If english is not your first language please bring along a friend who you do not mind knowing your medical history.
we have a written policy available at reception. our complaints lead is Miss A.Craig Practice Manager.
we take patients confidentiality very seriously and all personal information is treated in the strictest of confidence.
Cross Infection Control
We are compliant with htm01-05 decontamination standards. All our staff receive the highest standards of training which are part of our continuing professional development.
Abusive or violent behaviour
If a patient is abusive or violent to any staff, treatment will be terminated and the police informed. as a caring practise we take all necessary precautions to safeguard both patients and staff.
-please note we do not carry out tooth whitening.
-You must be 18 years or above.
-We are an independent private practice.
Charter on Patient Safety
Our practise has a safety culture which means that patient safety is at the forefront of everyone’s minds not only when delivering healthcare but also when setting objectives, developing procedures, purchasing new products and equipment. It is also a culture that is open and fair, where team members can discuss the challenges they face at work for the best interests of our patients. For patient safety we:
Follow the latest infection prevention guidelines including those from NHS England.
Use dental instruments that are single-use, [single patient use] or are sterilised after each patient use
Decontaminate work areas including the dental chair, handheld equipment and cupboard handles, in between patients
Maintain a high standard of personal hygiene including clinical clothing and the restricted wearing of jewellery
Monitor practise water for quality. Dental unit waterlines are disinfected and kept clear
Handle waste according to current regulations and dispose of it with appropriate carriers
Take expert advice if a team member may have a blood-borne infection. The team member will have an occupational health examination and follow professional advice on their role in treating patients
All our team members are trained in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults and follow the practise safeguarding procedures, which are regularly monitored and reviewed.
We keep up to date with the latest changes to regulations and guidelines. For continual improvements in care, service and safety to our patients, we operate a good governance system called iComply.
As the Practice Manager, I have overall responsibility at the practice. I lead and support the team through regular meetings, staff training, personal development and regular appraisals. We always welcome your questions, comments and suggestions. Please contact me if we can help you in any way or if you have any questions about patient safety at the practice.
Practice Manager Alison Craig
Infection Prevention and Control Policy
Statement of intent
For the safety of our patients, visitors and team this practice follows the latest guidelines and research on infection prevention. We comply with England: HTM 01-05 ‘essential quality requirements’ England and Wales: and have a written assessment and plan to move towards ‘best practice’. We take Universal Precautions for all patients, to minimise all of the known and unknown risks of cross-infection.
We follow the latest decontamination guidelines from the [Department of Health, England] for new and used instruments. Stored instruments are protected against recontamination. The treatment rooms and all equipment are decontaminated appropriately between patients and at the end of every clinical session. Defects found during the cleaning of equipment are immediately reported to the Decontamination Lead Alison Craig. We operate an open house policy in which patients are actively encouraged to ask questions or to raise concerns regarding the cross-infection process.
Staff involved in decontamination and clinical work have evidence of: current immunisation against Hepatitis B, routine vaccinations and appropriate health clearance checks.
Items sent to the laboratory and equipment sent for repair
All items despatched to the laboratory are washed and disinfected after removal from the mouth and items received from the laboratory are washed and disinfected prior to fitting. Equipment is decontaminated before being sent for repair.
Whenever possible we utilise single-use instruments, which are always disposed of after use on a patient.
To minimise the risk of bloodborne viruses all staff are trained in avoidance and management of an inoculation injury. Post Exposure Prophylaxis is available if necessary. Staff at risk of blood-borne virus exposure have an occupational health examination.
The practise takes all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure of staff, patients and visitors to legionella in accordance with existing guidance. The practice carries out regular legionella risk assessment, water tests and audits. Flushing of hot and cold water outlets is routinely undertaken by the practice, the water management procedures are followed. Records of all legionella control activities are maintained and reviewed at the Annual Management Review.
All staff maintain a high standard of personal hygiene including hand hygiene, not wearing jewellery, and clean clinical clothing.
Personal Protective Equipment
All team members follow the guidelines for personal protective equipment. These include masks, gloves, protective eyewear, clinical attire and suitable shoes.
Clinical staff are trained in how to manage an accidental spillage of a hazardous substance and how to follow our emergency arrangements.
Waste is carefully handled and disposed of by appropriate carriers according to current regulations
Dental unit waterlines undergo disinfection, flushing and maintenance to minimise the risk of bio-contamination. Practice water is inspected and tested as necessary to maintain water quality.
Each member of the team undergoes regular training and review and has a responsibility to ensure a safe working environment for all. Training includes the principles of infection prevention, the use of decontamination equipment and materials, the daily inspection and testing of equipment and the maintenance of records
We audit and review infection prevention procedures every six months with the aim of a continual improvement in standards and to update this policy and procedures as necessary
The practice has a culture of openness in the workplace1, is committed to putting patients’ safety first and to meeting the GDC ‘Standards for Dental Professionals. This policy applies to every team member. You are aware of your responsibility to raise a concern if you think that patients or colleagues might be at risk due to:
Your own health or performance
The health, behaviour or professional performance of a colleague
Any aspect of the environment where treatment is provided
Someone asking you to do something that you think conflicts with your duties to put patients interests first and act to protect them
Actions to take if you think that patients or colleagues are at risk
Firstly raise a concern first with Alison Craig who will deal with it in a responsible, open and professional way
If it is not appropriate to raise the concern with your employer or manager, For example the employer or manager could be the source of your concern or if they fail to act on your concern you must raise it with your local regulatory body:
The Care Quality Commission
If you think that the public and patients need to be protected from a dental professional the concern must be referred to the GDC when:
Taking action at a local level is not practical
Action at a local level has failed
The problem is so severe that the GDC clearly needs to be involved (for example, issues of indecency, violence, dishonesty, serious crime or illegal practice)
There is a genuine fear of victimisation or deliberate concealment
The registrant may not be fit to practise because of his or her health, performance or conduct
Note: Concerns about other healthcare professionals should be referred to their regulator e.g. the General Medical Council.
If you have a concern about the safety of a child or vulnerable adult follow the procedure
in (M 290)
If you raise a concern at the practice:
It will be dealt with quickly
Appropriate records will be kept of your concern, its investigation and responses
The investigation will be under strict confidence
Your confidentially will be maintained if requested
You will be provided with progress feedback
Disciplinary action will only be taken if a false concern is raised maliciously
In case of a genuine concern you will be protected and supported by the practice and there would be no risk of loss of your position at the practice or of other adverse consequences. In the event that you are mistaken and there is an innocent explanation of the concern there will be no adverse consequences or reprisals.
If you raise concerns about potentially illegal or dangerous practices, you will be protected by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 provided you:
Are acting in good faith
Honestly and reasonably believe the information to be true
Are not raising concerns primarily for personal gain and
Have raised concerns with the employer first (unless they reasonably believe that they would be victimised)
Zero Tolerance on Violence and Aggression Policy
The practice is committed to providing a safe working environment by minimising the risk of violent and aggressive behaviour at work. The working environment is defined as the practice premises and other premises where work is undertaken as part of a person’s official duties including, travelling to and from the other premises.
The practice defines violence and aggression as 'any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work' including threats, verbal abuse (shouting, swearing, rude gestures), psychological abuse or physical attacks.
The practice carries out risk assessment, paying special attention the practice position, the patient’s environment as well as the nature of the job. Based on the results of the risk assessment, the practice security arrangements are reviewed and team members are provided with information and regular training on how to deal with violence and aggression at work.
All team members are expected to take reasonable care of their health and safety as well as that of other persons who might be affected by their work. The reception team are expected to observe the following guidelines to minimise the risk of violence or aggression:
Make eye contact in acknowledgement as soon as a patient approaches. If busy, smile and nod to let the patient know that they will be seen soon. (We recognise that being kept waiting without acknowledgement can cause a person to feel aggrieved.)
Always answered the telephone politely and smile whilst talking
Aim to answer the phone within 3 rings, state your name, ask for the patient’s name and how you can help. Do not say ‘please hold the line’ before asking a patient for his/ her name and reason for calling.
Never say NO to a patient, there is always a more polite alternative
If a patient is kept waiting in reception, keep them informed them of the reason for delay and expected time they will be seen. (We appreciate that anyone kept waiting without explanation is likely to feel aggrieved.)
Handle cash carefully:
Empty the reception till/cashbox regularly out of site of the public
Undertake banking regularly at different times on different days, ideally with a varied route
Always take complaints seriously and listen sympathetically
Report all incidents to Alison Craig immediately. In the case of actual or threatened violence contact the police. Record the incident on an Event Record. Alison Craig will investigate and record any injuries in the Accident Treatment and Investigation Record .The practice provides support, assistance, and if required counselling to the victims of violence and aggression at work.
Referrals Policy and Protocol
It is the aim of this practice to meet the GDC standards on referrals as well as the relevant regulations and legislation including CQC, HIS, HIW, RQIA and SDCEP requirements. This policy applies to all team members.
Referrals can be to a team member or to an external practitioner and are made because the dental team practise within their knowledge, professional competence and physical abilities. Referrals are made in the patients’ best interests rather than for the practitioner’s or another team member’s financial gain or benefit.
Before a referral is made, the reasons, waiting times and practicalities are explained to the patient and permission is obtained. Clear arrangements are provided to the patient and the details are fully recorded in the clinical notes.
Team members will only accept a referral if they are trained and competent to carry out the treatment and believe that what they are being asked to do is appropriate for the patient.
The patient will be provided with a copy of the referral letter if requested. Referral letters will include all the necessary information such as:
- Dental history
Relevant medical history
Brief description of the last course of action
A practitioner may refer patients to another team member if the treatment required is outside their scope of practice or competence, or for other practical reasons.
Patient information is processed in line with our Data Protection Policy
Refusing Access to Patients Policy
The practice is committed to fulfilling a duty of care to protect staff and other patients and adheres to the zero-tolerance policy. This policy defines the practice guidance for refusing access to patients to minimise potential risk to other patients and staff.
This policy applies to all team members, who are expected to familiarise themselves with the circumstances justifying the removal of patients from the list and appropriate procedures to follow.
In cases of:
Unacceptable behaviour, including threatening behaviour, physical abuse, verbal abuse, race, gender or any other form of discrimination or other unreasonable behaviour
Fraudulent or criminal behaviour, including deliberately obtaining drugs for non-medical reasons, attempting to use the dentist to conceal or aid criminal activity, stealing from practice premises
You are expected to take the following actions:
Report any incident involving violence, fraudulent or criminal behaviour to Alison Craig who will decide if it has to be reported to the police in accordance with the practice policy on Zero Tolerance on Violence and Aggression
Alison Craig will ask the patient to leave the premises immediately
The incident will be discussed at a management meeting and if a majority agreement is reached, Alison Craig will inform the patient verbally and in writing confirming the refusal of access and including details of the reasons
When the relationship between the hygienist and the patient breaks down to the point where the hygienist no longer feels capable of providing a quality level of patient care and feels that the patient’s needs would be better served elsewhere, the following procedure is followed:
The problem is reported to the Practice Manager, who may consult the principal’s professional indemnity organisation to confirm the actions to be taken
Alison Craig will then arrange for a meeting with the patient to discuss the matter and find out how the patient views the situation
Alison Craig will arrange a management meeting to discuss the problem with the aim of solving it. If it is not resolved the Practice Manager will write to the patient to inform them about removal of access, and fully explain the reasons
Persistently missed appointments
When a patient fails to attend an appointment or cancels without giving 24 hours’ notice, the patient will be sent a letter or email informing about the date of the missed appointment/s and the consequences of missing multiple appointments, including the information in the next point:
If a patient fails to attend an appointment or cancels without 24 hours’ notice three times, the patient may be informed that they will no longer have access to treatment at the practice
Copies of all correspondence regarding the refusal of access are filed and retained with the patient records.
Patient Satisfaction Policy
The primary goal of this practice is patient satisfaction, which means that patients are satisfied with the care and service we provide and feel that their best interests are taken into account at all times.
These are some of the measures we take to achieve this goal:
Paying attention to the most up-to-date recommendations on dental treatments made by the General Dental Council and other leading bodies
Regularly conducting thorough audits of our clinical practice and taking action on any shortcomings that may be revealed.
Involving patients in considering how the practise should be developed:
Paying attention to patients’ feedback about our services, through regular Patient Satisfaction and Waiting Time surveys
Inviting both formal and informal comments and suggestions, including via our comments and suggestions box.
Make sure that patient safety is properly protected at all times whilst on our premises:
Putting in place safeguarding measures to minimise the risk of injury or harm to patients
Ensuring that children, people who may need special support or who are vulnerable are properly protected and are accompanied by a chaperone
Ensuring that patients understand and consent to the plans that we propose for their treatment:
Always discussing treatment options and what each involves, with patients before committing to treatment
Taking account of and regularly requesting updates on a patient’s medical history
Carrying out a Mental Capacity Assessment where it is considered the patient may patient lacks capacity, in line with national legal requirements
Providing information about our services, including a range of leaflets and information sheets that are available in different formats, such as large print, braille and the use of induction loop.
Keeping patients informed if they are kept waiting for their appointment beyond the scheduled time.
Information for patients
We provide leaflets and other information including the following:
Treatment advice leaflets
Patient Leaflet on Personal Information
We regularly monitor patient views on our services via a periodic Patient Satisfaction Survey, Waiting Time Survey and other comments and suggestions communicated to us verbally or in writing. The results and action taken are displayed in the waiting area. We encourage patients to talk to us if there is any topic they wish to raise, or use one of our anonymous Comments and Suggestions forms (available in reception, where a box for posting completed forms is also situated).
We welcome feedback and are keen to know of any concerns or complaints so that we can address any problem and continually improve our standards of care and service. The Complaints Policy contains more information about how we manage and learn from patient complaints.
Personal Development and Training Policy
The practice is committed to providing planned training and development for team members to enable them to realise their full potential, to meet regulatory requirements and so make the best possible contribution towards delivering a high standard of treatment and service to patients.
All team members, who are registered with the GDC, keep Personal Development Plans (PDPs), which are used to plan their training and to meet their CPD targets as set in the GDC guidance. Additionally, all GDC registrants keep records of CPD they undertake.
Each employee has a Training Record (M 222E), which is reviewed at the annual appraisal meeting. During which, further training needs are identified based on the GDC guidelines, the individual’s aspirations, performance and the development plan for the practice as a whole. Employees are encouraged to further their career through training both internally and externally. Where appropriate, time off will be given for training.
Registered Person (England only)
It is the aim of the provider to comply with Regulation 7 of the Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations, Registered person: training, in order to ensure that people who use services can be confident that their care, treatment and support needs are met because a competent person is leading the service.
The provider/ registered manager Alison Craig will undertake appropriate and regular training to maintain the necessary experience and skills to carry out the regulated activities.
Patient Care Policy
The practice is committed to offering high standards of care and service to our patients, we:
Operate a quality assurance programme to ensure:
Effectiveness of our infection control
Consistent quality of provided treatment
Compliance with health and safety legal requirements
Compliance with the GDC requirements for the Continuing Professional Development of our team members
Do not refuse treatment on the grounds of race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation or religious beliefs
We operate a robust patient complaints procedure. All comments and suggestions are welcomed and taken very seriously because they help us to continually improve our services to patients.
Contemporaneous records are maintained on Record cards and Computer records.
Equality, Dignity and Human Rights Policy
This practice aims to be a supportive, caring and inclusive environment for patients to receive treatment and for staff to reach their full potential. We are committed to working towards equality and to creating a culture where the diversity and dignity of patients and staff are respected and valued by all.
This practice will ensure that all patients and staff, both actual and potential, are treated fairly and respectfully and not discriminated against regardless of age, colour, disability, ethnic or national origin, gender, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation. These are known as ‘protected characteristics’ under the Equality Act 2010.
The rights of our patients and our staff with regards to discrimination are protected by a range of legislation including:
Human Rights Act 1998
Equality Act 2010
Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000
Fixed Term Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2001
Data Protection Act 1988
Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998
This practice also aims to meet the current General Dental Council, General Medical Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council, [NHS Equality Delivery System 2 and Care Quality Commission] standards by positively promoting equality, dignity and human rights for patients and staff.
This practice and its staff aim to:
Treat patients with dignity, respect and fairly, without discrimination, at all times
Give all patients the information they need, in a way they can understand, so they can make informed decisions about their care
Be clear on the procedures for providing additional support for patients with disabilities e.g. Does the practice have a hearing loop and do staff know how to operate it?
Provide services that are accessible to patients with disabilities and make reasonable adjustments in order to provide care which meets their needs
Provide information to patients with disabilities in a range of formats, such as Easy Read, large-print, braille and induction loop.
Support patients by providing information in other languages and translators, where appropriate
Join up with other services involved with the care of patients who have medical and social care needs
Keep patient information confidential
Tackle health inequalities through positive promotion and care
Involve individual patients and patient groups in decisions about the design and delivery of the service
Feedback and complaints
This practice welcomes and values any feedback. The practice views feedback and complaints as potential opportunities to learn lessons and improve the service. Any patient, patient’s advocate or member of staff has the right to complain if they feel they have been:
Treated unfairly, or without dignity or respect
Unhappy with any care or treatment they have received
For patients – the complaint will be investigated, promptly and efficiently, in a full and fair way, and a full, constructive and prompt reply will be given.
Monitoring and review
This policy will be reviewed annually. The annual review will consider and incorporate, where appropriate:
Changes in legislation
Good practice models
Feedback from patients and staff
Concerns and complaints raised by patients and staff
A plan for implementing any changes will be developed in consultation with staff. Alison Craig has the overall
responsibility for the effective operation of this policy.
Data Protection Policy
The practice is committed to complying with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the GDC Standards by collecting, holding, maintaining and accessing data in an open and fair fashion.
The practice only keeps relevant information about employees for the purposes of employment, and about patients to provide them with safe and appropriate dental care. The practice does 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 are also kept confidential.
Hard copy and computerised records are stored, reviewed and updated securely and confidentially. Records are are securely destroyed when no longer required. Confidential information is only seen by personnel who need to see it and the team are trained on our policies and procedures to keep patient information confidential.
To facilitate patients’ health care, the personal information may be disclosed to a doctor, health care professional, hospital, NHS authorities, HMRC. In all cases only relevant information is shared. 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 is not disclosed to such a third party without the patient’s written authority.
All confidential information is sent via secure methods. Electronic communications and stored data are encrypted. All computerised clinical records are backed up and encrypted copies are kept off-site.
No information or comments about patients are posted on social networking or blogging sites.
Criminal record check information is kept securely in a lockable, non-portable storage cabinet with access strictly controlled and limited to persons who need to have access to this information in the course of their duties.
Access to records
Patients and team members can have access to view the original of their records free of charge. Copies of patient or team member records are provided following a written request to the Practice Manager Alison Craig. The requested copies will be provided within 40 days. An employee or a patient may challenge information held on record and, following investigation, should the information be inaccurate the practice will correct the records and inform person of the change in writing.
Disability Access Policy
The practice is committed to complying with the relevant regulations, legislation and the GDC Standards to provide caring and inclusive environment for all patients. For the purpose of this policy, the term ‘disability’ may include physical and sensory impairments, learning disabilities, chronic or terminal illness and use of mental health services. People are protected from unlawful discrimination through the application of our policies and procedures.
The practice has made reasonable adjustments to the facilities, policies, procedures, communication, signage and team members’ training to provide access to our services. Practice information is available in alternative formats including large print and in Braille. Patients with hearing aids are provided with an induction loop. If the adjustments are not sufficient to treat a patient safely, they are referred to a practice that can provide this service.
This policy applies to all team members including: employees both full and part-time, self-employed personnel, trainees, subcontractors, casual and agency staff.
Team members receive training in procedures relevant and important to people with a disability and strive to use language that is easy to understand and meets the needs of all patients.
When communicating with patients who have a disability, team members:
Ask everyone about their requirements in advance ‘Please let me know if you require any particular assistance’ and must be able to respond accordingly
Do not patronise, make assumptions or think they know best
Are ready to offer assistance, but never impose it
Are prepared as necessary to :
Sit or bend down to talk to a person at his or her eye level
Offer a seat or help with doors
Let the person take their arm for guidance or support
Offer the use of equipment, e.g. a clipboard as an alternative writing surface
Use appropriate ways of communicating, e.g. writing notes if someone finds speech difficult to understand
Be courteous, patient and always talk to a disabled person directly, never through his or her companion; never shout or call attention to anyone; never compromise the person’s right to privacy or confidentiality; check to make sure they have been understood
The practice always welcomes patients’ views and suggestions on how services or access can be improved.
Duty of Candour Policy
It is the aim of the practice to comply with the duty of candour requirements from the GDC in England: the CQC Regulation 20. Alison Craig is responsible for the policy. The whole team are open and honest with people who use services when things go wrong with their care and treatment.
In England, Northern Ireland and Wales - We will:
Notify the relevant person (who is usually the patient) that an incident has occurred as soon as is reasonably practical
Give an apology in person, or by an appropriate representative, to the relevant person
Provide the relevant person with all reasonable practical and emotional support necessary to help overcome the physical, psychological and emotional impact of the incident
Provide a jargon free step-by-step account of all relevant facts known about the incident with as much or as little information as the relevant person wants to hear
Give information in a way that the relevant person understands, with advocates or interpreters if necessary
Advise the relevant person on what further enquires are appropriate and give them reasonable opportunities to be involved as much as they wish to be in any enquiries
Explain to the relevant person that new information may come out during the course of any inquiries into the incident, and keep them informed of new information
Provide a single point of contact for any questions or to discuss the case on an ongoing basis until they are satisfied that all relevant information has been disclosed
Provide the outcomes or results of any enquiries and investigations in writing to the relevant persons, should they wish to receive them
Respond to any correspondence from relevant person relating to the incident in an appropriate and timely manner
Keep a record of all communications
Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy
The practice is committed to complying with the legislation and guidance to protect children and vulnerable adults. The practice has an effective process for identifying and responding appropriately to signs and allegations of abuse. There is also an effective process for preventing abuse before it occurs and minimising the risks of further abuse once it has occurred.
The practice has appointed Alison Craig as the lead person for child and vulnerable adult protection and all team members have been informed about this.
A child is defined as a person under the age of 18. A vulnerable adult is any person aged 18 or over who is or may be in need of health or social care services by reason of a mental, physical or learning disability, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or serious exploitation.
All team members are trained to recognise signs of abuse in children and vulnerable adults. Training to take appropriate action including recording and reporting is provided at induction and at regular intervals.
Any suspicions and allegations of abuse are taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately. All concerns are reported to the child and vulnerable adult protection lead. If FGM is suspected the FGM policy is followed.
All team members are required to undergo appropriate DBS/PVG/Access NI checks. The practice does not employ anyone who has been barred from treating children or vulnerable adults.
Gratuitous physical contact is never made with a patient. If a patient needs comforting, team members use discretion to ensure that any physical contact is appropriate.
Physical force is never used against a patient, unless it constitutes reasonable restraint to protect him/her or another person or to protect property. If it is necessary to restrain a patient because they are an immediate danger to themselves or others or to property, the minimum amount of force is used for the shortest amount of time.
Any problems are referred to the child and vulnerable adult protection lead.
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 current GDC Standards.
For the purpose of this policy, confidential information is defined as all the information that is learnt in a professional role including personal details, medical history, what treatment a patient is having and how much it costs. The definition of personal details includes, but is not limited by, such details as name, age, address, personal circumstances, race, health, sex and sexual orientation, etc. Note that even the fact that a patient attends the practice is confidential. Confidential information may be supplied or stored on any medium including images, videos, health records, and computer records or may be transmitted verbally.
All staff members must be aware of their responsibilities for safeguarding patient confidentiality and keeping information secure and must have received appropriate training on the legislation requirements and the current GDC Standards to ensure that:
No personal information given or received in confidence is passed on to anyone else without the patient's prior consent. To obtain consent a patient is advised what information will be released and why and the likely consequences of the information release. The patient is given an opportunity to withhold their permission to share information, unless exceptional circumstances apply, and record is made on their notes of whether or not they gave their permission
If a patient consents to sharing information about them the team member will ensure that all recipients of the information understand that it is confidential
If a patient’s information or images are used for research or marketing the team member will advise the patient how these will be used, check that the patient understands what s/he is agreeing to, obtain and record the patient’s consent to their use and only release the minimum information for the purpose. The patient will be advised that s/he can withdraw permission at any time
If it is not necessary for a patient to be identified, they will remain anonymous in any information released
The duty to keep information confidential also covers originals and copies of a patient's photographs, videos or audio recordings, including those made on a mobile phone. No images or recordings will be made without the patient's permission
Patient information is kept confidential even after death
Before releasing information without the patient’s permission, an effort is always made to either convince the patient to release the information himself or herself or give the practice permission to do so, with the details of the discussion fully documented in the patient record. If obtaining consent from a patient is not practical or appropriate or if the patient will not give their permission, the team member will obtain advice from their professional indemnity organisation before releasing it.
A patient’s information will only be released without their prior permission in the following exceptional circumstances:
It is in the best interests of the public or the patient and the information released could be important in preventing or detecting a serious crime
If a team member has information that a patient could be at risk of significant harm or may be a victim of abuse, in which case the appropriate care agencies or the police will be informed
If a team member is required to disclose information by a court or a court order, in which case only the minimum amount of information necessary to comply will be released
The practice treats breaches of confidentiality very seriously. No team member shall knowingly misuse any confidential information or allow others to do so. Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action.
Patient Complaints Procedure
It is our aim to always have satisfied patients, to meet your expectations of care and service and to resolve any complaints as efficiently, effectively and politely as possible. We take complaints very seriously, we investigate them in a full and fair way and take great care to protect your confidentiality. We learn from complaints to improve our care and service. We will never discriminate against patients who have made a complaint.
If you are not entirely satisfied with any aspect of our care or service please let us know as soon as possible to allow us to address your concerns promptly.
Alison Craig is the Complaints Manager and will be your personal contact to assist you with any complaints. If your verbal complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction within 24 hours or if you complain in writing, the Complaints Manager will acknowledge it in writing within 3 working days and will aim to provide a full response in writing within 10 working days.
If the Complaints Manager is unavailable, we will take brief details about the complaint and will arrange for a meeting when the person is next available. We will keep comprehensive and confidential records of your complaint, which will be stored securely and only be accessible only by those who need to know about your complaint.
If the complaint investigation takes longer than anticipated the Complaints Manager will keep you informed of the reason for the delay, the progress of the investigation and the proposed date it will be completed.
When the investigation has been completed, you will be informed of its outcome in writing and invited to a meeting to discuss the results and any practical solutions that we can offer to you. These solutions could include, refunding fees paid, referring you for specialist treatments or other solutions that meet your needs and resolve the complaint.
We regularly analyse patient complaints to learn from them and to improve our services. That’s why we always welcome your feedback, comments, suggestions and complaints. If you are dissatisfied with our response to a complaint you can take it further, please see the contacts below.
The General Dental Council is responsible for regulating all dental professionals. You can complain using their online form at www.gdc-uk.org contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 020 7167 6000.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) who regulates private and NHS dental care services in England by calling 03000 616161. They can take action against a service provider that is not meeting their standards
Patient Complaints Policy
It is the aim of this practice to ‘Have a Clear and Effective Complaints Procedure’ by meeting the GDC ‘Standards for the Dental Team’, and deliver good practice in complaint handling.
The team is trained to resolve all complaints promptly, efficiently and politely by following our Patient Complaints Procedure and Complaint Management procedures . The team responds to complaints in the time limits set by the Complaints Procedure and always provides constructive responses to complaints. The practice never discrimiates against a patient who has made a complaint.
Team members do not react defensively to a complaint but listen carefully to a patient who makes one and involves them fully in the process of managing it. The team member will make best endeavours to meet any outcomes the patient expects.
If a patient is not satisfied despite our best efforts to resolve the complaint they will be informed about other avenues that are open to them such as the GDC Dental Complaints Service
The team are regularly trained in complaint handling and are involved in the regular review of complaints, complaints procedures and management so that services, policies and procedures can be
The practice follows the GDC guidelines Standards for the Dental Team: ‘Principle 3, Obtain Valid Consent’. We treat patients politely and with respect, in recognition of their dignity and rights as individuals. We also recognise and promote our patients’ responsibility for making decisions about their bodies, their priorities and their care and make sure we do not take any steps without a patient’s consent (permission).
The clinical team member will always obtain valid consent before starting a treatment or physical investigation or providing personal care for a patient because patients have a right to choose whether or not to accept advice or treatment. Clinical team members are adequately trained to 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 (capacity)
The nature of treatment and all charges are clarified to the patient before it commences and the patient is asked to sign the consent form at each visit.
All team members are aware that:
Once the consent has been given it may be withdrawn at any time
Giving and getting consent is a process, not a one-off event. It is an ongoing discussion between the clinician and the patient
It is necessary to find out what the patient wants to know, as well as saying what the clinician thinks the patient needs to know. Examples of information which patients may want to know include: why a proposed treatment is necessary; the risks and benefits of the proposed treatment; what might happen if the treatment is not carried out and alternative forms of treatment, their risks and benefits, and whether or not the treatment is considered appropriate
Everyone aged 16 or over is presumed to have the capacity to make their own decisions unless it can be shown that they lack the capacity to make a particular decision at the time it needs to be made. If the treating clinician thinks that someone lacks the capacity to make a treatment decision, s/he will carry out a mental capacity assessment and, if appropriate, make a decision in the person’s best interests. We have a Mental Capacity Assessment Procedure and a Form to provide a record of how a treatment decision was reached.
Training on consent is provided to team members at practice meetings. Consent procedures are reviewed and monitored at the Annual Management Review and in the Audit of Patient Involvement and Consent.
Being Open Policy
The practice is committed to providing a high standard of care to patients and to complying with the National Patient Safety Agency’s advice to implement a being open policy. This policy is designed to improve the experience of patients who are inadvertently harmed during their treatment and to promote better communication between staff and patients. It applies to all team members, who are expected to familiarise themselves with the recommended procedures for being open.
Being Open involves:
Acknowledging, apologising and explaining when things go wrong
Conducting a thorough investigation into the incident and reassuring patients, their families and carers that lessons learned will help prevent the incident from re-occurring
Providing support for those involved to cope with the physical and psychological consequences of what happened
Team members are aware of the need for effective communication between patients and/or carers who may be involved in a safety incident. The team follows the 10 principles of the NPSA framework for Being Open:
Truthfulness, timeliness and clarity of communication
Recognising patient and carer expectations
Risk management and systems improvement
Continuity of care
The procedure for being open is as follows:
Patients and/or carers will receive an apology as soon as possible after a safety incident
A preliminary meeting will be arranged as soon after the incident as possible to explain what has gone wrong, what is being done in response and to suggest sources of support and counselling for the patient and/or carer. The meeting will be attended by the patient and/or their carer (and anyone else they would like to be present), a leading member of staff from the practice and at least one other member of staff from the practice
A written, post-meeting follow-up will then be sent to all concerned
A dialogue will be maintained with the patient and/or carer for as long as necessary after the incident to address any new concerns or share any new information
Patient confidentiality will be maintained and the details of the incident would only be seen on a strictly need to-know basis
Patient feedback on handling the incident will be sought and changes to practice policies and procedures made to prevent it from happening again
Support for patient, other individuals and team members will be provided as necessary.
The practice will learn from safety incidents and analyse the conditions that led up to it. Actions will be taken to prevent a similar incident from recurring and the team will be trained in any new procedures or policies that are required. The practice clinical governance programme is called [iCOMPLY] and its goal is continual improvements in our care and service.
Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy
The practice supports the rights of all people to seek, obtain and hold employment without harassment. It is the practice policy to provide a working environment free from harassment and bullying on any grounds including: age, disability, gender re-assignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation (the protected characteristics). The practice will not permit or condone harassment towards any of its employees (including temporary employees), contractors working in the practice, workers, patients, suppliers or any persons visiting its premises. All team members have a personal responsibility to behave in a manner that is not, nor is it likely to be, perceived as offensive to others.
The aim of this policy is to draw attention to, and thereby prevent, all types of behaviour which amount to harassment and which are, therefore, unacceptable. Any person acting in breach of this policy may be liable to disciplinary action including dismissal. Harassment can constitute discrimination and, accordingly, may be unlawful. The harasser may be held personally liable for such conduct. In addition, harassment can amount to a criminal offence, rendering the harasser liable to criminal prosecution.
The practice follows the ACAS definition of bullying as ‘offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.' The legal definition is if the behaviour 'has the purpose or effect of violating the complainant’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment'.
Harassment, as defined in the Equality Act 2010, is ‘unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual’.
It is also harassment to treat a person less favourably because they have submitted to or rejected previous unwanted conduct of a sexual nature or related to gender re-assignment or sex which had the purpose or effect of violating another person’s dignity or reacting an intimidating, hostile, degrading or offensive environment for them’. The key is that the actions or comments are viewed demeaning and unacceptable to the recipient.