Patient Experience Policy
It is the aim of this dental practice to put patients at the heart of everything we do, working with them as partners in their patient-centred care to achieve a high level of patient satisfaction. All staff, volunteers and contractors, are responsible for ensuring that their behavior and communications with each other, patients and the public contribute to the enhancement of the patient experience.
To achieve these goals we:
Make patients and visitors feel welcomed and informed
Treat people with dignity and respect throughout the patient journey
Work to improve health and tackle health inequalities
Work towards improving access and waiting times
Provide information for patients and carers in appropriate formats
Maintain clear communications and foster involvement in decision-making about care
Offer choice where appropriate
Build closer relationships
Provide safe, high quality dental care through teamwork
Provide information about infection control measures so that patients feel safe
Deliver dental care in a clean, comfortable, safe and friendly environment
Measurement of the patient experience
Patients and the public are included in the planning and evaluation of service provision and feedback that they provide via patient satisfaction, surveys, compliments and complaints.
The patient experience is reviewed annually in our clinical governance cycle to ensure that standards are maintained and improved.
Personal Development and Training
The practice is committed to providing planned training and development opportunities for team members to enable them to realise their potential and so make the best possible contribution towards delivering a high standard of treatment and service to patients. Each employee has a Training Record, which is reviewed during the annual staff appraisal meeting. During the meeting further training needs are established based on the GDC guidelines, individual’s aspirations, performance and the development plan for the practice as a whole. Employees are encouraged to further their career through training both internally and externally, where appropriate, time off will be given for training.
Prevention and Public health
The practice is committed to maintaining an evidence-based prevention policy for infection and disease oral diseases and conditions appropriate to the needs of the local population, which is consistent with local and national priorities. Clinical team members are appropriately trained to provide relevant information and guidance to patients including:
The benefits of fluoridated toothpastes and other oral care products and providing patients (and parents/carers of young people) with appropriate oral hygiene instruction
The promotion of healthy diets with less sugar and more fruit and vegetables
A check on smoking status and appropriate advice on smoking reduction to lower the risk of periodontal disease and oral cancer
Assessment of alcohol use to identify alcohol abuse and dependence, and if necessary put the patient in contact with local support services
The screening of patients for early signs of mouth cancer
The reduction of dental injuries by encouraging people to wear mouth shields for contact sports
Team members will be kept up-to-date with any changes required to this policy in line with the information provided by local and national health agencies.
Prevention strategy in accordance with ‘Delivering Better Health’
This practice is committed to oral health through prevention. Patients are regularly screened for their gum condition, oral cancer and dental disease. Oral hygiene, dietary and lifestyle advice is given as needed. All patients are assessed for risk factors and advised accordingly. The relevant information on: tooth brushing, fluoride, diet and smoking cessation as found in ‘Delivering Better Oral Health’ is provided whenever it is appropriate and in the best interests of the patient. The care delivered encourages the prevention and early detection of ill health and enables the person to make healthy living choices.
The patient’s general health is always assessed at check-up appointment and medical conditions are identified if possible and patients sent for the relevant referral. This policy applies to all team members, who are expected to familiarize themselves with the policy and provide patients with advice.
Raising Concerns (whistle-blowing)
The practice is committed to complying with the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 and the GDC Standards for Dental Professionals 2005 on Principles of Raising Concerns.
All team members are aware that they must follow the GDC principles of raising concerns and ‘put patients’ interests first and act to protect them’ if they believe that patients might be at risk because of:
Their own health, behaviour or professional performance or that of another team member or;
Any aspect of clinical environment
If action at the local level has failed or the problem is severe or there is a fear of victimisation, then the concern must be raised with the GDC. All team members who raise concerns about potentially illegal or dangerous practices are protected by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 provided they:
Are acting in good faith
Honestly and reasonably believe the information to be true
Are not raising concerns primarily for personal gain and
Have raised concerns with the employer first (unless they reasonably believe that they would be victimised)
When treating patients the practice follows the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) interventional guidance. Patient recall periods are documented and individually designed.
There are processes for referral of patients to other providers if it is in the best interests of the patients. All practitioners fully explain the reasons for and implications of a referral. A referral is made when the practitioner is unable to undertake treatment. Practitioners only carry out treatment if they have been trained and are competent to do it.
Requests for treatment are always clear and the referral colleague is provided with all of the appropriate information.
If a practitioner is asked to provide treatment or clinical advice, the treating practitioner will ensure that they are clear about what they are being asked to do. GDC guidelines on referral are followed.
Staff are trained in its use and the implementation of the policy is monitored. There are processes in place to accept patients from referring practitioners.
There are robust arrangements to make sure that information sharing systems comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. See Data Protection.
The practice is committed to ensuring the safety of our patients and all team members. To this effect we have introduced this policy to identify all risks to them. All enquiries regarding this policy must be addressed to the Health and Safety Manager. We make best endeavor to remove risk and when this is not possible to reduce the risk to its minimum with appropriate control measures. Our risk management includes but is not limited to:
Health and safety
Staff training and development
Continuing professional development
The safe use of x-ray equipment
Financial risks such as controlling cash flow and private fee levels
Violence and aggression at work
Welfare at the workplace
Employment conditions, contracts and documentation
Safe Use of X-ray Equipment
The practice is committed to ensuring the safety of our patients and all team members and to complying with all current regulations including IRME(R) 2000 and IRR99 for the safe use of radiographic equipment. All enquiries regarding this policy must be addressed to the Health and Safety Manager. Team members only operate x-ray equipment if properly trained and authorised to do so.
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