We encourage patients to give us feedback as it allows us to constantly improve our service and care. For this reason, we take complaints seriously and want to ensure that our service meets expectations.

All complaints will be dealt with courteously and promptly. We wish to resolve your issue as quickly as possible.

Our aim is to react to complaints and learn from every situation. We will respond to any concerns in a caring and sensitive way. Patients will not be discriminated against for making a complaint and it will not have a negative effect on their treatment.

The ‘Formal Complaints Handling Procedure’ is detailed at the end of this document, but is outlined in the points below…

Overall Responsibility

The person responsible for dealing with complaints is the Surgery Manager, Mrs Eve Cockrell. Overall responsibility for any issues surrounding care and service at the surgery is held by Dr Geoffrey Cockrell.

Verbal Complaints

If a patient makes a verbal complaint, the team member they are speaking with will listen to the patient and (if able to) immediately attempt to resolve the issue. If the patient is asking a team member for something they are unable or unauthorised to provide, then the team member will contact the Surgery Manager immediately, so she can deal with the matter.

Written Complaints

These will be passed directly to the Surgery Manager for her to deal with.

Complaints relating to clinical care or associated charges will usually be referred to the treating clinician unless the patient does not wish to involve the treating clinician in the discussions.

The full response may initially be given at a meeting or by telephone (if the patient finds this acceptable) and then confirmed in writing.

Data Protection

In the event that a patient makes a complaint or commences/threatens legal action against the surgery, we may need to provide information about the patient and their treatment to our professional indemnity organisation(s), insurers and legal advisors.


We will maintain comprehensive records of any feedback we receive, responses we give, and any action taken. These will be kept separate from the patient’s clinical records. They will not be accessible by any treating clinician (with the exception of Dr Cockrell who hold overall responsibility for the surgery). The details of any feedback from a patient will not be passed on if a patient moves to another dental surgery or practice.

Formal Complaints Handling Procedure

  • The person responsible for dealing with any complaints about the service that we provide is Mrs Eve Cockrell, although it is Dr Geoffrey Cockrell that will hold overall responsibility for any issues surrounding care and service at the surgery.
  • If we receive a complaint by telephone or in person, we will listen and offer to refer you to Mrs Cockrell immediately. If Mrs Cockrell is in surgery or otherwise unavailable at the time you contact us, we will arrange a mutually convenient time for Mrs Cockrell to return to you. The member of staff you made contact with will take brief details of the issue and pass it to Mrs Cockrell. If the matter requires a more immediate response, we will arrange for a senior member of the team to speak with you.
  • If we receive a complaint in writing or by e-mail, it will be passed immediately to Mrs Cockrell
  • If a complaint is about any aspect of clinical care or associated charges, it will usually be referred to the clinician concerned, unless the individual does not want this to happen.
  • On receiving a written complaint, we will write back to you within 3 working days (enclosing a copy of this policy) to acknowledge receipt of that complaint. We will offer to discuss the complaint with you and confirm how you would like to be kept informed of developments i.e. by telephone, letters or e-mail or by face-to-face meetings. We will you of how the complaint will be handled and the likely timeframe for completion of any investigation. If you do not wish to take the complaint further, we will still complete an investigation and inform you of the timeframe for that investigation.
  • We will seek to investigate the complaint within 6 months (although usually sooner) and, as far as reasonably practicable, we will keep the individual informed as to the progress of the investigation.
  • When we have completed our investigation, we will provide the individual with a full written report, which will include an explanation of how we considered the complaint, the conclusions reached in respect of each specific part of the complaint, details of any necessary remedial action taken and whether further action will be taken.
  • Proper and comprehensive records will be kept of any complaints received and the action we take. These records will be reviewed regularly to ensure that we take every opportunity to improve our service
  • If you are not satisfied with the result of our investigation, you may then contact…

Dental Complaints Service
Stephenson House
2 Cherry Orchard Road
0845 612 0540

General Dental Council
37 Wimpole Street