Practice policy on missed or late cancelled appointments and failure to return for treatment
Missed or late cancelled appointments
- We do not charge NHS patients for missed or late cancelled dental appointments
- Late cancellation is defined as being a cancellation on the same day as the appointment.
- A fee for missed or late cancelled private appointments is at the discretion of the dentist, and is based on the cost of the surgery time lost.
- If patients fail to attend, or late cancel on 2 or more occasions within a 12 month period, their registration with the practice may be withdrawn.
- This is in line with the NHS Choices website which states that “if you miss NHS appointments, your dentist can decide not to offer you treatment in the future”
- This can apply to both NHS and Private patients.
- If two or more appointments are missed or late cancelled, and the registration with the practice is to be withdrawn, a letter will be sent advising the patient of this.
- This letter will also be sent to the area team, and a copy kept on file for future reference.
- The letter will contain details of the NHS England guidance on missed dental appointments.
- Any concerns or complaints by patients will be directed towards Sam Wood, and the complaint procedure made known if required.
- Any patients that fails to attend a treatment appointment, will be managed as per the failed to return policy below. Patients must be given a “reasonable time period” for which to contact the practice to re-book the appointment. Patients will be contacted to try to arrange this appointment, as per the below policy. Contact will be via phone, text or email. The maximum time allowed for this will be 2 months.
- If the patient the attends for the treatment recommended, the fee for the band 2 or 3 treatment will be maintained, and no additional fee applies.
- If patients fails to attend for a scale and polish appointment, where it will just be a band 1 treatment, this open course of treatment can be closed with immediate effect, as this is classed as part of the examination process. The form can be closed as failed to complete. Should the patient then wish to attend for this treatment at a later date, a new course of treatment will be entered into, and the full band 1 fee will be applicable again.
- If the patient fails to attend for subsequent appointments, despite having been contacted, the above procedure will be followed, and registration with the practice will be withdrawn.
- If a patient is attending the practice for the first time as a new patient and they miss or fail to attend their appointment, we may decline to offer further appointments and deregister them.
- If patients arrive more than 10 minutes late for a scheduled appointment, the dentist, therapist or hygienist may not be able to see you. This is because we run to an appointment book, and if we do not have long enough to complete the planned treatment, it is better to reschedule this appointment, to ensure the treatment can be provided as planned. If patients think they may be late for an appointment, it is advised that they call to check whether the appointment might be better re scheduled.
Failure to return for treatment
- Patients are encouraged to make appointments for any treatment required at the time of initial assessment.
- Patients with outstanding treatment will be contacted to make an appointment, first by either phone or text, then by letter.
- If an appointment is not scheduled within 1 month of the initial assessment, the treatment plan maybe closed.
- The actual treatment appointment, if made, does not have to be within 1 month, as long as an appointment is on the system.
- If no appointment is made after these further two attempts, the treatment plan can be closed, as the patient will be presumed to have failed to return.
- This will mean that anyone with an open course of NHS treatment, who have paid already for Band 1, will have to pay again for a new course of treatment (as the claim will have been sent off).
- They will therefore be charged more overall for their treatment.
- Private patients too may also be charged for a new examination.
- Both are at the discretion of the dentist.
- Our policy is in line with guidance on the NHS Choices website set by NHS England.
- Any concerns or complaints can be directed to Sam Wood, and the complaint procedure will be made known if required.
Failure to correctly declare exemptions
- Patients are advised, by posters in the waiting rooms, that failure to correctly declare their exemption may result in a fine, along with having to pay the full charge of the treatment.
- Patients are therefore encouraged to correctly declare to staff, with proof, any exemptions they are entitled to.
- Patients are responsible for ensuring they declare their exemptions correctly, Peasholm dental practice is not responsible for this declaration.