Below is an example of a practice complaints procedure for use in South Africa.
Practice Complaints Procedure
In this practice we take complaints seriously and we aim to ensure that all our patients are pleased with their experience of our service. When a patient complains, he/she is dealt with courteously and promptly so that the matter is resolved as quickly as possible. This policy is based on these objectives.
In responding to a complaint, we aim to treat you the way we would like to be treated if we were in your position. We aim to respond to your complaint effectively and ensure that we take the opportunity to learn and improve our service.
The person responsible for dealing with any complaint about the service which we provide is [insert name of the person who deals with patient complaints].
If a patient makes a verbal complaint, we will listen to and offer to refer him or her to [insert name] without delay. If [insert name] is not available at the time, then the patient will be advised when they will be able to talk to the dentist and arrangements will be made for this to happen. The member of our team will take brief details of the complaint and pass them on.
If a patient complains in writing, the letter or email will be passed to [insert name] without delay. If a complaint is about any aspect of clinical care, it will normally be referred to the dentist.
We will acknowledge the patient’s complaint in writing and enclose a copy of this complaints policy as soon as possible, normally within five working days. We will seek to investigate the complaint and respond within a reasonable time period. We will notify the patient, giving them an idea of the timescales.
We will provide our response to the complaint in writing as soon as possible after completing our investigation. Proper and comprehensive records are kept of any complaint received.