NHS Dentist can't provide cover under NHS

Hi, my husband has been registered with our NHS dentist for over 10yrs and today they cancelled his check up appointment as his dentist is going off till December and have said they cannot accommodate him with any other dentist at the practice under NHS but they can give him an appointment if he pays privately. Surely this can't be right, can they really refuse to accommodate him under NHS cover? The nearest practice taking new NHS patients is 55miles away from our home.

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  • lisyloo
    lisyloo Posts: 29,537
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    yes they can
    the NHS always has delays, thats one of the benefits of going private.
  • Mark_d
    Mark_d Posts: 283
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    NHS dentists allocate a certain number or appointment slots to NHS patients.  This might be a small proportion of their appointment slots because they make a lot more money when treating private patients.
    You're among a small minority of people who have been able to (1) register with an NHS dentist and (2) get treatment from that dentist under the NHS.  NHS dentistry has not been an option for me since 2005.  Access to NHS dental treatment is not a right.
  • Undervalued
    Undervalued Posts: 8,817
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    Hi, my husband has been registered with our NHS dentist for over 10yrs and today they cancelled his check up appointment as his dentist is going off till December and have said they cannot accommodate him with any other dentist at the practice under NHS but they can give him an appointment if he pays privately. Surely this can't be right, can they really refuse to accommodate him under NHS cover? The nearest practice taking new NHS patients is 55miles away from our home.
    Sadly yes they can.

    Also, if you are in England or Wales (Scotland and NI are slightly different) there is no longer any such thing as being "registered" with a NHS dentist. If they accept a patient and start a course of treatment they must complete it but after that they are not obliged to see the patient again. 

    Some may choose to only see regular patients (as if they were "registered") and not take new patients but that is up to them and is not a legal registration as was once the case and still is for GPs (i.e doctors).
  • Mark_d said:
    NHS dentists allocate a certain number or appointment slots to NHS patients.  This might be a small proportion of their appointment slots because they make a lot more money when treating private patients.
    You're among a small minority of people who have been able to (1) register with an NHS dentist and (2) get treatment from that dentist under the NHS.  NHS dentistry has not been an option for me since 2005.  Access to NHS dental treatment is not a right.
    Actually, access to NHS dental treatment is a right. You can’t be kicked off the NHS. However, finding a dentist who is will to take you on under the NHS is another matter altogether 
  • Exodi
    Exodi Posts: 2,788
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    Hi, my husband has been registered with our NHS dentist for over 10yrs and today they cancelled his check up appointment as his dentist is going off till December and have said they cannot accommodate him with any other dentist at the practice under NHS but they can give him an appointment if he pays privately. Surely this can't be right, can they really refuse to accommodate him under NHS cover? The nearest practice taking new NHS patients is 55miles away from our home.
    I'm very close to the staff and management at my local dental practice (on account of spending more than I care to admit with them).

    They have dentists that exclusively service NHS patients and dental associates that exclusively service private patients. The latter are self-employed, more experienced and/or specialised (e.g. mine is a prosthodontist) and work across several practices on different days of the week. 

    My dental practice often struggles to retain dentists for NHS patients (I'd assume they are paid much less), as is the case up and down the country. I know for certain the waiting list to be an NHS patient is years long.

    Not only would having a specialised dental associate undertaking NHS treatment be wasteful, it would almost certainly upset their private cliental (that keep the lights on) and would also mean either the dental practice and/or dentist accepting a steep pay cut on the NHS work they do (depending on the financial arrangement between them).

    Private dentistry isn't as expensive as people think (unless you get into cosmetic procedures like implants).
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