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Dentist repeatedly cancelling appointments for more than 12 months -How and to whom do I make a complaint

(12 Posts)
PrettyDarnQuick Fri 29-Jan-16 18:32:08

Hi, my NHS dental surgery changed management about 18 months ago and has since cancelled at least 3 appointments for me and my children - none of us have seen the dentist for over a year now. Each time we call to make another appointment after they cancel the wait time is several months. I am at the end of my tether now and want to know how to make a complaint that may actually be listened to; the reception staff are understandably blasé (how else could you do that job?!)

Please help - I'm really not a 'complainer' but really pissed off on behalf of my kids now. I will find a private dentist now, after the latest cancellation letter I have received today (for February's appointments, which were made (earliest available) after they cancelled November's appointments...) but for three kids and me it's not cheap confused

Thanks all!

Seriouslyffs Fri 29-Jan-16 18:41:40

I'd just register with a new dentist tbh. Where are you?

PrettyDarnQuick Fri 29-Jan-16 21:28:09

South West - I can and will change - it's more letting the shoddy treatment go unchallenged that I don't want to do. I feel compelled to raise it - there must be loads of other people being screwed in the same manner who won't or can't complain - I just want to know where to aim the complaint to make sure it really reaches its mark IYSWIM

Piratespoo Fri 29-Jan-16 21:35:11

Why are they cancelling? What is their reason?

PrettyDarnQuick Fri 29-Jan-16 21:51:31

Today's letter says 'Due to unforeseen circumstances it is necessary to cancel your dental appointment on XXX, we would be grateful if you would contact the surgery at your earliest convenience to make an alternative appointment, many thanks. Our apologies once again. Yours sincerely Practice Manager' This is standard. Not signed either. I'm getting quite angry now reading it.

PrettyDarnQuick Fri 29-Jan-16 21:51:40


lougle Fri 29-Jan-16 21:52:00

We've had the same thing. We make the appointment for school holidays. Then a few weeks before, we are given a cancellation notice and a new appointment in term time. I phone them and say that we'd like a school holiday appointment. So they put in an appointment for the next set of holidays. Then they send a cancellation keeps going on.

PrettyDarnQuick Fri 29-Jan-16 21:53:29

Once would be OK, twice might be a habit; 3 times is pushing it to the limit and I think this is possibly the 4th cancellation (either 3rd or 4th; it has been so long I can't remember hmm)

PrettyDarnQuick Fri 29-Jan-16 21:54:27

How long lougle? Want to gauge what is a) normal b) acceptable.

lougle Fri 29-Jan-16 21:56:46

I think it's been 18 months now hmm. I really need to find somewhere else.

bimandbam Fri 29-Jan-16 21:58:54

Our old dentist went on long term sick. I wonder if that has happened with yours? We moved so changed dentist anyway so it didn't really affect us too much. Could you maybe call them and ask why?

I know my new dentist is due to go on.maternity leave soon and only worked 2 days anyway so was months from 1 appointment to the next so am slightly anxious about some work I know I need doing and the dcs check ups. But it's not the dentists fault so try not to take it personally.

Marshy Fri 29-Jan-16 22:03:24

How about raising it with the practice manager first. They won't be cancelling for the fun of it. No doubt someone is off sick and they are employing locums at great expense.
Maybe give them a chance to put it right for you before making a complaint that 'reaches its mark'. Perhaps they haven't realised that you have been cancelled several times or maybe their available slots have been taken up with emergencies.

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