Complaints Handling Policy

Complaints Handling Policy



A patient’s evaluation of the care received at our practice is an extremely important form of feedback that provides valuable information about the services we provide. We encourage patients to provide both positive and negative feedback.

All staff will be provided with training and support that will assist them to identify, report and appropriately respond to complaints and other negative feedback. At Bunbury Oral Care Centre we classify negative feedback into three ways:

  1. Enquiries: low level matters where an explanation or clarification of circumstances satisfies or resolves the patient’s concerns. No further risk or future action against the dental practitioner or practice is indicated
  2. Notification: a complication or incident that has not caused the patient to make any complaint or claim, but has the potential to become a complaint or claim in the future. The dental practitioner involved will consult their professional association in these matters for guidance on handling the incident and whether notification to the professional indemnity insurer is required. The dental practitioner’s management of such complications or incident will be compatible with the practice’s open disclosure process.
  3. Complaint or Claim: matters in which a patient, or person on behalf of the patient, has made a verbal or written complaint to the practitioner or to a statutory or legal body, regarding some element of treatment that has been provided by the dental practitioner to the patient. The dental practitioner involved will consult their professional association and their professional indemnity insurer prior to responding to the matter.

In the event of a patient complaint, all staff at Bunbury Oral Care Centre should use the following complaint handling policy:

  • Provide an open environment for a patient to share their dissatisfaction with us directly, whilst respecting the patient’s right to have a concern heard by an independent third party such as the Dental Board of Australia or WA Branch of the ADA
  • Resolve the complaint at the lowest level possible
  • A patient will be required to place serious complaints or requests for refunds in writing
  • Notification to and advice sought from professional associations and professional indemnity insurers is encouraged
Bunbury Oral Care Centre’s Complaint Handling Process:

Bunbury Oral Care Centre will acknowledge and respond in a timely manner, either verbally or in writing, in respect to the seriousness of the complaint. We aim to respond to all complaints within 3 days.

All complaints will be reported and reviewed by the Principal Dentist of the practice. Bunbury Oral Care Centre expects responsibility for the management of practitioner related complaints will lie with the dental practitioner about whom the complaint is related. The dental practitioner involved will respond to the complaint upon receipt of advice from their professional association and/or their insurer.

Where a patient has a concern and they voice this to a staff member it is expected that the staff member will:

  • Listen to the patients concerns
  • Let the patient know that the practice is concerned about complaints, and that there is a Complaint form and register. Ask the patient if they would like them to complete the form or if they would prefer to complete the form themselves.
  • On receipt of a complaint the Principal Dentists need to be made aware of the complaint and should act to resolve the issue.
Complaints Review Process

Bunbury Oral Care Centre is committed to continuous improvement in safety and quality. The Principal Dentist will analyze data/feedback and take action where required. Any review actions/outcomes will be communicated to staff. In addition, incidents and analysis of incidents are reviewed by the Principal Dentist.

Notifying patients about their rights

Bunbury Oral Care Centre will always endeavour to advise patients about their rights and the way our practice operates. Part of the process of providing this information to patients and/or carers is providing access to our Charter of Patient Rights.

  • Placing it on the practice website
  • Making a copy available to patients in the waiting room
  • Proving a copy on request

Bunbury Oral Care Centre expects all staff will assist patients to understand their patient rights and the way our practice operates. It is the responsibility of staff to proactively identify those patients who may be ‘at risk’ of not understanding their healthcare rights and to consult the dental practitioner if further guidance is needed.