Complaints handling best practice

​You may be unable to prevent a complaint from being raised, however in our experience, there are certain steps which can be taken to avoid a complaint from escalating. We would advise the following;

  • Ensure that your practice has an in-house complaint handling procedure which is visible so that patients are aware of this
  • On receipt of a complaint contact your indemnifier for advice  
  • Acknowledge receipt of all complaints in writing ideally within 2 working days, also provide a timeframe for when the patient will receive a full response
  • A general guideline suggests that the patient should receive a full response within 10 working days. If this is not possible, please advise the patient of a date when they can expect a full reply to their complaint
  • Follow through on any arrangements made with patients such as a response to their complaint or referrals to a specialist or hospital, keep them updated of any progress made

If you are registered with the General Dental Council, you should ensure you are familiar with its expectations on complaints handling in its standards.

What to do if you need our assistance from the Dental Complaints Service

If despite your best efforts you and the patient are unable to reach a resolution, please advise the patient to contact the DCS for assistance and we will work you both to try and resolve the matter. Should you have any queries or questions in relation to our process, please call us on 020 8253 0800 and a member of the team will be happy to help you.


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Contact Us


020 8253 0800 (Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm)


Write to: 

Dental Complaints Service 
Stephenson House
2 Cherry Orchard Road

Croydon CR0 6BA​