Failed Appointments Policy

It is the aim of our practices to provide quality dental care to our patients and to use clinical time effectively. To achieve this aim, we have an appointment management and cancellation policy.

Management of appointments

We invest in the latest technology, including modern telephone equipment, to allow our patients to make or reschedule appointments easily. Our appointment system supports timely access to care and treatment, allows patients to access services at a time that suits them and minimises the length of time people have to wait. Appointments can be made or rescheduled by calling our dedicated appointments line. For our Eastbourne practice please call 01323 356066. For our Northampton practice please call 01604 356562, for our Langport practice please call 01458 253888, and for our Hastings practice please call 01424 434433.


E-mail and text reminders are sent to patients 2 days before any appointment and patients are requested to inform the practice of any changes to their contact details. Patients will also receive a courtesy phone call the day before their scheduled appointment to confirm attendance.

Cancellation or delay of an appointment by the practice

We will only cancel or delay a patient’s appointment in unavoidable circumstances. In such cases, we will take the following steps:

  • The patient will be contacted as soon as the practice is aware of the need to cancel or delay the appointment. We will explain the reason for the cancellation or delay
  • At the time of contact, the patient will be offered a new appointment at the earliest time available
  • If the patient is unable to commit to a new appointment during that contact, we will ask them to get in touch at a later time, when we will offer them a priority appointment.

Cancellation of an appointment or missed appointment by a patient

Patients are requested to give at least 48 hours notice to cancel a dental appointment. Cancellations should be made by telephone. For our Northampton practice please call 01604 356562, for our Langport practice please call 01458 253888, and for our Hastings practice please call 01424 434433.

At our Hastings practice we offer NHS dental treatment. We do not make a charge for NHS patients for a late cancellation or missed appointment. However, we reserve the right to ask a patient to find another dental practice if they continue to miss appointments. If more than two NHS dental appointments are missed or cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice and without good reason, we do not guarantee being able to complete a patient’s NHS treatment or offer them NHS treatment in the future.

There is a fee at all our practices (Eastbourne, Hastings, Langport and Northampton) for private dental appointments that are missed or cancelled with less than 48 hours’ notice. The fee is charged at £1 per minute.

It is our aim to telephone or write to patients after a missed appointment to understand the reason for non-attendance and to inform them about any fee or decision about their NHS dental care. We understand that cancellations are sometimes unavoidable due to illness or emergencies and we will take account of all valid circumstances.

Any appeals about missed or cancelled appointment decisions by a patient should be made in writing to the Practice Manager.

Langport Practice Manager: Lisa Bowyer

Hastings and Eastbourne Practice Manager: Sarah Beckwith

Northampton Practice Manager: Michelle Hall