan plan, their Patient Support team can be contacted and will aim to resolve your complaint within 10 working days.  

They can be contacted on 0800 401 402, between 8.30am and 5.30pm Mondays to Thursdays, or 8.30am to 4.30pm on Fridays

Alternatively, they can be contacted be post or email at:

The Head of Customer Services
Denplan Limited
Simplyhealth House
Victoria Road
Winchester
SO23 7RG
email: customerrelations@denplan.co.uk

NI Public Services Ombudsman

If your complaint cannot be resolved at Practice level you retain the right to approach the NI Public Services Ombudsman. If you choose to do so, this should be within six months of receiving the final response from the Practice. Please note, that the Ombudsman will not normally accept a complaint before local resolution has been exhausted.

Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman
Progressive House
33-37 Wellington Place
Belfast
BT1 6HN
tel:  02890 233821
email: nipso.org.uk
website: www.nipso.org.uk

Portman Dental Care Awards

Fmc Logo 2019 Winner Oby M25
Award Logo 2018
Dental Industry Award - Portman Dental Care
The Dentistry Awards - Portman Dental Care
Private Dentistry Awards - Portman Dental Care
Elite Practice Award - Portman Dental Care