Credit crunch cancellation policy

Here’s an interesting letter from College Street Dental Practice in Hampshire – the sentiment of which I completely agree with:



In light of the present economic climate, I am sure that you will be pleased to hear that we have decided not to increase our charges this year and will be keeping our 2008 prices.


We have, however, decided to update our policy with regard to emergency cancellations and missed appointments as follows:


We require not less than 3 working days notice to cancel an appointment of less than 1 hour, and not less that 5 working days notice to cancel an appointment of over 1 hour. 


In the event of a genuine emergency cancellation, there will be no charge.  However, in the event of other cancellations we will endeavour to fill the time allocated to you with another patient, but we reserve the right to charge for any time subsequently lost as a result of a cancellation or a failure to attend. Missed appointments will be charged at the full rate.


The benefit to you as a patient is that we recently calculated that cancellations and missed appointments are costing the practice £30,000 per year.  We take the view that the majority of our patients would prefer that this lost revenue be passed directly to the patients who cancel and miss appointments, whether private or Denplan, and not spread around all patients in the form of price increases.  We hope you agree that this seems like the fairest solution for everyone.


We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for being a patient with College Street Dental Practice and look forward to seeing you during the course of 2009.


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.