Missed appointments and late cancellations represent a cost to the practice, to you and to other patients who could have been seen in the time set aside for you.
Failed appointments can interfere with dental treatment, creating unnecessary scheduling problems for other patients.
We strive to accommodate the appointment needs of our patients and make every effort to keep on time for appointments scheduled. Occasionally this may not be possible due to unforeseen circumstances. If we have to cancel and/or re-arrange your appointment, we will endeavour to provide as much notice as possible.
Please arrive in good time for your appointment. Arriving a few minutes late has a knock on effect and makes us run late for the patients after you. We do not want to rush your treatment. If your appointment time becomes inconvenient for you, we are always happy to change it if you provide us with 48 hours’ notice. This allows us to schedule in a patient who may be in urgent need of our care.
A patient who fails to attend their appointment or cancels at short notice, will be sent an email or letter warning them that they may lose their NHS entitlement at our practice, if they fail to attend or cancel at short notice again within a 2 year period. In the event that a further appointment is missed or cancelled at short notice within this 2 year period, we will withdraw the offer of NHS treatment at our practice. 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 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. ”
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 and that treatment cannot be carried out in the time remaining, this will be regarded as failing to attend.
This policy does not affect your ability to seek NHS care at another NHS practice.
Failure to provide us with 48 hours advance notice or failure to attend for a scheduled appointment will result in a cancellation or no-show fee. This will equate to £20 for each 10 minutes of the missed/cancelled appointment (e.g. £60 for a 30 minute appointment).
It is understandable that sometimes cancellations cannot be helped due to illness or emergency and discretion may be used if there is a good reason for the appointment being missed. If an appointment is cancelled within the same treatment session you are due to be seen, it will be deemed as a fail to attend. The practice cannot be responsible for individual travel arrangements and appointments missed due to transport problems or running late due to traffic will still incur a fee. If you are sick and cannot attend on the day of your appointment, please call as soon as possible in the morning or email us to avoid a fee for a late cancellation. We also reserve the right to refuse further treatment to patients who fail to attend two consecutive appointments or any three of five consecutive appointments. This would potentially mean their removal from the practice registration list. The patient may not be seen for a further appointment until any outstanding fees have been paid.
Finally, our goal in communicating our cancellation and failed to attend policy is to avoid any extra charges being passed on to the patient. We thank you for your cooperation and understanding. Remember Non-attendance or short notice cancellation is surgery time lost.
Cancellation with good notice has the potential to benefit yourself and all our patients by allowing us to accommodate emergency and rescheduled appointments so that other patients can receive their treatment sooner.