Dentists lose almost two weeks a year due to FTAs

Dentists lose almost two weeks a year due to FTAs

26 Jan 2011

According to a British Dental Association (BDA) survey, patients failing to attend NHS dental appointments in England could be denying significant numbers of other people the chance to access care.

The survey suggests that committed NHS dentists in England each lose the equivalent of almost two weeks a year because patients fail to turn up for appointments. The BDA believes that the research highlights a problem of a significant scale and that the option to charge a fee for missed appointments, abolished as part of the 2006 reforms to dentistry, should be reinstated.

If the experiences of the dentists surveyed reflect those of predominantly NHS dental practices across England, the research would indicate more than 3.5 million dental appointments were missed last year. Responses suggest that the problem is more prevalent among new patients and that it has become more acute since dental practices’ ability to charge patients for missed appointments was abolished. 

John Milne, Chair of the BDA’s General Dental Practice Committee, said, “(...)This problem needs to be tackled and the BDA believes that the Government should consider reintroducing a fee for patients who miss appointments to deter them from doing so.”