3A DENTAL CARE
Patient Rights and Responsibilities
- Please check with reception as to which dentists are currently taking on new patients, or if there is a waiting list
- When registering as a new patient, a deposit is required when booking the first appointment
- The deposit may be refunded if more than 24 hours notice has been given to cancel the appointment. More than 48 hours noticed is appreciated if at all possible to allow reception to offer the appointment to another patient whilst following the recent Covid-19 protocol
- All patient portal documents must be completed online before the first appointment. If this is not possible, please let reception know so they can assist with this. The portal system is new, so please contact reception on 01524 61959 if you have any questions. The documents include a medical history form, along with other details the practice requires to complete the registration process and meets the new Covid-19 safety measures the practice has been advised to put in place. Information on what to expect regarding Covid-19 safety measures will be explained to the patient before they attend the practice
Day of appointment-
- The patient should be asked to arrive at the time of their appointment; no earlier or later and be advised to bring an umbrella if it is raining as they may be asked to wait outside if it is not possible to enter the reception waiting area. Entering the practice is strictly by appointment only and the middle entrance door will be locked
- Future appointments will either be booked in surgery or at reception and is at the discretion of the dentist and staff availability
- Treatment plans must still be signed if the patient has any dental treatment other than a routine check-up/ scale and polish. A signed treatment plan is always required at the first appointment, whether the patient intends to return to the practice or not
- If the patient does not return to the practice within one year of attending their first appointment (and does not return for treatment) the patient will need to book a new dental assessment *subject to availability, as the treatment plan may have changed during this time. No emergency appointment will be offered should the patient have toothache and the new patient procedure will be followed at the discretion of the treating dentist.
Private patients (non-denplan):
- Patients must be ‘dentally fit’ to join the Denplan Care monthly payment scheme
- The treating dentist will advise the patient on how they can join Denplan or discuss with the patient the ‘pay as you go’ system
- Denplan information can be found at reception or online
- It may be necessary to ask non-denplan patients who require treatment appointments to pay a deposit towards the next treatment appointment, as the time required is much longer than a routine check up appointment. This is advised by the treating dentist
- The deposit taken will be kept for any failed to attend appointments and a new deposit will be required, should the patient wish to re-book
- If the patient chooses to stay ‘pay as you go’ for routine dental appointments, this can be booked within two years OR when the treating dentist recommends how regularly the patient needs to be seen
- If the patient is dentally fit but does not return to the practice within two years, a new dental assessment will be required to decide if the appointment type has changed.
Private Denplan patients:
- If a Denplan patient does not attend the practice within two years and has not responded to any recall letters sent, the practice will contact the patient to see if they still want to stay on Denplan.
- Denplan payments are checked monthly. If a patient has two consecutive unpaid payments, their Denplan will be cancelled automatically through Denplan itself
- If the patient wishes to re-join, they should contact Denplan as soon as possible to see if they can re-instate their Denplan, and it is appreciated that the patient informs the practice once they have done this.
Patient contact details:
- It is important, especially during these times for the practice to have up to date contact details for all patients. If a patient has a new contact number, e-mail address or home address, the patient should inform the practice AND Denplan as soon as possible. Patients can update their contact information online at Denplan if their customer line is busy. Alternatively, the Denplan customer number is:0800 401 402. Reception may be able to assist with this depending on their availability. Both reception and Denplan need to be informed separately. The reception team can assist with this is needed.
- Patients can inform reception via phone 01524 61959 or e-mail: email@example.com to update or inform the practice of any communication needs they may have.
NHS patients (Under 18’s only):
- The practice has a limited NHS contract to see patients under 18 years old. Please check with reception with regards to NHS registration. The contract is valid until the patient turns 18 years old, even if the patient is in full time education as the practice is private, not NHS.
- Under 18’s can still register on a private basis should an NHS place not be available. Please check with reception for prices and appointment availability
- If a registered NHS patient needs an emergency appointment, they can phone 3A Dental Care, or be directed to the Dental Access Centre
- The NHS system works on a UDA (Units of Dental Activity) system. All surgeries who see NHS patients are reviewed annually. The practice may not be able to offer NHS appointments between January and March if NHS England decide to not increase the dentist’s UDA’s. The patient is still registered and can be seen on a private basis during this time, should they want to. Please check with reception as to what type of appointment can be offered at this time of year.
- If a child is not seen in three years, the dentist may not be able to keep the patient registered under the NHS
- The practice policy for children who ‘are not brought’ to their appointment/s is as follows:
-A warning letter will be sent to the parent/ guardian (if the child is under 16 years old); the letter will be sent to the patient if they are between 16 and 18 years old, following the first missed appointment to inform the patient/ parent/ guardian that the patient will be de-registered if a second appointment is missed in a row.
- Following the second missed appointment, a final de-registration letter will be sent to inform the patient that they are no longer registered at 3A Dental Care and where they can go for further dental care.
Patient appointments during Covid-19:
- All patients must follow the safety guidelines provided by the dental team. This is to keep staff and patients as safe as possible
- The appointment diary is managed in a specific way to allow a dedicated amount of time to each appointment to adhere to the Covid-19 guidelines. The treating dentist will not be able to run late unless it is a dental emergency or there is sufficient space in the appointment diary. Therefore, it is important for patients to arrive and leave at specific times
- The re-organisation of staff means there may only be one receptionist working. Calls and e-mail enquiries will be answered as soon as possible. A voicemail can be left on the reception answering machine, should a patient preferred to be called back
- The dental team work hard to ensure the patient appointment process runs smoothly and feels as normal as possible, however, the changes implemented must continue to be implemented and respected in order to provide the safest possible service for all involved.