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26 October 2018
If you ask us to help you with a complaint, we'll need you to send us specific information so we can assist you.
This guide lets you know what you should send us, and what to expect after you do.
This should include all paper records, including any old or archived paper records, and all computer records (either printouts or screenshots).
The clinical records should include:
You can send digital radiographs to us by email or physically on a storage device. Copies of conventional films can be scanned or digitally captured.
If you have any doubt as to what constitutes the records, please contact us.
This could be between you or the practice and the patient, or with third parties, such as the Ombudsman or the Dental Complaints Service (DCS), and should include a copy of the acknowledgement of the complaint.
If the complaint hasn't yet been acknowledged in writing, arrange for this to be sent to the complainant at the earliest opportunity along with a copy of the relevant complaints procedure. If you need it, you can use this acknowledgement letter template to do so.
If you'd like more information about complaints procedures, the following resources might be useful:
This could be anything that will help us to help you. For example, is there anything you remember about your care of the patient that isn't in the records?
It's helpful to have your comments on each aspect of the complaint, so provide them by the most convenient method for you, such as bullet points or a draft response.
We'll reply to your preferred email listed on the DDU membership database. If you'd like us to use an alternative email or postal address, please let us know.
All the information you send to us needs to be anonymised. We can accept the initials and date of birth of the patient, but please remove their full name, address, email address, phone numbers etc.
Once we've received your information we will allocate a dento-legal adviser to your file and let you know the file reference number, but it may take the adviser some time to read all the information and get back to you with a response.
If you have any other communication from the complainant or their representatives before our adviser has contacted you, please call the DDU advice line immediately on 0800 374 626.
We'll normally allocate your file within one working day of when we receive your information. Remember that if you send it outside our normal office hours, it won't be received until the start of the next working day.
We aim to respond within three to five working days after you receive the file reference number.
See our DDU support pages for more information on how we can help if you've received a complaint, claim or letter from the GDC.
This guidance was correct at publication 26/10/2018. It is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.
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