Making NHS Appointments
The Government’s regulation alterations mean that patients will no longer be registered with a particular dentist. Dentists are obliged to see a NHS patient for a complete course of treatment. However, following this, there is no requirement for a dentist to see the patient again if there is no NHS appointment availability. We will endeavour to make it possible for you to see a dentist on a regular basis but this does not mean that you cannot continue to see your usual dentist. If you ask us for an appointment, we will try to offer you one as soon as possible at aconvenient time within the hours we have set aside for NHS patients. The NHS now asks us to provide a fixed, limited amount of NHS care each year and so we have to allocate our time and our NHS budget accordingly. You can ask to see a particular dentist but it may not always be possible to arrange this because that dentist may not have any NHS time available.
Please note that only treatmentthat is required to secure your oral health can be carried out on the NHS and we have a certain restricted range of NHS materials that we can use. If you wish to have certain white fillings or cosmetic crowns or veneers then these are only available on a private basis.
Cosmetic treatment is only available privately and your dentist will inform you if your treatment is not available on the NHS.
FAILING TO ATTEND POLICY
Missed appointments waste time and resources which are needed for other patients. Our practice policy is that if, on more than one occasion, a patient cancels an appointment with less than 24 hours’ notice; or does not attend an appointment then we will no longer be able to offer NHS care in the future. We will of course consider special circumstances.
Reminders and Recalls
At the end of your course of treatment, your dentist will discuss when you will need to see a dentist again. NHS dentists follow guidelines issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on how often patients need to see their dentist which is according to their oral health needs. So, it is no longer the norm for NHS patients to have two NHS check-ups each year if this is not necessary. The Department of Health wants NHS resources to be allocated to those who need it most. You can, of course, visit your dentist more often on a private basis if you would like to talk to your dentist more regularly about your oral health needs, or have a regular visit to the hygienist, and be reassured that all is well.
After we have finished your course of NHS or Private treatment, we will book your next check-up appointment. Please note that if you choose not to make an appointment for your next check-up at the recommended interval, your NHS space may be taken by another patient (due to the limited funding available) and you may not be able to have further NHS treatment when you eventually do try to make another check-up appointment with the practice.
Therefore, we strongly encourage all our patients to attend their check-up appointments at the recommended recall period.