Managing missed and cancelled appointments
To manage our appointment system effectively and provide high quality service, it is important that patients attend for their appointments as planned.
Our appointment system allows patients to access our service at a time that suits them and minimises waiting times. Appointments can be made or rescheduled by calling 01422 229616.
If you have any queries or concerns about an appointment, please call the Practice in advance of your appointment (at least 24 hours) to speak to our team. If you need a shorter appointment or do not want to go ahead with treatment, we can then offer the appointment to another patient.
Text Message Reminders
Text message reminders are sent 1 day before an appointment.
Patients are requested to inform the practice promptly of any changes to their contact details. Please note that text reminders are sent as a courtesy and texts may not be sent/received for reasons out of our control (IT failure, change in mobile number etc). Therefore failure to attend, by reason of not receiving a text message, will not be considered a valid exception of our policy.
If you are unable to keep your dental appointment, then please call the Practice giving us as much notice as possible (at least 24 hours) 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 missed and a charge may be incurred.
Rescheduling or delay of appointments by the Practice
We will only reschedule or delay a patient’s appointment in unavoidable circumstances. In such instances 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, then 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:
- Arriving late for an appointment (5 minutes late or more)
- Not arriving for an appointment
- Not giving enough notice of not being able to attend (Short Notice Cancellation.) We generally require 24 hours notice.
- Not arriving for an appointment due to not receiving a text reminder.
Although missed NHS appointments cannot be charged for, we have a very firm policy regarding non-attendance.
Patients who fail to attend three NHS dental appointments in any 2 year period are unlikely to be offered any further appointments in line with NHS regulations (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” (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 do not attend the practice for a period of 36 months or more, we will assume you no longer wish to attend the practice as an NHS patient and your place will be offered to another patient.
Private and Member Appointments
If a patient fails to attend a Private or Membership plan dental appointment, they will be charged for some or all of the cost of that appointment, in proportion to the length of the appointment. 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, which will be forfeited in the event of failure to attend. If 3 or more appointments are missed in any 2 year period, future appointments may not be offered.