DDU advises dentists to be clearer on NHS fee exemption rules

Dental / Dental Practitioner News

The Dental Defence Union (DDU) has underlined the need for dentists to be as clear as possible about NHS fee exemptions if they wish to avoid misunderstandings or complaints.

A number of dental practices have asked the DDU for advice after patients were fined by the NHS Business Service Authority (BSA) due to incorrectly claiming an exemption, with many of these individuals subsequently demanding reimbursement from the practice due to feeling they had been wrongly advised about their exemption status.

“The Dental Defence Union is warning dental professionals to be clear with patients about NHS fee exemptions to avoid potential complaints.“

Department of Health data shows that since September 2014, 689,770 dental penalty charge notices have been issued by the BSA, of which 385,770 came in 2016-17 alone.

In order to avoid the complaints this can cause, the DDU has urged dental professionals to ensure patients have all the right information, while reminding patrons that it is ultimately their own responsibility for making these claims correctly, rather than something within the practice's control.

Nick Torlot, a dento-legal adviser at the DDU, said: "Dental professionals can help by signposting patients to information such as the NHS BSA guidance sheet, so they can understand their eligibility and are less likely to incorrectly claim for free treatment."

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