NHS dentist threat to stop treatment following ‘unprecedented’ no …

A NHS dentist in Somerset is threatening to pull treatment for patients who miss appointments - after an ‘unprecedented’ number of ‘no shows’. Clevedon Dental[1] Clinic issued the warning after a large number of people failed to attend appointments or cancelled them at the last minute.

A spokesman for the practice said: “This week we have had an unprecedented amount of failed to attend appointments and late cancellations. We were recently in the fortunate position to be able to accept over 300 new NHS patients[2] but sadly had to turn as many if not more away.

“For us to now be having quite literally hours of wasted surgery time is simply not acceptable.” The NHS practice is now warning it may refuse treatment[3] to anyone who fails to attend two consecutive appointments or any patients that fail to attend any two 30 minute treatment sessions in a 12 month period.

Patients who continually cancel appointments at short notice - meaning the slot cannot be filled by someone else - also risk having their treatment[6] withdrawn. The spokesman added: “Failed appointments are a serious problem for the National Health Service. They prevent other patients from being seen, waste money and staff time.”

The warning comes at the same time as thousands of people across Somerset are struggling to access an NHS dentist[7]. Many are being forced to pay huge bills at private practices for dental care.

Somerset[8] has struggled for years with a shortage of NHS[9] dentists, with numerous practices refusing to take on new or existing NHS patients[10] and health bosses struggling to recruit and retain staff[11]. The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) is expected to shortly publish its long-awaited dentistry recovery plan, laying out how dentist waiting lists will be cut and NHS access improved.


  1. ^ Dental (www.somersetlive.co.uk)
  2. ^ NHS patients (www.somersetlive.co.uk)
  3. ^ treatment (www.somersetlive.co.uk)
  4. ^ 12 things NHS bosses are doing to fix Somerset's health services (www.somersetlive.co.uk)
  5. ^ 'I caught a flesh-eating parasite from mains water - now I'm blind in one eye' (www.somersetlive.co.uk)
  6. ^ treatment (www.somersetlive.co.uk)
  7. ^ dentist (www.somersetlive.co.uk)
  8. ^ Somerset (www.somersetlive.co.uk)
  9. ^ NHS (www.somersetlive.co.uk)
  10. ^ numerous practices refusing to take on new or existing NHS patients (www.somersetlive.co.uk)
  11. ^ health bosses struggling to recruit and retain staff (www.somersetlive.co.uk)