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Terms of Business

September 2017

The following Terms of Business apply to all treatments and services delivered on a private basis. They do not apply to any treatments or services delivered on an NHS basis.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Care Team, who will be happy to assist.

CCTV

We may operate closed circuit television (CCTV) in the public areas of our practices for the safety and security of our staff, clinicians and patients.

Where CCTV is operated this will be clearly indicated. CCTV is not operated in treatment areas or consultation rooms.

CCTV schemes are operated by Meadow Walk Dental Practice.

Children

We encourage children to register and attend our practices from an early age and offer a full range of private dental services and membership packages designed for children and families.

Where possible, we will endeavour to allow family members to attend at the same time. When more than one child is attending we do ask that, where possible, two adult family members attend to look after children who are waiting in the patient lounge.

We define a child as any patient who is under the age of 18 at the point of treatment.

We ask that a parent or legal guardian accompany all patients under the age of 16 for the duration of their appointments

Complaints

We welcome feedback on the service we provide and, in particular, want to hear about any problems you may have experienced so that we can deal with them and improve our service in the future.

If you have a complaint about any aspect of our service, please speak to a member of our team and we will do our best to address your concerns right away.

If we cannot do so to your satisfaction, you may wish to make a complaint by phone or in writing. To expedite the process, we recommend using the following contact details.

Bil Hassan, Patient Concerns, Meadow Walk Dental Practice
1B Meadow Walk
Buckingham MK18 1RS
01280 812701

We aim to acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days and to respond fully within 10 working days.

If you remain dissatisfied you can request that your complaint is escalated to a Director. We will aim to acknowledge your request within 3 working days and provide a final response within 20 working days.

If we are unable to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction, you may wish to contact the Dental Complaints Service, Stephenson House, 2 Cherry Orchard Road, Croydon, CR0 6BA. 020 8253 0800.

Consent

In all but the simplest forms of treatment, you will be presented with a treatment estimate document for your proposed course of treatment.

We will ask you to sign your Treatment Estimate when it is presented to you. This is to ensure you understand it and to confirm that it has been issued to you as well as confirmation that you agree to abide by our Terms of Business and settle the costs quoted if treatment does proceed. It does not in any way commit you to any costs until treatment commences, nor does it require that you undergo any treatment.

This document will normally be presented to you following your examination or treatment planning appointment. A course of treatment cannot begin without a signed treatment estimate in place.

It is important to understand that the fees quoted are an estimate and that the final costs of treatment may be higher or lower than the original estimate. We will always keep you informed if costs do change as treatment progresses, asking you how to proceed on these occasions.

Your clinician will have already discussed the treatment options available, but should you require further explanation or discussion, please raise your query with the Customer Care Team who will be happy to help. If necessary, they will refer to your attending clinician.

Your Treatment Estimate is valid for 90 days. If you do not proceed with the treatment during this period, or your circumstances have changed, a new Treatment Estimate may be required, which may involve attending an additional consultation with your clinician.

For some complex treatments, you may be provided with additional documents including a treatment report or planning letter, a consent document and/or a payment schedule. Some of these documents may require your signature. These form part of the consent process and you should ensure that you read them carefully and retain copies for your reference.

Contact Information

It is very important that we maintain accurate contact information for you, to ensure that we can reach you quickly if there is a problem with your appointments or if we have any queries regarding your treatment.

As a minimum, we will always ask to record your postal address, email address, a daytime contact telephone number and a mobile telephone number. In particular, it is our policy to record an email address and mobile telephone number for appointment reminders.

We are obliged to retain all your data in the strictest of confidence and will never sell your details to third parties. Your data will only be transferred to a third party with your explicit consent in the context of your dental health or treatment, subject to our obligations under relevant UK and EU law.

Contacting Us

We provide a number of ways for you to contact us. These include in writing, by email and by telephone.

If you wish to contact us to discuss your medical records, treatment or personal information we reserve the right to verify your identity by asking a few straightforward questions.

We will not disclose sensitive medical information by email unless we have your explicit permission to do so. This permission must be given in writing (including by email), in person or by telephone.

See DISCUSSING YOUR RECORDS OR TREATMENT WITH OTHERS for more information on who we will discuss your records with.

Please note that all of our telephone calls, both incoming and outgoing, are recorded for training and monitoring purposes.

Contacting You

Appointment Confirmations

During booking, we will ask you if you want a confirmation of your appointment by text/email. If so, you will receive a separate, automated email confirmation for each appointment booked. If you wish to decline this service, you will not receive an email confirmation, but you will be asked again when booking future appointments.

A written confirmation of your appointment can also be provided to you by our Customer Care Team when booking an appointment in person or placed in the post when booking an appointment by email or telephone.

Please note that while we will make the best efforts to confirm your next appointment with us, we must advise you that you take full responsibility for attending the practice at the correct time and date.

Appointment reminders

By default, we will remind you of an upcoming appointment as follows:

  • 5 days prior, by email
  • 2 days prior, by SMS text message

SMS text messages are sent during working hours Monday to Friday and on Saturdays. Our system does not send messages on public holidays.

You can ask us not to send any or all of these reminders if you wish.

Please note that our SHORT TERM CANCELLATION AND FAILURE TO ATTEND POLICY applies regardless of whether you receive an appointment reminder – reminders are offered to our patients as a courtesy and you should not rely on them to keep your appointment.

We regret that we are not able to offer personal reminders of appointments by telephone.

Treatment letters and other medical related correspondence

On occasion, we will need to write to you regarding your treatment or dental health. We will normally send all such correspondence by letter.

If you wish, you can request this correspondence by email and it will be sent as a PDF attachment to your email address on file.

We cannot guarantee that correspondence sent by email is secure. You should ensure that access to your email address is private and that you do not share this email address with other people. For this reason, we recommend that you don’t use a work or corporate email address.

Planned treatment

To ensure prescribed treatment can be delivered at a time and date that suits you, we ask all patients to book treatment appointments at the time they are prescribed.

For patients who are unable to do so, we will contact you to remind you that you are due a routine consultation if one is not booked. We do so via a variety of methods.

Appointment follow-up

We may on occasion contact you via a variety of methods after an appointment, to follow up on the service you have received. We may send an invitation to complete a survey or simply provide the opportunity to feedback any comments to us.

Marketing

We produce an email newsletter for our patients on a regular basis.

In addition, we occasionally send out special offers or information about events at the practice by email.

If you do not wish to receive marketing emails from us you can opt out by informing us. If you opt out, you will not be contacted for marketing purposes again. Note that you will be ineligible for special offers sent via email. You can join the email list again at any point by letting us know.

If you opt out of receiving marketing materials your email address will remain in your records for appointment reminders, confirmations and treatment-related correspondence.

Data Protection

We take our duty to maintain the integrity and confidence of your medical records extremely seriously.

To this end, we use a number of systems and controls to protect your data, including secure computer databases and thorough data protection training for all our clinicians and staff.

It is our policy to computerise medical records to the greatest extent possible. Paper records are subject to error or loss and for that reason, we are phasing them out. You may be asked to complete some forms electronically.

You are entitled to review or request a copy of your medical records at any point. If you require a copy of your records or radiographs a small charge is normally made for this. If you have any questions about your medical records, please do not hesitate to contact one of the Customer Care Team.

Debts

Should we find that an amount is owing to us we will ask that you settle this at your earliest opportunity, We may also decline to provide further treatments or services until the balance is settled. We send patients with amounts owing to us a statement by post (and email if applicable) with a request for payment on a monthly basis.

We will always take all action available to us, to recover payment owed. If you have any questions about your account, it is important that you contact us as soon as possible.

Deposits

A number of services we provide, especially surgical treatments, involve a significant investment in terms of preparation time and material. For many treatments, the materials we order and use are bespoke to the patient and the treatment being delivered. In addition, the clinical team will take a significant amount of time to prepare for the treatment, to ensure our high standards are consistently met. For example, a surgical or implant appointment of one hour will require up to two hours’ additional preparation and clear away time.

For this reason, we charge a deposit for all courses of treatment and some consultations on the following terms.

Dental Implant Treatment

A deposit of £500 or 10% of the total treatment cost, whichever is greater, is required prior to booking any treatment appointments. This deposit will be held on account and credited to your final treatment charge. If you choose to withdraw from treatment at any stage, the deposit will be deducted from any remaining charges.

You are required to maintain this amount on credit until your final treatment appointment. If your credit amount falls below this, we will require an additional payment on account before further appointments can be confirmed.

Invisalign® Treatment

A deposit of £500 is required prior to booking your ClinCheck appointment. This deposit will be held on account and credited to your treatment charge. If you choose to cancel your ClinCheck appointment, the deposit will be returned to you, subject to our SHORT TERM CANCELLATION AND FAILURE TO ATTEND POLICY.

Other Treatments – Facial Rejuvenation, Root Canal Treatment

A deposit of £100 or 25% of the total treatment cost, whichever is greater, is required prior to booking your treatment appointments. This deposit will be held on account, and credited to your final treatment charge. If you choose to withdraw from treatment at any stage, the deposit will be applied to any remaining charges.

You are required to maintain this amount on credit until your final treatment appointment. If your credit amount falls below this we will require an additional payment on account before further appointments can be confirmed.

Discussing Your Records or Treatment with Others

We understand that many of our patients will want us to speak with their family or friends in relation to their appointments or treatments. For example, a patient may want us to discuss their appointments with their spouse. However, to protect the confidentiality of our patients we have a strict non-disclosure policy in place.

By default, our staff and clinicians will not discuss any aspect of your personal data with anyone except you. Should you wish us to be able to discuss your treatment with other individuals then we will require your written consent to do so. This includes your appointments, your medical records and any other aspect of your relationship with us. In exceptional circumstances, we will accept notice to cancel a single appointment from a member of your family to permit you to cancel an appointment in an emergency.

If you would like us to discuss your treatment with family members then you must record your permission by completing and submitting a Data Disclosure Form, on which you must specify the individuals or organisations you are happy for us to talk to. You will need to specify what you are happy for us to discuss and whether this permission is indefinite or time-limited. Alternatively, you can provide this authority in writing or by email from the email address we hold on your file.

You can revoke permission given to us at any time by contacting us.

Please note that in limited circumstances we are required by law to disclose your medical records and/or personal information to certain bodies or government organisations. For example, we may be required to disclose certain information to the police in relation to an investigation. These requirements are not subject to your permission and, in many cases, we are not obliged to disclose to you that a request for information has been received and/or fulfilled.

We will of course normally discuss the care of our child patients with their parents and/or legal guardians.

Emergency Dental Care

We endeavour to provide all registered dental patients with an emergency same day appointment if required. Where there is no duty dentist during working hours we will do our best to arrange suitable cover with an alternative practice.

Patients who are marked as inactive are not eligible for emergency same day appointments.

There is a £100 call out charge for Emergency Dental Care over weekends and Bank holidays.

Home Practice

The Gallery Dental Group operates two dental practices in the Buckingham area. When you register with us, you will be registering with a specific dental practice, your ‘home’ practice. You will be charged for treatment on the basis of the fees in place at that practice.

On occasion, we may refer you internally. This may be for a single appointment or for a full course of treatment with one of our clinical team. If this happens, you will remain registered at your home practice but may be asked to visit the other for your appointment(s).

Inactive Patients

A patient who is marked as inactive will not be contacted with regard to routine consultations and is not expected to attend the practice on a regular basis.

We will mark you as inactive at your request or if you have not attended the practice for a consultation for 24 months or more. We will write to you and email you 6 weeks before you are marked as inactive. This excludes members, who will remain marked as an active patient so long as their membership remains valid.

Regardless of your status, you are very welcome to attend the practice at any time in the future. Please note however that inactive patient may be required to attend a New Patient Consultation – for which our standard charge will be levied – before further treatment can be offered, to ensure the correct treatment is prescribed.

Insurance and Employer Claims

We are not registered with any dental or health insurer. As such, we will not invoice treatment to an insurer, employer or other third parties without the explicit agreement of both the third party and Meadow Walk Dental Practice.

New Patients

We are always pleased to welcome new patients and we want to ensure that your experience is a pleasant and enjoyable one. When you first contact us you will be invited to discuss your dental health and aspirations with one of our Customer Care Team or Treatment Co-ordinators, who will help you to select the right clinician for your first consultation.

New patients will normally be asked to book an initial consultation with one of our Dental Surgeons. This consultation allows the Dental Surgeon to perform a thorough review of your teeth, gums and mouth and to have a preliminary conversation with you about your dental health and the appearance of your smile. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions or discuss any problems.

On many occasions, your Dental Surgeon will ask that you have a radiographic assessment (x-ray). This may be a ‘standard’ intra-oral x-ray or a panoramic x-ray (OPG or CT-scan).
You may be asked to consent to an x-ray during the initial consultation or afterwards. If an x-ray is required the process will be explained to you in full.

We levy a charge for some types of x-ray to cover the costs of the advanced equipment we use. Any costs due will be explained to you in full before the x-ray is taken.

If, as a new patient, you are only seeking treatment delivered by a Dental Hygienist, an initial consultation may be required by the dentist. We do in any case recommend, for the purposes of maintaining healthy teeth, that all new patients attend an initial consultation.

Payment Terms

We may charge a deposit for some courses of treatment. See DEPOSITS for more information.

For routine consultations and courses of treatment that can be completed in a single appointment, we will normally ask for payment at the completion of treatment.

If your treatment will require multiple appointments we will ask you to pay for each stage of treatment as it is completed.

The amounts due at each stage of treatment will be made clear to you. For complex treatments, this will include a detailed Payment Schedule.

We accept the following methods of payment:

  • MasterCard, Visa, and Visa Debit
  • Cash payments up to a maximum of £5,000 per course of treatment
  • Cheques with a valid cheque guarantee card
  • BACS transfer with prior arrangement

In addition, we offer interest-free finance for up to 12 months (0% APR representative) on a variety of treatments. Interest-free finance is not available for all terms or for all treatments. Ask a member of our Customer Care Team for more information on interest bearing finance, please click here for more details

Guarantee

All guarantees are conditional on the patient attending the dentist and dental hygienist at the prescribed intervals. The guarantee does not apply where the damage to the restoration has been caused by trauma or accidental breakage.

All guarantees are covered for any work carried out by The Gallery Dental and Implant Centre and Meadow Walk Dental Practice.

 

 

Filling

2 years

Free replacement

 

Bridges Crown Implant Crown

 

 

5 years as per lab warranty

 

Implant

 

10 years

 

Full mouth veneers

 

5 years but mouth guard must be worn as advised

 

Denture

 

2 years

 

Refunds

If you require a refund for any reason we will issue the refund to the debit/credit card used to make the original payment or, if this is not viable, via any of your debit cards or by bank transfer.

We regret that we are unable to issue refunds by cash or cheque regardless of the original payment method.

Routine Consultations

Routine consultations, also known as recall appointments, are vital to the ongoing maintenance of your dental health.

We usually recommend that a patient who is not undergoing a course of treatment invests in their dental health by attending at least one dental consultation and one hygiene consultation per year.

The precise number and pattern of routine consultations will be prescribed by your clinical team and will change over time in reaction to your health and circumstances.

Attending a routine consultation is of course optional. However, we will normally only maintain a patient as active on our records if they are regularly attending appointments (see INACTIVE PATIENTS).

Short Notice Cancellation and Failure to Attend Policy

If you cancel your appointment at short notice or you fail to attend an appointment, you deprive other patients of that clinical time and cause significant disruption to the practice.

To ensure the best possible experience for all of our patients, we enforce a policy to manage short notice cancellations and missed appointments.

We accept that patients will need to cancel or rearrange appointments for a variety of reasons. If you do need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, please ensure you give us at least 24 hours’ notice, excluding weekends and bank holidays.

For example, if you cancel on a Friday afternoon for a Monday morning appointment, you will not have provided us with the required notice.

If you are attending a dental implant placement appointment we require 72 hours’ notice, excluding weekends and bank holidays.

If you fail to attend an appointment or you cancel an appointment without adequate notice we may levy a charge 50% of the treatment missed or cancelled at short notice against your account.

Alternatively, at our discretion, we may ask that you pay in advance to secure your next appointment – the amount paid will be credited against the cost of your next appointment when you attend.

We also reserve the right to refuse to treat patients who continuously cancel at short notice or fail to attend appointments. Members are not excluded from this policy and may be required to make a deposit towards any future consultations.

On occasion, it may be necessary for the practice to reschedule your appointments with us. We will always endeavour to provide the greatest amount of notice possible. In order that we might be able to contact you promptly in such circumstances, it is important that we hold your contact details, including email addresses and mobile/daytime telephone numbers.

On very rare occasions, where a clinician is unwell or there is a problem with our facilities, we may be required to reschedule your appointment at short notice. We always endeavour to see patients where facilities and clinical resources allow, but we will not proceed with appointments where we are unable to ensure our usual high standards. We ask for our patients’ understanding in these circumstances.

Withdrawing from Treatment

If you choose not to proceed at any stage after treatment has commenced, fees for treatment delivered to date will be raised. Any payments on your account will be applied to these fees. Please note that the fees due will reflect the actual treatment delivered and may differ from the timing noted on your Treatment Estimate and/or Payment Schedule.

If funds remain to your credit, they shall be refunded to you. If funds are owing to us, you will be required to settle the amount outstanding upon receipt of an invoice.

Please note that some treatments are non-refundable once you have chosen to proceed.

Visiting us as a Referral Patient

Many of our patients are referred to us formally by their regular dentist or another medical professional for specific diagnosis or treatments. Generally, we accept referrals for advanced diagnostic x-rays, endodontic treatment or dental implants, but this list is not exhaustive.

If you are referred to us, you will remain a patient of your regular dentist or medical care provider, but you will be subject to our Terms of Business for any treatment delivered by us.

If you have been referred for a course of treatment, you will be required to attend an Initial Consultation. If you have been referred for diagnostic tests only, you will not be required to attend an Initial Consultation, but you will be required to complete a medical history form.

You are not obliged to undertake any treatment with us and we will treat you with the same high level of care and attention that we treat our existing patients.

Once your treatment with us is complete, you will be returned to the care of your regular dentist or medical care provider. You may be invited to attend further appointments with us to specifically review the treatment we have provided, and we recommend that you attend these.

We will do our best not to contact you for marketing purposes at any point.

Your Medical History

We will ask you to record your medical history at various occasions. This information is vital to ensure that any treatment provided to you is delivered safely, and that we can care for you properly in an emergency. It is a legal requirement that we have an up-to-date medical history on record.

We will ask you to provide us with a medical history at the following points:

  • Upon registration with the practice as a new patient
  • When you are about to begin a new course of treatment
  • At your annual or regular review with your dentist or hygienist

You should take time to review the form on each occasion and complete it to the best of your knowledge. If you are unsure of any points, ask your clinician.

On occasion, we may also ask for additional information, such as medical records from your General Medical Practitioner (GP), copies of prescriptions etc.

The process we use to record your medical history is complete and relevant and ensures that the correct information is stored accurately and safely with the utmost confidence and security. See DATA PROTECTION for more information.

We regret that we are unable to treat patients who refuse to complete a medical history form when requested.

 


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