Practice charges patients ‘per minute’ for no-shows

03 October, 2023 / infocus
 Will Peakin  

A Glasgow dental practice has introduced a charge for failure to attend an appointment.

It said that no-shows will have to pay £1 for each minute the appointment was scheduled to last.

In a message to patients this week, the practice said: “Please be aware that due to the rising number of short notice cancellations or patients failing to attend appointments we have had no other choice than to introduce a charge of £1 per minute of appointment missed. Please note this message is patient-wide to everyone at the practice.”

Other practices warn that patients could lose their NHS listing

The practice is the latest to crackdown on no-shows. Other practices warn that patients could lose their NHS listing.

One tells patients: “In the event that a further appointment is missed or cancelled at short notice within [a] two-year period, we will withdraw the offer of NHS treatment at our practice.

Withdrawal of NHS treatment is in line with NHS guidance to patients which states: “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 treatment.”

However, it is unclear whether practices can legitimately charge for no-shows, with NHS guidance adding: “While surgeries can’t charge you for not turning up, NHS Scotland has the right to ask you to find another dental practice if you continue to miss appointments.”

Tags: appointment

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