Every year we lose valuable surgery time because of patients failing to attend their appointments, or cancelling at short notice. This makes it more difficult for us to accommodate our patients in need of urgent treatment, for existing patients to book appointments and for new patients to register here.
To avoid the cost of failed or late cancelled appointments being passed onto the rest of our patients, from 1st August 2017 we will charge for un-used time where a patient fails to attend or cancels without reasonable notice (less than 48 hours before the appointment).
Failing to attend an appointment for the first time will result in a letter sent to your home address along with a copy of this policy. It is your responsibility to ensure that we are informed of any changes to your contact information. After the first instance, failing to attend an appointment will result in a charge of £30.00 per appointment.
Late cancellation charges of £30.00 will apply if an appointment is cancelled within 48 hours and we are unable to fill the time. In the event that part of the cancelled surgery time is used by another patient, cancellation charges will be reduced accordingly.
Patients who are unable to make their appointment because of illness should, where possible, contact the practice as soon as they are aware that they cannot attend. If you are unsure whether you can make it to an appointment, please contact us early to discuss the matter rather than leaving it to the last minute. Failing to notify us before the appointment time will result in a failure to attend charge being made unless there are exceptional circumstances.
We understand that scenarios do occur and discretion will be used if there is a good reason for the appointment being missed.
The missed appointment fees which apply to our Private Patients, as stated above, will also apply to all Denplan Patients.
Please refer to your Denplan Care or Denplan Essentials Handbook under ‘The Care/Essentials Contract between you and your dentist’ (Point 10):
“You are responsible for keeping appointments made with your dentist and you must pay any missed appointment fee should you fail to do so. You must ensure that you also attend your dentist for regular examinations, receive the treatment your dentist advises and you must promptly inform you dentist of any injury, problem or other material matter affecting your oral health. If you fail to ensure any of this you will be liable to pay any fee reasonably charged for treatment necessary to restore your oral health, which could otherwise have been avoided.”
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 48 hours is insufficient notice). We have a large number of NHS patients, often whole families, failing to attend their appointments. We ask for you to please notify the practice if you cannot attend by phoning the practice on 01380 723691 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phone reminders are available for all appointments. If we have your contact information on file, we will always provide a reminder call 24 hours in advance of your appointment. If we cannot speak to you in person we will always leave an answer phone message, where the option is available to do so. It is your responsibility to check your phones (Home/ Work/ Mobile if all are provided) for missed calls or answer phone messages and ensure that we are informed of any changes to your contact information.
Please note, telephone reminders are provided out of courtesy, not necessity. It is your responsibility to turn up on time for an appointment. Failure of the telephone reminder system for any reason is not sufficient reason for failing to attend or turning up too late for treatment.