Dental Practice Policies

Cancellation Policy

We understand that circumstances change, and appointments may need to be cancelled. We do not mind appointments being cancelled and are more than happy to assist with this when required. We do ask that if you need to cancel you:

  • Try and give at least 24 hours notice so that we can offer the space to someone else.
  • Give as much notice as possible, especially if you are cancelling on the same day, at least an hour before the appointment time. If the cancellation notice is less than an hour, a note will be made on the computer so repeatedly cancelling like this can be monitored and therefore addressed. We do understand that sometimes things happen that are out of your control and again we will note this on your record.
  • Speak directly to a member of the reception staff – please do not email, text or send messages on Facebook.
  • Appreciate that when you cancel, there may be a wait before we can rebook the appointment.

Complaints Policy

At The Gateway Dental Practice we take complaints seriously. The person responsible for handling complaints is our Practice Principal, George Warmisham. You have up to 12 months to raise a concern although consideration will be given beyond this time.

If you complain over the phone or in person, we will aim to refer you to George Warmisham immediately. If this is not possible, then you will be advised to write to George, where he will make arrangements to discuss your complaint with you via telephone or in person, or reply to you by letter. The member of staff will make a record of your complaint and give you a copy if requested.

If the complaint is in writing, it will be acknowledged within 2 working days from when it was received. This will be in writing, with a copy of our complaints handling policy. We will advise you how we will investigate the complaint and the likely time this will take. Once we have investigated the complaint, we will then provide a written report of our findings and future actions within 30 working days.

Alternatively, you may complain to the health board by:

Phoning the customer contact centre on 01495 745656


Payment Policy

In accordance with NHS regulations our practice policy is for FULL PAYMENT to be requested before treatment. Your co-operation in this matter is greatly appreciated.

Should there be any reason you feel that this is not possible please discuss with reception and they can advise you on what we can do. 

The patient charges are set by the NHS and not the practice, they are subject to change every April when the NHS dental contracts are renewed. 

Patient Enrolment Policy

You need to have examinations with a dentist within 2 years in order to stay with the practice. We now offer reminders for appointments; please let reception know if you would like to sign up for these and ensure all current contact details are correct.

The NHS recommend 2 months, so our 2 years is generous in comparison. It is the responsibility of the patient and not the practice to ensure that appointments are made and kept.

Failure to Attend Policy

Failure to attend appointments without notice wastes time and therefore increases our waiting times. To clarify, failure to attend occurs when a patient does not attend any booked appointment, or when an appointment is cancelled within an hour of the time of the appointment. In these ccases, the appointment is unable to be filled.

At Gateway Dental Practice, two ‘failed to attend’ appointments will result in an automatic block on the patient record, when no further appointments can be booked. For this to be removed, a letter must be sent to our practice principal, George Warmisham.

The letter needs to include your name, date of birth and address so that we can correctly identify you. It also needs to include an apology for missing the appointment and reasons explaining why the appointment was missed (we ask this so that if there are valid reasons, for example, a medical condition or difficult circumstances, they can be taken into consideration). If another appointment is subsequently booked, this will be what we consider ‘a last chance appointment’. This will be noted on the record and any further missed appointments will mean no further appointments can be made at this practice.

This policy is supported by the Local Health Board.

Emergency Appointments

We class swelling, bleeding and severe toothache that is keeping you awake or disturbing your sleep as our dental emergencies. If we have availability, we will try and see broken teeth, lost fillings and crowns and bridges that have fallen out as soon as we can.

If you require an emergency appointment, we have time available every day to see you, although the space is limited and works on a first come first serve basis. Please call at 9am if you wish to be fitted in for that day, we do not book emergency appointments in advance. Patients that call later than 11am are unlikely to be seen as the spaces are usually full, if this is the case you will be asked to call back the following day.

If you need to be seen out of surgery hours you can call the dental helpline on 01633 744387.

Abusive behaviour and Violence Policy

We refuse to tolerate any form of abusive behaviour towards anyone on the practice premises at any time. If you are found to be abusive you will be asked to leave the premises. If you show any form of abuse or violence you may be asked not to return to the practice.

This includes raising your voice and using bad language. If at any time an employee feels threatened, they have the right to ask you to leave. If you fail to do this, the police may be called.  

COVID 19 precautions

Patients are welcome to continue wearing masks if they wish to do so.