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How do I become an NHS patient at your practice?

NHS Update 28/08/2018 : WE ARE WELCOMING NEW PATIENTS FOR NHS DENTISTRY, HOWEVER, BECAUSE OF UNPRECEDENTED DEMAND THERE'S A WAIT OF SEVERAL MONTHS FOR A FIRST APPOINTMENT AS OUR DENTISTS ENDEAVOUR TO BALANCE THE NEEDS OF NEW PATIENTS WITH THE TREATMENT REQUIREMENTS OF THOSE ALREADY UNDER THEIR CARE.

IF YOU'RE ABLE TO WAIT THEN PLEASE CALL (after 10am) AND MAKE AN APPOINTMENT. IF YOU CAN'T OR DON'T WISH TO WAIT, OTHER PRACTICES IN THE AREA MAY BE ABLE TO SEE YOU SOONER.  NHS 111 KEEPS A LIST OF PRATICES THAT ARE TAKING ON NEW PATIENTS OR YOU CAN GET THEIR NAMES FROM GOOGLE.

If you'd like to come to our Practice as an NHS patient the procedure is as follows:

  • Make an appointment by calling the surgery on 01992 505828 after 10am.

  • We will need your full name, address, date of birth, telephone number(s) and an e-mail address.  If you wish to sign up other members of your family, we'll need the same information for them.  Allow a few minutes for this call.

  • Please let us know if you or any members of your family are disabled, have problems hearing or are suffering memory issues. We have staff trained to help, a hearing loop and, where mobility is an issue, we will ensure that you are seen in one of our step-free access surgeries. 

  • The more flexible you can be with regard to appointment times the sooner we can see you. We know families like after school and commuters desire 08.00am appoinments but these are very over-subscribed. Try to book family check-ups during school holiday times.

What happens at a New NHS Patient appointment?

  • Before you meet with your dentist we will ask you to complete a Medical History form.  It's important you tell us about any medicines you're taking and any you're allergic to.   The form will be given to you on arrival so please allow a little time to complete it.  Alternatively download one here and bring it with you. The form will be shredded after it has been scanned to your confidential records.

  • Your dentist will review your medical history and thoroughly examine your mouth.  He or she will check the condition of your teeth and any exisiting dental work. Helped by the dental nurse, everything will be charted to your confidential dental records.  The dentist will also examine your gums and screen your mouth for other symptoms including mouth cancer. Thankfully rare, early detection is key and dentists are in the front line of spotting the signs.

  • On completion of the examination your dentist will discuss his or her findings with you and, if any treatment is advised, tell you why it's needed and outline your options. You'll be given a written and costed, Treatment Plan. Please ask questions: it's important for you to understand any proposed treatment and its cost before you consent to it.

  • The long term health of your teeth is largely dependent on how you look after them so your dentist will talk with you about your diet, whether you smoke and how you clean your teeth.  Don't worry, we won't ever lecture you but we wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't highlight the risk factors and so help you avoid tooth decay and gum disease.

Important things to note...

Like any organisation that cares for lots of people we have to lay down a few 'asks':- 

  • DO ATTEND your appointments.  If you can't make an appointment please give us at least 24 hours so that we can offer your time to someone else. Simply not turning up for an appointment is unacceptable and after two 'no shows' or last minute ('same day') cancellations your dentist may refuse you any further treatment on the NHS and will offer your place to another patient. New patients who fail to attend their first appointment won't be offered another one at our practice unless there are exceptional circumstances.

  • DO ARRIVE on time. Our dentists can see up to forty patients a day so when someone's late they make everyone in the queue behind them late. For this reason, if you arrive late whilst we will try to squeeze you in you'll probably be asked to rebook. We know this is frustrating so please allow time for traffic and parking.

  • DO BRUSH your teeth before you come. We regret we don't have a dedicated area for patients to brush their teeth and our WCs are not at all conducive to this task. Please therefore try to brush before you leave home, school or work. 

  • DO TELL US if you change address or mobile number. Our ability to remind you about your appointments is dependent on us holding accurate contact details. Whilst we send out reminders this is a COURTESY service only and the responibility for making and attending appointments rests wholly and exclusively with the patient and NOT with the practice.

  • DO PAY for your treatment when asked. You can read about NHS fees and who is required to pay them here

And Finally ...

Our dentists are commited to working in partnership with their patients to achieve and maintain the best possible oral health.  We therefore ask patients to come for regular check-ups and to follow advice given. Your dentist will advise you how often you need a check up based on national guidelines. Detecting problems early arrests their progress saving you time, money, and potentially much discomfort down the line.