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Handling complaints and managing difficult patients

Learn how to use complaints as a positive management tool to enhance your relationship with your patients

Friday 18 September 2020 | London


Learning objectives

Skilful handling of complaints is essential to modern business management as reputation and customer goodwill are paramount. If handled properly, a complaint can enhance relations and turn a potentially lost customer into a satisfied patient. This interactive course will equip you with excellent customer care and key communication skills to help you and your team manage angry, aggressive, nervous and upset patients. Gain the ability to diffuse upset patients and greatly reduce the possibility of complaints escalating to a Fitness to Practise case. 

  • Understanding the formal procedures of complaint handling for NHS and private practices
  • Implement an effective complaints policy and procedure within your practice
  • Consider how well your team communicates with your patients
  • Identify how to improve customer service and avoid complaints
  • Recognise why patients can be difficult
  • Understand how to defuse angry or upset patients and remain calm and in control
  • Maintain rapport during difficult, aggressive conversations.




​Registration and refreshments


Understanding the formal procedures of complaint handling 

Dick Birkin, Former Head of Advice Liaison and Development, BDA


​Morning refreshments


The importance of excellent customer care

Heather Dallas, Managing Director, Dallas Development


Managing difficult patients – skills and techniques for effective patient communication (part 1)

Heather Dallas, Managing Director, Dallas Development




Managing difficult patients – skills and techniques for effective patient communication

(part 2)

Heather Dallas, Managing Director, Dallas Development


​Close of course


Dick Birkin for website.jpg

Dick Birkin,  Former Head of Advice Liaison and Development, BDA

Originally a GDP in the North West, before joining the BDA Dick was a manager with the Dental Reference Service for 24 years. He also spent time as a Clinical Policy Adviser for the DRS where he worked closely with SHAs and PCTs in analysing data and managing risk. He has given evidence at over a hundred disciplinary hearings and has acted as an expert witness at the GDC. 


Heather Dallas, Managing Director, Dallas Development

Heather spent ten years as a senior training manager at Deloitte before starting Dallas Development in January 2000. As well as running various programmes for the BDA, Heather is also a motivational and inspiring public speaker and personal coach in personal impact and career development.  Her specialist areas are management skills, team working, personal impact, train the trainers, presentation skills, life balance and handling conflict.  She is a qualified MBTI Practitioner, Belbin Team Roles Consultant, Strengths Deployment Inventory Consultant and NLP Master Practitioner and Integral Eye Movement Technique Practitioner.


​BDA Member: ​£150
​Non member ​£200
​DCP ​£120


How to book

Book Online                     Online

BDA members can register online


(login/register - see top right of page)

Book by phone

By phone

020 7563 4590

Booking Form

By booking form

Print, complete then return a

 booking form


Full terms and conditions (including cancellation policy)​​


To book online:

Login to the BDA website first. Then use the pink 'Register' button at the top right of this page.

Please note: If you have a GDC number you can use the online system. You do not need to be a BDA member.

If you do not already have a BDA website username and password, fill in this form and we'll set you up with a username and temporary password.

If booking online, please email us any dietary requirements.


 hours CPD

The training course meets the educational criteria set by the GDC for Verifiable CPD and is certified by the British Dental Association


If you wish to stay overnight during the event please contact MICE Concierge our appointed hotel booking agency by email or call 01438 908770.