The Dentist Magazine.

Good complaints handling less stressful for dentists and more transparent for patients

Published: 12/5/2018 12:00:00 AM

Dental defence organisation, MDDUS, is one of 28 leading dental sector bodies who have jointly developed a new profession-wide complaints handling initiative.

MDDUS head of dental division, Aubrey Craig, supports all steps that will help make the complaints process less stressful for dentists and more transparent for patients.

Aubrey said, “Patient complaints are among the most common reasons dentists contact MDDUS for advice. We are pleased to be part of this new initiative that will further encourage effective complaint handling via six core principles of good complaints handling.

“Effective complaints handling is an essential part of dentistry and is in everyone’s best interests. All dental practices should have a comprehensive and transparent policy and procedure in place for handling complaints that includes the opportunity for patient feedback.

“In our experience, early local action is the key to defusing complaints. Most complaints can be resolved with a swift and careful response, communicating effectively with the patient and listening to and addressing their concerns. Many patients simply want an explanation or an apology, if appropriate, as well as reassurance that steps have been taken to minimise the chances of any errors happening again.

“We welcome and encourage members to contact our advisory team for assistance with complaints responses or any other concerns regarding how to handle complaints.”

The six core principles that dental care professionals are being encouraged to communicate to patients are:

All of your feedback is important to us.

  1. We want to make it easy for you to raise a concern or complain, if you need to.
  2. We follow a complaints procedure and keep you informed.
  3. We will try to answer all your questions and any concerns you raise.
  4. We want you to have a positive experience of making a complaint.
  5. Your feedback helps us to improve our service.

The working group’s aim is for the principles to be clearly displayed and accessible in every clinical setting providing dental care by May 2019.

More details about the initiative can be found on the GDC website here.