Registration and lists
 

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Registration and lists

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Registration and lists

 

Registration and lists

Michael Watson reports

Registration is abolished from 1 April this year and some dentists have asked how you decide who you see. Most patients attend a practice they have visited before and these are your practice patients; some are seen under the NHS, some privately and some under both NHS and private arrangements. They can be the patients who are given priority for being seen.

The end of registration means that your responsibility towards patients is limited to the course of treatment that you are carrying out. Once this is completed, your obligations under the NHS also end, but they remain patients of your practice. In most cases they will expect to return there and you will expect to see them again either under the NHS or privately.

You may continue to recall them at an appropriate interval, in accordance with NICE guidelines. You can set aside specific times in your appointment book to see your ‘regular patients’. If it is full in your designated NHS slots, then your practice is up to capacity and you will not be taking on new patients. This means that there are a number of models you can use in your practice depending on whether your keep a list of patients, recall them and make appointments.

Access centre model - no list - no recall - minimum appointments

You see up to a maximum number of patients each day and only give them appointments if they need further treatment or are coming the following day. This may suit the odd practice, but is not the way most dentists want to practise, nor how most patients want to be treated.

Hairdresser model - no list - no recall - appointments

You have appointment slots and if there isn't space the patient doesn't get an appointment. You would probably have a maximum time ahead for booking first appointments. As with a hairdresser they come back when they feel the need. It doesn't encourage continuing care nor routine recalls for patients and would not suit many practices. It might in areas where people are not normally regular patients, but might also work if you have an established practice with fairly predictable and steady demand.

Continuing care mode - list - no recall - appointments

Although you don't have a registered list you have a list of patients who have expressed a wish to be seen at your practice on a regular basis and who you have agreed to see on that basis.

Although you might not send recalls to your NHS patients you would advise them of the best interval and it would be up to them to arrange the appointment. When a patient who was on the list rang for an appointment, your receptionist would give them an appointment in one of your NHS slots, provided you had a time available. You would put someone on your list only if there was a good professional relationship between you and they were prepared to play their part by attending regularly and not failing appointments.

Private model - list - recall - appointment

Like the previous model, but private patients would be sent a recall/reminder They would have the right to see you if you were at the practice and you would keep your private times lightly booked so that they could get an appointment when they wanted it especially if they had a problem.

Michael Watson offers further help at www.newcontracthelp.co.uk.

 Posted on : Fri 3rd - Mar - 2006

 

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