Teeth@w1 complies with the 1998 Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and this Policy describes our procedures for ensuring that personal information about patients is processed fairly and lawfully.
In order to provide you with a high standard of dental care and attention, we need to hold personal information about you. This personal data comprises:
- Personal details such as your name, age, address, telephone numbers, email address and your general medical practitioner
- Your past and current medical and dental condition.
- Radiographs, clinical photographs and study models
- Information about the treatment we have provided or propose to provide (and its cost)
- Notes of conversations or incidents that might occur for which a record needs to be kept
- Records of consent to treatment
- Any correspondence (relating to you) with other healthcare professionals: such as referrals to specialists, for example.
We need to keep comprehensive and accurate personal data about our patients to provide them with safe and appropriate dental care.
We will process personal data that we hold about you in the following way:
We will retain your dental records while you are a practice patient. If you cease to be a patient, we will continue to hold them for at least another eleven years, or in the case of children until they reach the age of 25, whichever is the longer.
Personal data about you is held in the practice’s computer system and/or in a manual filing system. The information is not accessible to the public and only authorised members of staff have access to it. Our computer system has secure audit trails, and we back up information on every working day.
To provide proper and safe dental care, we may need to disclose personal information about you to:
- Your general medical practitioner
- The hospital or community dental services
- Other health professionals caring for you
- Dental Insurance Companies of which you are a member
- Private dental schemes of which you are a member
Disclosure will take place on a “need-to-know” basis. Information will only be given to those individuals/organisations who need to have it to provide care to you and for the proper administration of Government (whose personnel are also covered by strict confidentiality rules). The recipient will only be given the information that they need to know for these purposes.
In very limited circumstances or when required by law or by a court order, personal data may have to be disclosed to a third party not connected with your dental care. In all other situations, disclosure that is not covered by this Policy will occur only when we have your specific consent. Where possible you will be informed of these requests for disclosure.
You have the right to access the data that we hold about you and to receive a copy. Access may be obtained by making a request in writing. We will levy a fee for records that are copied. If a request is made to copy x-rays, an extra charge will be made. We will provide a copy of the record within 40 days of receipt of the request and fee and an explanation of your record should you require it.
If you move to another dental practice, we may (at our discretion) loan original x-rays and provide copy notes direct to that practice free of charge on receipt of a written request from them to do so.
If you do not wish data we hold about you to be disclosed or used in the way that is described in this policy, please discuss the matter with your dentist. You have the right to object, but please remember that this may affect our ability to provide you with dental care.
Code of Practice for Patient Complaints
In this practice we take complaints very seriously indeed and try to ensure that all our patients are pleased with their experience of our service. When patients complain, they are dealt with courteously and promptly so that the matter is resolved as quickly as possible. This procedure is based on these objectives.
Our aim is to react to complaints in the way in which we would want our complaint about a service to be handled. We learn from every mistake we make and we respond to customers’ concerns in a caring and sensitive way.
- The person responsible for dealing with any complaint about the service which we provide is Dr Aayesha Meghji.
- If a patient complains on the telephone or in person, we will listen to their complaint and offer to refer him or her to Aayesha immediately. If Aayesha is not available at the time, then the patient will be informed when they will be able to talk to her and arrangements will be made for this to happen. The member of staff will take brief details of the complaint and pass them on to Aayesha. If we cannot arrange this within a reasonable period or if the patient does not wish to wait to discuss the matter, arrangements will be made for someone else to deal with it.
- If the patient complains in writing or by email, it will be passed on immediately to Aayesha.
- If a complaint is about any aspect of clinical care or associated charges it will normally be referred to the dentist concerned unless the patient does not want this to happen.
- We will acknowledge the patient’s complaint in writing and enclose a copy of this code of practice within three working days.
- We will seek to investigate the complaint within ten working days of receipt. If the patient does not wish to meet us, then we will attempt to talk to them on the telephone. If we are unable to investigate the complaint within ten working days we will notify the patient, giving reasons for the delay and a likely period within which the investigation will be completed.
- We will confirm the decision about the complaint in writing immediately after completing our investigation.
- Proper and comprehensive records are kept of any complaint received as well as any actions taken to improve services because of a complaint.
- If patients are not satisfied with the result of our procedure, then a complaint may be made to:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP. Telephone: 0345 015 4033 www.ombudsman.org.uk
The Dental Complaints Service, The Lansdowne Building, 2 Lansdowne Road, Croydon, Greater London, CR9 2ER. Telephone: 08456 120 540 www.dentalcomplaints.org.uk
The General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London. W1N 8DQ. Telephone: 0845 222 4141, the dentists’ regulatory body for complaints about professional misconduct
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.
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 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 us if you have any questions or concerns.