Cancellation of an appointment with less than ‘Two Full Working Days / 48 Hours’ notice usually means we are unable to re-allocate the time to other patients. This leads to lost treatment time, which along with our staffing costs and overheads still has to be funded.
Running an efficient appointment system where patients give us notice if they are unable to attend an appointment means we minimise wasted treatment time and keep waiting lists to a minimum.
Minimum notice – two full working days
We ask for two full working days’ notice to change, cancel or move an appointment as this gives us an opportunity to re-allocate the time to another patient. If less notice is given without a valid reason, the appointment will be considered to have been broken and may incur a charge. Please note, Saturdays are not considered a working day and therefore Monday appointments should be cancelled before we close on Thursdays.
Text reminders are sent 2 working days before an appointment and patients are requested to inform the practice of any changes to their contact details. Text reminders are sent as a courtesy and not receiving a message (for example due to IT failure, change of mobile no. etc) can’t be used as a valid exception to our cancellation policy. We also offer a paper appointment card to all patients when the appointment is made in person, in the practice.
Rescheduling or delay of appointments by the practice
We only reschedule or delay a patient’s appointment in unavoidable circumstances. Because appointments are booked so far in advance, sometimes this does occur. In such cases we will:
• Contact the patient as soon as we are aware of the need to reschedule or delay and explain the reason why.
• At the time of contact we will offer the earliest next available appointment.
• If the patient is unable to commit to an appointment at that contact, we will ask the patient to contact us and will book a new appointment at the earliest time available
Cancellation of an appointment or a missed appointment by the patient
Failure to attend is defined as:
• Not arriving for an appointment.
• Arriving late for an appointment (5 minutes late or more).
• Not giving enough notice of not being able to attend (Short Notice Cancellation) – we require 2 full working days’ notice.
Missed NHS appointments cannot be charged for, however we have a firm policy regarding non-attendance in line with NHS regulations.
Patients who fail to attend two NHS dental appointments are unlikely to be offered any further appointments (missed appointments do not have to be consecutive).
Your dentist can terminate your treatment if you miss your appointment without letting the dental surgery know. You may then need to pay again for a new course of treatment.
While surgeries cannot charge you for not turning up, NHS England has the right to ask you to find another dental surgery if you continue to miss appointments (https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/dentists/what-happens-when-you-visit-the-dentist/). If you miss an NHS appointment and do not attend again within 24 months, we may not be able to see you again.
As per NICE guidelines the dentist will invite you to book an examination appointment at the end of your course of treatment to ensure you receive ongoing dental care. If you choose not to book an examination at this point, the practice may later send you a recall letter. However, it is a patient’s responsibility to attend regularly and keep track of dental appointments.
Private and Plan Appointments
Patients booking an appointment with the Hygienist may be asked to pay a reservation fee of half of the hygienist fee. If a Hygienist appointment is cancelled by the patient at short notice (less than two full working days’ notice) or missed, then this payment will be lost, and a new fee will need to be paid before a new appointment can be booked.
If a patient fails to attend a Private or Plan dental appointment with the dentist, they will be charged for some or all of the cost of that appointment, in proportion to the length of the appointment and any laboratory fees incurred. The final decision is at the discretion of the Practice owner. We reserve the right to ask for a deposit for private and plan appointments with our dentist, which will be forfeited in the event of failure to attend as outlined above. If more than 2 appointments are missed, future appointments may not be offered.
Private and Plan Treatment Costs
You will be issued with a printed copy of your treatment plan outlining proposed treatment and costs by your dentist. The costs outlined in the treatment plan reflect those on the date this plan is issued and ONLY with the practitioner(s) who planned that treatment.
The costs outlined for each item in the treatment plan will be honoured for 6 months, from the date issued, in the event there is a change to our charges during this period. This applies only to the treatment outlined in this treatment plan and NOT any additional/different dental treatment that you may require during/after this 6-month window, which would be charged the applicable fee at the time it has been planned.
In the interest of your oral health, dental treatment should be carried out in a timely manner and in accordance with your dental professional’s advice. If more than 6 months has elapsed, between the date your plan is issued and the start of treatment, your treatment will be re-priced to our current treatment charges.The cost of your treatment may change if your treatment is provided by a different practitioner and/or the clinical needs for your treatment changes.You will be informed of any changes to the costs before proceeding with treatment.
Your Medical Information
It’s important we hold up-to-date medical information on your records. If there are any changes to your health between appointments, please inform us when you attend. It is useful to bring a copy of your prescription sheets if you take any medications. Please note if you are unable to provide us with up-to-date medical information prior to your dental treatment, your appointments may be postponed until this information is received by the practice.