Under NHS regulations, we are unable to charge NHS patients who fail to attend for their appointments or who cancel at short notice (less than 24 hours notice is insufficient notice). A patient who fails to attend their appointment or cancels at short notice, will be sent a letter (including this policy), warning them that they will lose their NHS entitlement here, if they fail to attend or cancel at short notice again within a 3 year period. In the event that a further appointment is missed or cancelled at short notice within this 3 year period, we will withdraw the offer of NHS treatment at this practice. Should they wish to remain a patient here, they will need to register here on a private basis. This is in line with the NHS Choices website that states, ‘Your dentist can terminate your treatment if you miss your appointment without letting the dental practice know. You may then need to pay again for a new course of treatment. While surgeries can’t charge you for not turning up, NHS England has the right to ask you to find another dental practice if you continue to miss appointments’. As with all medical facilities, we aim to see our patients on time but due to the nature of health care, this is not always possible. However, if a patient turns up late for their appointment so that treatment cannot be carried out, this will be regarded as failing to attend. This policy does not affect your ability to seek NHS care at another NHS practice.
Patients Attending Appointments for Private Treatment
To cover the surgery running costs a charge of £1.50 per minute will be made for private treatment appointments that have been missed or cancelled at short notice. (For example, a missed 30 minute appointment will incur a charge of £45.)
Please note, Text reminders are provided out of courtesy, not necessity. It is your responsibility to turn up on time for an appointment. Failure of the Text reminder system for any reason is not sufficient reason for failing to attend or turning up too late for treatment.
Discretion may be used if there is a good reason for the appointment being missed.