Home > Topics > Communication > Information About the Practice

Information About the Practice

Communication

The Terms of Service for Dentists [1] specifies mandatory items to include in a patient information leaflet. The National Standards for Dental Services [2] indicates other items which should be easily accessible to the patient and could be included in a patient information leaflet (sometimes referred to as a practice information leaflet) or provided separately in a different format. These items are listed below.

1Terms of Service item
2National Standards item

Personal and professional details of all dentists in the practice:

  • Include partners, associates and assistants1
  • Name (including first name), as it appears on the dental register1
  • Sex1
  • Date of registration as a dental practitioner and details of any dental qualifications that are recognised by the General Dental Council (GDC)1
  • Whether the dentist or any person referred to above provides only orthodontic or other specialist treatment1
  • Whether a dental hygienist or dental therapist is employed at the practice premises1

Contact information, hours of work and access arrangements:

  • Address and telephone numbers of practice, including the registered name and address if the practice is a corporate body1
  • Address to which correspondence should be sent, including for mobile surgeries1
  • Practice opening hours including days and hours when each dentist is usually at the practice1
  • Directions to the practice2
  • Whether there is access to the dental surgery without the use of stairs1
  • The accessibility of the practice premises (including surgery and toilets) to wheelchair users1
  • How the practice meets requirements for additional needs, for example hearing induction loop, availability of an interpreter, large-print literature on request (See Improving Access for Disabled Patients)2
  • Details of any languages other than English that are spoken by the dentist, in line with each individual dentist’s wishes, and information on how any particular language needs might be met1
  • Policy on accepting new patients2
  • How to book an appointment and any systems used to remind the patient of their appointment2
  • Arrangements for out-of-hours care (see SDCEP guidance ‘Emergency Dental Care’ [3] for information)2
  • Policy for offering emergency appointments (see SDCEP guidance ‘Emergency Dental Care’ [3] for information)2

Charges:

  • Guide to charges and how to pay2
  • Whether NHS only or NHS and private care are offered, and whether any insurance schemes are offered2
  • Charges for failing to keep appointments2

Additional Information:

  • A statement about how to provide feedback or to raise a complaint2
  • A statement that all personal information is kept in the strictest confidence and the practice complies with the Data Protection Act (2018)2 and the UK GDPR [4]
  • A statement that the practice’s inspection report and details of other quality improvement measures, such as audit, are available on request2

Put together and make available an up-to-date patients information leaflet (see Patient Information Leaflet template) which includes, at least, those items set out in the Terms of Service [1].

Consider making all other information shown above available either in the patient information leaflet or in some other format, e.g. on the practice website or displayed on posters, notices or supplementary leaflets in the waiting area.

Consider regular updates to provide patients with information about changes to the practice and/or answers to frequently asked questions.

Sources of Information

  1. Terms of Service for Dentistslegislation.gov.uk
  2. National Standards for Dental Services (PDF)NHS Quality Improvement Scotland. Scottish Executive (2006) Archive
  3. Emergency Dental Care: Dental Clinical GuidanceScottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (2007) reviewed and confirmed as extant 2013
  4. The UK GDPR Information Commissioners Officeico.org.uk