Dentists flag up missed appointments
 

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Dentists flag up missed appointments

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Dentists flag up missed appointments

 

Dentists flag up missed appointments

NHS dentists in Sheffield are taking part in a campaign to raise awareness of the problems caused by missed appointments.

Each year, 54,000 appointments are missed at dental practices in the city, with the average practice having 600 missed appointments a year.

The campaign urges patients to ‘Keep it or cancel it – just don't forget it' in a bid to highlight the disruption caused when patients fail to attend.

It will involve displaying posters in surgeries, giving patients reminder stickers and using a chart to show the number of missed appointments and time wasted at practices each month.

Richard Taylor, dentist at Taylors Dental Care on Sharrow Vale Road, said: ‘As a Sheffield dentist, my colleagues and I are seriously concerned about the impact that patient non-attendance has on our workload.

‘If a patients fails to return for an hour appointment the dental team – dentist, nurse and receptionist – are totally redundant. If that's not bad enough, the whole team will have to work an extra hour another day to enable the practice to reach their targets.'

In October, Taylors Dental Care had 37 missed appointments – amounting to more than 10 hours of the practice's time.

All dental surgeries in Sheffield will receive a chart to display the number of missed appointments to help raise awareness of the problem to patients.

“In response to this, many dentists send a written reminder to patients, but if they repeat the non-attendance they may not be offered another appointment,” Richard added. “It's important to remember that a missed appointment could have been used to see a young child with toothache.”

Dentists have reported that more patients are failing to attend their appointments since April 2006. This date saw the introduction of the new dental contract - making dentists unable to charge patients who miss appointments.

'Failure to Attend' resource packs will be distributed to all Sheffield dental practices in the coming weeks. The packs include: posters, reminder sticker sheets for patients and a chart for displaying the total number of missed appointments and time wasted for each month.

 Posted on : Tue 2nd - Dec - 2008

 

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