Comments, Suggestions and Complaints Policy

Your comments suggestions and complaints are important to us. If you feel that our service is not up to your expectations or would like to discuss any matter, please let us know immediately so that we may hope to resolve the situation. When a complaint is received, it is dealt with courteously and promptly so that the matter is resolved as quickly as possible. This procedure is based on these objectives.

Our aim is to react to complaints in the way in which we would want our complaint about a service to behandled. We learn from every mistake that we make and we respond to patient’s concerns in a caring and sensitive way.

  1. The person responsible for dealing with any complaint about services we provide is the Practice Manager.
  2. If a patient complains on the telephone or at the reception desk, we will listen to his or her complaint and refer him or her to the Practice Manager immediately. If the Practice Manager is not available at the time, then the patient will be told when he or she will be able to talk to the dentist and arrangements will be made for this to happen. The member of staff will take brief details of the complaint and pass them on.
  3. If the patient complains in writing, the letter will be passed on immediately to the Practice Manager.
  4. We will acknowledge the patient’s complaint in writing as soon as possible, normally within two working days. We will investigate the complaint within ten working days of the complaint being received to give an explanation of the circumstances that 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. If we are unable to investigate the complaint within ten working days we will notify the patient, giving reasons for the delay and the likely period within which the investigation will be completed.
  5. We will confirm the decision about the complaint in writing to the patient immediately after completing our investigation.
  6. Proper and comprehensive reports are kept of any complaint received.
  7. If patients are not satisfied with the result of our procedure then a complaint may be made to:

The Dental Complaints Service (08456 120 540)


The General Dental Council
37 Wimpole Street,
(the dentists’ registration body).

Complaints Handling Policy

Code of practice for patient complaints

In this practice we take complaints very seriously and try to ensure that all our patients 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.

Our aim is to react to complaints in the way in which we would want our complaint about a service to be handled. We learn from every mistake that we make and we respond to customers’ concerns in a caring and sensitive way.

The person responsible for dealing with any complaint about the service which we provide is James O’Farrell, our Complaints Manager.
If a patient complains on the telephone or at the reception desk, we will listen to their complaint and offer to refer him or her to the Complaints Manager immediately. If the Complaints Manager is not available at the time, then the patient will be told when they will be able to talk to the dentist and arrangements will be made for this to happen. The member of staff will take brief details of the complaint and pass them on. If we cannot arrange this within a reasonable period or if the patient does not wish to wait to discuss the matter, arrangements will be made for someone else to deal with it.
If the patient complains in writing the letter or email will be passed on immediately to the Complaints Manager.
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.
We will acknowledge the patient’s complaint in writing and enclose a copy of this code of practice as soon as possible, normally within three working days.
We will seek to investigate the complaint within ten working days of receipt 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 them on the telephone. 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.
We will confirm the decision about the complaint in writing immediately after completing our investigation.
Proper and comprehensive records are kept of any complaint received.
If patients are not satisfied with the result of our procedure then a complaint may be made to:
The Dental Complaints Service, The Lansdowne Building, 2 Lansdowne Road, Croydon, Greater London CR9 2ER (Telephone: 08456 120 540) for complaints about private treatment
The General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London, W1M 8DQ (Telephone: 0845 222 4141), the dentists’ regulatory body for complaints about professional misconduct

Confidentiality Policy

The practice is committed to complying with the requirements of the legislation governing patient confidentiality including: Access to Health Records 1990, Caldicott Guidelines 1997, Confidentiality Code of Practice 1998, Data Protection Act 1998 and the GDC Standards for Dental Professionals 2009 on Principles of Patient Confidentiality.

For the purpose of this policy confidential information is defined as personal information provided by an individual in confidence including, but not limited to, such details as name, age, address, personal circumstances, race, health, sexuality, etc. Note that even the fact that a patient attends the practice is confidential. This information may be supplied or stored on any medium and includes images, videos, health records, computer records or verbally.

All staff members are aware of their responsibilities for safeguarding patient confidentiality and keeping information secure and have received appropriate training on the legislation requirements to ensure that:

No personal information given or received in confidence is passed on to anyone else without the prior consent of the information provider
No personal information given or received in confidence for one purpose is used for another purpose without the prior consent of the information provider
Patients are entitled to object to the use of their confidential information for any other purpose than their care
The duty of confidentiality to deceased patients is treated in the same way as that of living patients
The rules of disclosure are strictly followed every time information is passed on to another person or organisation
Patient information will only be used for teaching or research purposes when consent has been obtained, an explanation has been made to the patient as to the purpose and amount of information to be used and only the requisite minimum information released for that purpose.
Personal information is only disclosed to another person or organisation when:

The patient’s consent has been obtained.
The disclosure is in the patient’s best interest (referral).
The information recipient falls under the category of ‘needs to know basis’ and is directly involved in patient care or the use is justified for the purposes described in the list of circumstances in the ‘Disclosure on a need to know basis’ section.
Disclosure is required by a court or a court order.
Disclosure is required by law.
Information is requested by the police in order to detect or prevent serious crime.

Confidentiality of a child (> 16 yrs age) who is competent to make their own decisions should be respected if asked for it.

The practice treats breaches of confidentiality very seriously. No team member shall knowinglymisuse any confidential information or allow others to do so. Non-compliance with this policy may result in a disciplinary action.

Consent Policy

The practice follows the GDC guidelines ‘Principles of Patient Consent’. All clinical team members providing treatment requiring consent are adequately trained and ensure that the patient has:

  • Enough information to make a decision (informed consent)
  • Made a decision (voluntary decision-making)
  • The ability to make an informed decision (ability).

The nature of treatment and all charges are clarified to the patient before the treatment commences and s/he is provided with a written treatment plan and cost estimate. All team members are aware that once the consent has been given it may be withdrawn at any time and they will respect the patient’s decision.

If the team member is uncertain about the patient’s ability to give informed consent they will consult their dental defence organisation for advice.

We ensure that:

  1. Patients have time to consider the treatment plan.
  2. Patients understand the fees, what they are for and how they need to pay.
  3. Patients are given receipts and statements of accounts when requested.
  4. We respect a patient’s wishes to have a second person to help understand the options and make an informed decision.
  5. We respect and take into account a patient’s decision to refuse or withdraw consent.


A child (> 16 years of age) may be competent to make their own decisions and should be respected.

Where a child is unable to give consent, we will identify who has parental responsibility.

Data Protection Policy

The practice is committed to complying with the Data Protection Act 1998 by collecting, holding, maintaining and accessing data in an open and fair fashion.

The practice will only keep relevant information about employees for the purposes of employment, or about patients to provide them with safe and appropriate dental care. The practice will not process any relevant ‘sensitive personal data’ without prior informed consent. As defined by the Act ‘sensitive personal data’ is that related to political opinion, racial or ethnic origin, membership of a trade union, the sexual life of the individual, physical or mental health or condition, religious or other beliefs of a similar nature. Sickness and accidents records will also be kept confidential.

All manual and computerised records will be kept in a secure place; they will be regularly reviewed, updated and destroyed in a confidential manner when no longer required. Personnel records will only be seen by appropriate management.

Patients’ records will only be seen by appropriate team members. To facilitate patients’ health care the personal information about them may be disclosed to a doctor, health care professional, hospital, NHS authorities, the Inland Revenue, the Benefits Agency (when claiming exemption or remission from NHS charges) or private dental schemes of which the patient is a member. In all cases the information shared will be only that which is relevant to the situation. In very limited cases, such as for identification purposes, or if required by law, information may have to be shared with a party not involved in the patient’s health care. In all other cases, information will not be disclosed to such a third party without the patient’s written authority.

Practice Information Security Policy

This Dental Practice is committed to ensuring the security of personal data held by the practice.

This objective is achieved by every member of the practice team complying with this policy.


see also the practice confidentiality policy

  • All staff employment contracts contain a confidentiality clause.
  • Access to personal data is on a “need to know” basis only. Access to information is monitored and breaches of security will be dealt with swiftly by James O’Farrell.
  • We have procedures in place to ensure that personal data is regularly reviewed, updated and deleted in a confidential manner when no longer required. For example, we keep patient records for at least 10 years.

Physical security measures

  • Personal data is only taken away from the practice premises in exceptional circumstances and when authorised by James O’Farrell. If personal data is taken from the premises it must never be left unattended in a car or in a public place.
  • Records are kept in a lockable room, which is not easily accessible by patients and visitors to the practice.
  • Efforts have been made to secure the practice against theft by, for example, lockable windows and doors.
  • The practice has in place a business continuity plan in case of a disaster. This includes procedures set out for protecting and restoring personal data.

Information held on computer

  • Appropriate software controls are used to protect computerised records, for example the use of passwords and encryption. Passwords are only known to those who require access to the information, are changed on a regular basis and are not written down or kept near or on the computer for others to see.
  • Daily and weekly back-ups of computerised data are taken and stored in a fireproof container, off-site. Back-ups are also tested at prescribed intervals to ensure that the information being stored is usable should it be needed.
  • Staff using practice computers will undertake computer training to avoid unintentional deletion or corruption of information.
  • Dental computer systems all have a full audit trail facility preventing the erasure or overwriting of data. The system records details of any amendments made to data, who made them and when:
  • Precautions are taken to avoid loss of data through the introduction of computer viruses.

This statement has been issued to existing staff with access to personal data at the practice and will be given to new staff during induction. Should any staff have concerns about the security of personal data within the practice they should contact James O’Farrell.

Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy

Our Practice recognises and conforms to the principles of the European Convention on Human Rights, particularly Article 14, and the Human Rights Act 1998 by creating an environment where all our patients and staff are treated with dignity and respect. This policy sets down our approach to equality, discrimination, diversity and human rights as it applies to all our patients and staff The person with responsibility for considering and taking action if any instances breach this policy:

James O’Farrell.

Discrimination is any form of unfavourable treatment. We recognise that any discrimination is harmful and is, in many cases, illegal.

Sex discrimination is any form of treatment which is unfavourable and which is gender or marital related. Discrimination according to sex is illegal under the terms of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975. The Act applies equally to both men and women. Sex discrimination is when one person is treated less favourably on the grounds of his or her sex than a person of the other sex would be treated under similar circumstances and can be direct or indirect.

 Sexual harassment is a form of sexual discrimination. It can be defined as unwanted conduct of a sexual nature or other conduct based on sex, which affects the dignity of those who work in or who attend the practice. This can include unwelcome physical or verbal conduct.

 Race discrimination is any form of treatment which is unfavourable and which is related to colour, race or nationality. Discrimination according to race is illegal under the terms of the Race Relations Act 1976 and can be direct or indirect.

Racial harassment is a form of racial discrimination and might involve racist jokes or insults etc.

Religious discrimination is where a person is treated less favourably because of his or her religious beliefs. The Fair Employment Act 1989 enables employees who feel that they have been discriminated against on the grounds of religious belief or political opinion to take action against an employer.

Disability discrimination is where a person is treated less favourably because of disability. Occasionally a disability can limit a person’s capability for some forms of employment. Discrimination occurs when the treatment of the individual is unfavourable taking into account the disability. Age discrimination is where a person is treated less favourably on the grounds of age. The Employment and Equality (Age)

Regulations 2006 requires employers to foster a workplace culture in which discrimination and harassment, on the grounds of age, are unacceptable. Employers are also required to lay down procedures to enable employees to work past the age of 65 if they so wish.

Harassment is a form of discrimination where a person is made to feel uncomfortable because of their sex, race, disability, age or religion. It may involve action, behaviour, comments or physical contact, which is found offensive, objectionable or intimidating by the recipient.

Victimisation is when the employer treats an employee less favourably than other employees are treated because he or she has brought or threatens to bring proceedings, or give evidence or information against an employer with reference to the Sex Discrimination, Race Relation or Equal pay Acts.

The right to have equal pay provides equality in terms of an employee’s contract where he or she is employed to perform work, which is rated equivalent to that performed by a member of the opposite sex.

Through this policy, through training and by example, we wish to demonstrate that we do not tolerate any form of discrimination by anyone working at this practice against patients or other members of staff.

Specifically, we aim to prevent discrimination by:


  • We recognise all our patients as individuals with diverse needs
  • We will aim to accommodate the needs of our patients relating to any disability wherever possible
  • We will respect the rights and dignity of all our patients
  • We invite comments regarding improvements to the provision of our services in relation to patients with disabilities.


  • When applying for a role with this practice, our decisions will be based on skills, qualifications and experience and on who is most suitable for the job
  • Meet any needs you may have at interview and during employment wherever possible
  • Ensure that all staff have equal opportunity to take part in ongoing training and development.

If you feel that you are the subject of discrimination or harassment, or become aware that a/another member of staff, a patient or other person in the practice may be violating the principles contained in this policy, in the first instance you should let the perpetrator know how you feel verbally or in writing asking him or her to stop the behaviour. The practice takes all allegations and reports of incidents seriously.

Keep a record of the incident/s, raise the issue James O’Farrell and if the matter is not resolved, submit a written complaint.

Safeguarding Policy

Our dental team accept and recognise their responsibility to develop their knowledge of the signs of abuse and neglect to comply with the requirements of the General Dental Council (GDC) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

As a practice, we are committed to protecting children, young people and adults at risk from harm of any kind by:

  • responding promptly to all identified and suspected safeguarding concerns by making a referral using the appropriate local referring mechanism.
  • maintaining a culture where staff can raise concerns openly and without reproach
  • providing an environment in which patients may discuss safeguarding
  • using Disclosure and Barring Service when recruiting staff to identify those with a history of causing harm.
  • ensuring staff undertake the safeguarding training which is appropriate for their role on joining the practice and read the PHE and NHS Guidance for Safeguarding in General Dental Practice as part of their induction
  • ensuring staff engage in periodic refresher training
  • keeping accurate records of identified or suspected safeguarding concerns
  • maintaining confidentiality, sharing patient information only with those who need it
  • discussing safeguarding updates at practice meetings
  • reviewing this policy at regular intervals

The Safeguarding Practice Lead (SPL) is:

The SPL’s role is to oversee safeguarding within the practice, identify and support staff safeguarding training needs and access appropriate support and advice on safeguarding matters.

Practice Health and Safety Policy


General statement of policy

Our policy is to provide and maintain safe and healthy working conditions, equipment and systems of work for all our employees and to provide such information, training and supervision as they need for this purpose. We also accept our responsibility for the health and safety of other people who may be affected by our work activities. This policy applies to all employees of the practice, dental associates, dental hygienists and other contractors providing services to the practice, such as anaesthetists.

The allocation of duties for safety matters and the particular arrangements that we will make to implement the policy are set out below.

This policy will be kept up to date, particularly as changes occur within the practice. To ensure this, the policy and the way in which it has operated will be reviewed every year.


The practice owner regards communication between staff at the practice as an essential part of health and safety management. Consultation on health and safety matters will be facilitated by means of practice meetings every month or as often as is deemed necessary.

Cooperation between staff at all levels is essential. All staff are expected to cooperate and accept their duties under this health and safety policy. Disciplinary action may be taken against any employee who fails to follow safety rules or carry out duties under this policy.


  1. Overall and final responsibility for health and safety matters within the practice lies with

James O’Farrell

  1. James O’Farrell is responsible for this policy being carried out at the practice at 1 Talbot House, Friars Avenue, Shenfield. James O’Farrell is responsible as his receptionist and Practice Manager.
  2. All employees have the responsibility to co-operate with supervisors and managers to achieve a healthy and safe workplace and to take reasonable care of themselves and others.
  3. An employee, supervisor or manager who notices a health or safety problem, which s/he is not able to put right, must contact James O’Farrell.
  4. James O’Farrell is responsible for:
  • Safety training
  • Investigating accidents
  • Monitoring maintenance of equipment


General arrangements


Appointed persons for the practice are James O’Farrell (JOF).

The first-aid box is located in the ground floor rear surgery. The first-aid box will be maintained by JOF who will ensure that it is adequately stocked at all times.

All accidents and hazardous incidents must be entered in the accident report book, which is kept in the office and reported to JOF who will decide whether the accident or incident should be reported to the Health and Safety Executive under the Reporting of InjuriesDiseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995.

All staff receive annual training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Display screen equipment

All users of display screen equipment (DSE) are given appropriate training on the health and safety aspects of this type of work. JOF conducts an assessment of all DSE workstations in the practice.

Eye and eyesight tests are arranged on request and corrective eyewear, if required for use with DSE, is provided. A footrest and wrist pad is provided if required by the user.

Electrical safety

Jesse Dewe-Mathews (Sparks Fly Ltd) conducts regular visual inspections of all portable electrical equipment at the practice. Records of these inspections are maintained and kept in the office.

A combined inspection and test of portable electrical equipment and the fixed supply is carried out every three years by Sparks Fly Ltd. Records of these inspections and tests are maintained and kept in the office.

Fire safety

General fire safety within the practice is the responsibility of James O’Farrell

All staff in the practice have been informed of the action to be taken in the event of a fire, the evacuation procedure and the arrangements for calling the fire brigade.

Escape routes must be free from obstruction at all times and adequately signposted. Fire alarms and smoke detectors are tested weekly on Thursday at 4.30pm. Fire extinguishers are inspected annually.

If a smoke detector or fire alarm sounds, members of staff should raise awareness within the practice, report the fire (dial 999) and evacuate the building. Staff are only expected to tackle a fire if it poses no threat to their personal safety to do so. Fire drills are conducted annually and a record kept in the office.

Manual handling operations

Where there is a risk of injury, manual handling operations must be avoided. Where they cannot be avoided, an assessment of the task should be undertaken taking into account the load, the working environment and the capability of the individual involved. Assistance should be requested from JOF or others within the practice.

Personal protective equipment

Personal protective equipment is provided in those circumstances where employees are exposed to risks to their health that cannot be controlled by other means. Comprehensive training on its use, maintenance and purpose is provided as appropriate. Where appropriate, the practice owner maintains such equipment in good working order.


JOF is responsible for ensuring all staff receive adequate training to ensure safe working practices and procedures. Training includes advice on the use and maintenance of personal protective equipment appropriate to the task concerned and emergency contingency plans.

The following tasks require special training due to their hazardous nature:

  1.  Use of the autoclave for the sterilisation of instruments
  2.  Decontamination of equipment prior to sterilisation
  3.  Disposal of used local anaesthetic cartridges and needles
  4.  Taking of any dental radiographs
  5.  Processing of radiographs

Visitors and contractors

All contractors and visitors to the practice (with the exception of patients) should be referred to JR to ensure that they are made aware of the hazards present and what precautions might be required.

Work equipment

All equipment used in the practice is maintained in good working order and repair. Where appropriate, equipment is clearly marked with health and safety warnings and staff provided with adequate protection.

Equipment maintenance is undertaken as recommended by the manufacturer.

 Workplace inspections

JOF conducts regular inspections of the practice. A record of these inspections is kept in the office.

Staff are informed of the significant findings as soon as is reasonably practicable or at the monthly staff.




All clinical staff will be trained in the safe use of autoclaves. Staff who have not received training must not attempt to use any autoclave within the practice. At no time should any member of staff mishandle, tamper with or attempt to repair an autoclave. If an autoclave requires attention, it should be reported to JR who will arrange for its repair.

Autoclaves in the practice are serviced quarterly by Eschmann or W&H. They carry out an annual inspection on all autoclaves according to the written scheme of examination. Staff are required to monitor individual autoclaves to ensure that the right conditions for sterilisation are being achieved routinely. The results of monitoring should be recorded in the decontamination room.

Infection control

The practice infection control policy is displayed in each surgery – it must be adhered to at all times. If any aspect is not clear, please ask JOF who is responsible for infection control within the practice.

Training in the following areas will be provided for all staff:

  • personal protection
  • procedures for the cleaning, sterilisation and storage of instruments
  • segregation and safe disposal of clinical waste
  • cleaning and decontamination of work surfaces and equipment
  • decontamination of laboratory items prior to dispatch
  • decontamination of instruments and equipment prior to service or repair.


Medicines are stored in the first floor rear surgery. When a medicine is dispensed to a patient as part of his/her treatment, details of the medicine (including batch number) and prescribing dentist should be entered in the patient’s notes.


A Radiation Protection Adviser, Health Protection Agency, has been appointed for advice in complying with the requirements of IRR99.

JOF is the Radiation Protection Supervisor (RPS) at the practice and is responsible for ensuring that the practice complies with the regulations relating to radiation protection.

All staff are given general training about the radiation equipment used at the practice. Only staff who have received appropriate training and possess the relevant knowledge may take radiographs. Such training is arranged as required. A member of staff who has not undertaken formal approved training must not use radiographic equipment at the practice.

The Health Protection Agency carries out a radiation safety survey on all radiographic equipment.

Servicing is carried out by Henry Schein according to the manufacturer’s instruction. Local rules are displayed near each machine.

Where individual workloads exceed 100 intra-oral or 50 pan-oral films per week, monitoring badges are provided by the practice owner. Additional monitoring may also take place.

In the event of radiographic equipment malfunctioning, the member of staff involved must immediately switch off the machine (without entering the controlled zone) and report the incident to the RPS.

Waste disposal

All waste generated at the practice is segregated into hazardous, offensive and non-hazardous (trade) waste for appropriate disposal. Waste is collected in appropriate containers and stored in the decontamination room to await collection for disposal. Particular attention is given to the safe disposal of sharps waste and designated containers are provided for this purpose. Records of disposal are kept in the office.

Procedures for referring patients

In caring for our patients, we undertake to act in their best interests. Where a patient requires treatment that we are unable to provide, we refer the patient to another professional who is competent to provide it.

Where another professional accepts a patient on referral, they are fully responsible for any treatment provided, so we ensure they understand and are content with the proposed treatment prior to undertaking it.

 Before referral

The referring clinician will obtain the patient’s consent to make the referral. The patient should understand the reasons for referral, what the treatment may involve and any possible complications that may arise. Where possible, they will be given the relevant contact details of the professional that they are being referred to and, if known, the likely timescales.

Before seeing the specialist, the patient will be allowed time to consider the risks involved and to provide any additional information that the specialist will need before starting treatment.

The referral

Where the referral is to a clinician external to the practice, the referral letter will be sent within 10 days of obtaining consent from the patient to make the referral, and includes:

  • The referring dentist’s name, correspondence address, telephone number and email address.
  • The name, address (including the postcode), date of birth and sex of the patient. The telephone number and email address of the patient will also be included to allow appointments to be made quickly and efficiently.
  • A summary of the patient’s relevant medical and dental history, with the patient’s consent.
  • A clear indication of the reasons for referral together with any specific needs of the patient (IV sedation, for example) or any particular types of treatment that may not be appropriate.
  • If the patient is being referred for diagnosis and/or treatment in relation to a medical problem, the duration of the problem will be included together with the patient’s attitude towards or understanding of the situation.
  • An indication of whether the patient requires treatment urgently or within a specific timescale.
  • The referral letter will be signed by the referring dentist, dated and a copy retained in the patient’s notes.
  • A copy of the referral letter will be offered to the patient, if requested.

A note of the referral will be recorded in the patient’s clinical records.

Accepting a referral

A clinician accepting a patient on referral will only undertake treatment they feel to be appropriate. If the accepting clinician feels that alternative or additional treatment is required, this will be discussed with both the referring clinician and the patient and consent obtained to an amended treatment plan and any costs involved. Changes to the original referral will be confirmed with the referring clinician.

On receipt of a referral, the accepting clinician will contact the patient as soon as possible to arrange an appointment. At the consultation appointment, the patient is given a full explanation of:

  • the proposed treatment and the timescales involved
  • the costs involved and when payment should be made.

The accepting clinician obtains informed consent from the patient before proceeding with the treatment.

On completion of the treatment

The accepting clinician writes to the referring clinician confirming that the treatment has been completed and what follow-up consultations (if any) are required. Changes to the treatment and associated complications are also recorded, together with any obvious concerns that the patient has as a result of the treatment. Where the referral is to another clinician within the practice, this information is provided in the patient’s clinical records.

All radiographs sent with the original referral letter are returned to the referring dentist with the report.

Patient Safety Policy

We take patient safety very seriously in this practice and aim to ensure that incidents affecting patient safety directly and indirectly are kept to a minimum at all times. No matter how careful people are with the work that they undertake, mistakes can sometimes happen – the best people sometimes make the worst mistakes. Within our practice we encourage everyone to report mistakes and near misses as soon as possible so that action can be taken promptly.

The following procedure should be followed:

  • if an event happens that affects patient safety or potentially affects patient safety.
  • if you feel something within the practice might affect patient safety in the future.
  1. James O’Farrell has been appointed the Patient Safety Officer within this practice. All patient safety incidents, near misses or concerns should be reported to her.
  2. The Patient Safety Officer will immediately enter the incident, near miss or concern in the incident report book and begin investigations on what happened, how it happened and why. She will consider with the clinician concerned whether the defence organisation should be informed.
  3. Where an incident has caused a patient harm or distress, the Patient Safety Officer will ensure that the patient has been given a full explanation of the incident and what action is being taken by the practice. Where appropriate, an apology will be given and followed up in writing if necessary. All communications with the patient (verbal and written) will be recorded.
  4. The Patient Safety Officer will also consider whether the patient, the immediate family of the patient, members of the team involved in the incident and those responsible for reporting the incident need further support. We aim to encourage reporting of adverse incidents and will not blame individuals when mistakes are made.
  5. When the details of the incident have been established, and if appropriate, the Patient Safety Officer will discuss the matter with the other members of the dental team at a practice meeting. Solutions or changes to current policies and protocols will be discussed fully and action agreed upon. If relevant, changes will be notified to the patient.
  6. The effectiveness of the solutions and/or changes will be reviewed at agreed intervals and the findings reported at practice meetings.
  7. The Patient Safety Officer will ensure that the incident is fully recorded and that the practice risk assessment is updated in the light of the proposed solutions or changes.
  8. The Patient Safety Officer will, where required, report adverse incidents to the Patient Safety Manager at the Strategic Health Authority, according to national guidelines.

Cancellation Policy

Privacy Notice - GDPR

At the Talbot House Dental Practice, we take great care with all the Personal Data we hold, to ensure we comply with best professional practice and with the law. For a full copy of our Data Privacy Notice please ask the data protection officer, James O’Farrell.