We endeavour to treat all of our patients appropriately, compassionately and fairly. However, in the unlikely event that you have an issue with any matter in relation to your treatment, you are entitled to make a complaint and we will be happy to provide you with our complaints policy, which is also available below.
Complaints Policy
Aims & Objectives
- We aim to provide a service that meets the needs of our patients and we strive for a
high standard of care.
- We welcome suggestions from patients about the safety and quality of service, treatment and care that we provide.
- We are committed to an effective and fair complaints system.
- We support a culture of openness and willingness to learn from incidents, including complaints.
Complaints Policy
- Patients are encouraged to provide suggestions, compliments, concerns and complaints and we offer a range of ways to do it.
- Patients are encouraged to discuss any concerns about treatment and service with their treating clinician, or they can complete our customer feedback form.
- All complainants are treated with respect, sensitivity and confidentiality.
- All complaints are handled without prejudice or assumptions about how minor or serious they are. The emphasis is on resolving the problem.
- Patients can make complaints on a confidential basis or anonymously if they wish, and be assured that their identity will be protected.
- Patients will not to be discriminated against or suffer any unjust adverse consequences as a result of making a complaint about standards of care and service.
Managing Complaints
- We encourage patients to provide feedback about the service, including complaints, concerns, suggestions and compliments.
- We will attempt resolution of complaints and concerns at the point of service, wherever possible.

The process of resolving the problem will include:
- An expression of regret to the patient for any harm or distress suffered.
- An explanation or information about what is known, without speculating or blaming others.
- Consideration of the problem and the outcome the consumer is seeking and proposing a solution.
- Confirmation that the patient is satisfied with the proposed solution.
If the problem is resolved, we will complete the "Suggestion for Improvement" form to record feedback from the patient.
What If the Complaint is Not Resolved?
Complaints that are not resolved at the point of service, or that are received in writing and require follow up, are regarded as formal complaints.
If the complaint is not resolved at the point of service, we will provide the complainant with the formal complaints policy.
Dr Elena Karnovitch will complete the first two sections of the "Complaint Follow Up" form.
- Dr Elena Karnovitch is responsible for co-ordinating investigation and resolution of formal complaints, conducting risk assessments, liaising with complainants, maintaining a register of complaints and other feedback, providing regular reports on informal and formal complaints, and monitoring the performance of the complaints policy and procedure.
- Dr Elena Karnovitch is responsible for a proactive approach to receiving feedback from patients, and risk management.
- Dr Elena Karnovitch is responsible for investigation and review of complaints and follow up action for serious complaints, or where complaints result in recommendations for change in policy or procedures.
Dr Elena Karnovitch is responsible for:
- Ensuring appropriate action is taken to resolve individual complaints.
- Acting on recommendations for improvement arising from complaints.
- Ensuring there is meaningful reporting on trends in complaints.
- Ensuring compliance and review of the complaints management policy.
- Notifications to insurers.
- Consultation with professional registration boards, and others where necessary.
Promoting Feedback
Information is provided about the complaints policy and external complaints bodies that
patients can go to with a complaint (such as Cosmetic Redress Scheme) in a variety of ways, including;
- On our website.
- Automated feedback requests via email following an appointment with Dr Elena Karnovitch.
- Through our patient feedback brochure.
- Publicity about the services that we offer such as social media posts.
Risk Assessment
After receiving a formal complaint, Dr Elena Karnovitch will review the issues in consultation with relevant parties to decide what action should be taken, consistent with the risk management procedure.
Assessing Resolution Options
Formal complaints are normally resolved by direct negotiation with the complainant, but
some complaints are better resolved with the assistance of an alternative dispute resolution provider.
Dr Elena Karnovitch will signpost the complainant to an appropriate external body if:
- There is a serious question about the adequacy and safety of a health practitioner.
- The complaint raises complex issues that require external expertise.
- The complaint cannot be resolved internally to the patient's satisfaction.
Dr Elena Karnovitch undertakes to signpost patients to the body approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute ( The Alternative Disputes Resolution Service Provider is "Cosmetic Redress Scheme" ( in accordance with The Alternative Disputes Resolution Regulations (2015) and Dr Elena Karnovitch undertakes to co-operate and comply with the recommendations made by the Cosmetic Redress Scheme.
- Formal complaints are acknowledged in writing or in person within 48 hours.
- The acknowledgment provides contact details for the person who is handling the complaint, how the complaint will be dealt with and how long it is expected to take.
- If a complaint raises issues that require notification to or consultation with an external body, the notification or consultation will occur within three days of those issues being identified.
- Formal complaints are investigated and a resolution should be offered within 10 days.
- If the complaint is not resolved within 20 days, the complainant will be provided with an update.
Records and Privacy
- The complaints manager maintains a complaints and patient feedback register (e.g. Save Face portfolio), with records of informal feedback (Suggestions for improvement and patient feedback forms) and formal complaints.
- Personal information in individual complaints is kept confidential and is only made available to those who need it to deal with the complaint.
- Complainants are given notice about how their personal information is likely to be used during the investigation of a complaint.
- Individual complaints files are kept in a secure filing cabinet in Dr Elena Karnovitch's office and in a restricted access section of the computer system's file server.
- Patients are provided with access to their medical records [in accordance with the confidentiality policy]. Others requesting access to a patient's medical records as part of resolving a complaint are provided with access ONLY if the patient has provided authorisation [in accordance with the confidentiality policy].
Open Disclosure and Fairness
Complainants are initially provided with an explanation of what happened, based on the known facts.
At the conclusion of an inquiry or investigation, the complainant will be provided with all established facts, the causal factors contributing to the incident and will be notified of any recommendations to improve the service, and the reasons for these decisions.
Investigation and Resolution
The clinical director carries out investigations of complaints to identify what happened, the underlying causes of the complaint and preventative strategies.

Information is gathered from:
- Listening to the complainant's views.
- Reviewing medical records and other records.
- Reviewing relevant policies, standards or guidelines.
Reporting and Recording Complaints
The clinical director prepares a monthly report on the number and type of complaints, the outcomes of complaints, recommendations for change and any subsequent action that has been taken. The reports are kept for audit purposes.
The clinical director periodically prepares case studies using anonymised individual complaints to demonstrate how complaints are resolved and followed up, for use in audit and appraisal.
Information about trends in complaints and how individual complaints are resolved is routinely considered as part of reflecting on the performance of the service and opportunities for improvement.
An annual quality improvement report is published that includes information on:
- The number and main types of complaints received, common outcomes and how complaints have resulted in changes.
- How complaints were managed—how the complaints system was promoted, how long it took to resolve complaints (and whether this is consistent with the policy) and whether complainants were satisfied with the process and outcomes.
- The results of the annual patient satisfaction survey.
- Changes that have been made as a result of patient complaints.
Monitoring and Evaluation
The clinical director continuously monitors the amount of time taken to resolve complaints, whether recommended changes have been acted on and whether satisfactory outcomes have been achieved.
The clinical director annually reviews the complaints management system to evaluate if the complaints policy is being complied with and how it measures up against best practice guidelines. As part of the evaluation, patients are asked to comment on their awareness of the policy and how well it works in practice.
References and Further Reading:
Good Medical Practice (GMC,2013)
The Code; Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics (NMC,2012)
Standards for Dental Practitioners (2013)
Chartered Institute of Trading Standards
6 Deerswood close, Caterham