The DDU, which took part in the working group about the principles, said the new advice will help to cement some of the complaints handling techniques it recommends to its members.
John Makin, head of the DDU, said:
'Complaints are common and it's vital that dental professionals know how to respond to them professionally and appropriately. The universal principles being published today will help to remind the profession about the importance of good complaints handling and also reassure patients that their concerns will be taken seriously and addressed.
'During 2017, the DDU supported members with over 1,800 complaints from patients. Our data indicates that around 90% of complaints can be resolved at practice level with our help.
'While dealing with a complaint may be somewhat stressful and time consuming, it is time and effort well spent to try to resolve concerns as quickly as possible, at the most local level and to the satisfaction of all concerned.'
The six core principles that dental professionals are being encouraged to communicate to patients are:
- All of your feedback is important to us.
- We want to make it easy for you to raise a concern or complain, if you need to.
- We follow a complaints procedure and keep you informed.
- We will try to answer all your questions and any concerns you raise.
- We want you to have a positive experience of making a complaint.
- Your feedback helps us to improve our service.
The DDU has produced a comprehensive guide to dealing with dental complaints in the latest issue of the DDU journal. Those completing the module can gain one hour of CPD.
This guidance was correct at publication 15/11/2018. 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.