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Toothbeary's Policies

Appointment cancellation

It is the aim of this practice to provide quality dental care to our patients on schedule and to use clinical time effectively. To achieve this aim we have an appointment cancellation policy.

Patients are requested to give at least 24 hours notice to cancel a dental appointment. Cancellations should be made by telephone on 0208 831 6870 or by email to info@toothbeary.co.uk.

There is a fee of £67 for each appointment that are missed or cancelled with less than 24 hours notice.

It is our aim to telephone or write to patients after a missed appointment to understand the reason for non-attendance and to inform them about any fee or decision about their dental care.

Any appeals about missed or cancelled appointment decisions by a patient should be made in writing to the Practice Manager.

Health and safety

Your health and safety is of paramount importance to us and is constantly reviewed in line with current regulations. Please notify a member of staff if you notice any area of concern so immediate action can be taken.

Confidentiality

The practice is committed to complying with the requirements of the legislation governing patient confidentiality including: Access to Health Records 1990, Caldicott Guidelines 1997, Confidentiality Code of Practice 1998, Data Protection Act 1998 and the current GDC Standards.

For the purpose of this policy, confidential information is defined as all the information that is learnt in a professional role including personal details, medical history, what treatment a patient is having and how much it costs. The definition of personal details includes, but is not limited by, such details as name, age, address, personal circumstances, race, health, sex and sexual orientation, etc. Note that even the fact that a patient attends the practice is confidential. Confidential information may be supplied or stored on any medium including images, videos, health records, and computer records or may be transmitted verbally.

All staff members are be aware of their responsibilities for safeguarding patient confidentiality and keeping information secure and must have received appropriate training on the legislation requirements and the current GDC Standards to ensure that:

  • No personal information given or received in confidence is passed on to anyone else without the patient’s prior consent. To obtain consent a patient is advised what information will be released and why and the likely consequences of the information release. The patient is given an opportunity to withhold their permission to share information, unless exceptional circumstances apply, and record is made on their notes of whether or not they gave their permission
  • If a patient consents to sharing information about them the team member will ensure that all recipients of the information understand that it is confidential
  • If a patient’s information or images are used for research or marketing the team member will advise the patient how these will be used, check that the patient understands what s/he is agreeing to, obtain and record the patient’s consent to their use and only release the minimum information for the purpose. The patient will be advised that s/he can withdraw permission at any time
  • If it is not necessary for a patient to be identified, they will remain anonymous in any information released
  • The duty to keep information confidential also covers originals and copies of a patient’s photographs, videos or audio recordings, including those made on a mobile phone. No images or recordings will be made without the patient’s permission
  • Patient information is kept confidential even after death

Before releasing information without the patient’s permission, an effort is always made to either convince the patient to release the information himself or herself or give the practice permission to do so, with the details of the discussion fully documented in the patient record. If obtaining consent from a patient is not practical or appropriate or if the patient will not give their permission, the team member will obtain advice from their professional indemnity organisation before releasing it.

A patient’s information will only be released without their prior permission in the following exceptional circumstances:

  • It is in the best interests of the public or the patient and the information released could be important in preventing or detecting a serious crime
  • If a team member has information that a patient could be at risk of significant harm or may be a victim of abuse, in which case the appropriate care agencies or the police will be informed
  • If a team member is required to disclose information by a court or a court order, in which case only the minimum amount of information necessary to comply will be released

The practice treats breaches of confidentiality very seriously. No team member shall knowingly misuse any confidential information or allow others to do so. Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action.

Patient safety charter

Our practice has a safety culture which means that patient safety is at the forefront of everyone’s minds not only when delivering healthcare but also when setting objectives, developing procedures, purchasing new products and equipment. It is also a culture that is open and fair, where team members can discuss the challenges they face at work for the best interests of our patients. For patient safety we:

  • Follow the latest infection prevention guidelines including those from NHS England
  • Use dental instruments that are single use or are sterilised after use
  • Decontaminate work areas including the dental chair, hand held equipment and cupboard handles, in between patients
  • Maintain a high standard of personal hygiene including clinical clothing and the restricted wearing of jewellery
  • Monitor practice water for quality. Dental unit waterlines are disinfected and kept clear
  • Handle waste according to current regulations and dispose of it with appropriate carriers
  • Take expert advice if a team member may have a blood borne infection. The team member will have an occupational health examination and follow the advice on their role in treating patients

All our team members are trained in safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults and follow the practice safeguarding procedures, which are regularly monitored and reviewed.

We run a clinical governance system which uses integrated risk management to identify, assess, analyse and manager all risks and incidents. The goal is continuous improvement in our care and service to you.

The Practice Manager has the overall responsibility at the practice. The team is supported through regular meetings, staff training, personal development and regular appraisals. The practice always welcomes questions, comments and suggestions from patients.

Please contact the practice manager if you have any questions or concerns.

Patient complaints procedure

It is our aim to always have satisfied patients, to meet your expectations of care and service and to resolve any complaints as efficiently, effectively and politely as possible. We take complaints very seriously, we investigate them in a full and fair way and take great care to protect your confidentiality.

If you are not entirely satisfied with any aspect of our care or service please let us know as soon as possible to allow us to address your concerns promptly. We will never discriminate against patients who have made a complaint. Please address all complaints to the Practice Manager. If we cannot resolve your complaint immediately it will be acknowledged in writing within 3 working days and we aim to provide a full response within 28 working days.

If the Practice Manager is unavailable, we will take brief details about the complaint and let you know when you can talk to a suitable team member as soon as possible. We will keep comprehensive and confidential records of your complaint, which will be stored securely. Only those persons who need to know about your complaint are informed about it and can access it.

Should the complaint need to be investigated, this may involve the person who treated you, members of the team or others. If there is a delay in investigation we will notify you about it, giving the reasons and the likely date for its completion.

When the investigation has been completed, you will be informed of its outcome in writing and invited to a meeting to discuss the results and any practical solutions that we can offer to you.

These solutions could include replacing treatment, refunding fees paid, referring you for specialist treatments or other solutions that meet your needs and resolve the complaint.

We regularly analyse patient complaints to learn from them and to improve our services. That’s why we always welcome your feedback, comments, suggestions and complaints. If you are dissatisfied with our response to a complaint you can take it further, please see the contacts below.

Contacts

For private dental treatment you can contact the GDC private dental complaints service by calling 0845 612 0540 or visiting www.dentalcomplaints.org.uk

The General Dental Council is responsible for regulating all dental professionals, you can contact them on information@GDC-org.uk or by calling 0845 222 4141.