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Managing Missed and Cancelled Appointments Policy

Managing Appointments

To manage our appointment system effectively and provide high-quality service, it is important that patients attend their appointments as planned.

Our appointment system allows patients to access our services at a time that suits them and minimises waiting times. Appointments can be made or rescheduled by calling 01344 773357.

If you have any queries or concerns about an appointment, please call the practice to speak to our reception team. With enough notice, this means that if you need a shorter appointment time or do not want to go ahead with treatment, we are able to offer an appointment to someone else.

Reminders

Text and email reminders are sent 2 working days before an appointment and patients are re-requested to inform the practice of any changes to their contact details. Please note that text and email reminders are sent as a courtesy and texts/emails may not be sent/received for reasons out of our control (IT failure, change in a mobile number or email address etc). Therefore, failure to attend, by not receiving a text message or email will not be considered a valid exception to our policy. We will offer paper appointment cards to all patients by request.

If you are unable to keep your appointment, then please call the practice giving us as much notice as possible at least 1 full working day so that we can offer your time slot 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.

Rescheduling or delay of appointments by the Practice

We will only reschedule or delay a patient’s appointment in unavoidable circumstances, 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.
  • As 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, then we will ask the patient to contact us to 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:

  • Arriving late for an appointment.
  • Not arriving for an appointment.
  • Not giving enough notice of not being able to attend (Short Notice Cancellation) – we generally require 1 full working day’s notice.
  • Not arriving for an appointment due to not receiving a text or email reminder.

NHS Appointments

Although missed NHS appointments are not charged for, we have a very firm policy regarding non-attendance.

Patients who fail to attend two appointments are unlikely to be offered any further appointments in line with the NHS regulations (missed appointments don’t’ have to be consecutive)

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 NHS treatment.

While our practice will not 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. (What happens when you visit an NHS dentist, 2021) https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/dentists/what-happens-when-you-visit-the-dentist/

If you miss an NHS appointment or do not attend for 24 months, we may not be able to see you again. We may be able to place your name on our NHS waiting list to contact you when a place becomes available.

Private Appointments

Patients who attend a Hygienist appointment pay a reservation fee which is nearly half of the Hygienist fee. If a Hygienist appointment is cancelled by the patient at short notice (less than 1 full working day’s 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 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 appointments with our dentists, which will be forfeited in the event of failure to attend as outlined above. If more than two appointments are missed, future appointments may not be offered.

 

Policy Review date: April 2022