The patient had been a long-standing patient of the practice and regularly returned every six months for her check-up.

Unfortunately, when the original letter of complaint arrived, the dentist was about to go on holiday and rather than responding straight away with a simple acknowledgement, he chose to leave the letter in his briefcase to be dealt with on his return. Like most of us returning from holiday, he was confronted with an enormous pile of mail and rather than spending time opening all of it, and prioritising it, he decided that the needs of his patients that day were more pressing.

Although he genuinely felt that he was always responsive to the needs of his patients, by the time the letter was finally opened, two further letters of complaint had been received from the same patient who by now was positively irate.