"Shetland Dentist Bill"

About: NHS Shetland

(as the patient),

I received a reminder bill today from the NHS dentist in Shetland, when I was told I would not have to pay until my treatment was complete. I would have been fine to pay as I went along. Reading the letter I felt like I'd done something naughty, when I'd really just done what seemed to be acceptable. It seems this place always gets something wrong. The dentists, nurses and receptionists are mostly great, but the way you manage your 'customers' is very poor. Sort it out.

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Response from NHS Shetland

Thank you for bringing your story to our attention. We are sorry that you feel our administrative arrangements caused confusion and gave mixed messages to you. It is never our intention to make patients feel uncomfortable.

We actively encourage our patients to pay for treatment as it progresses. We are therefore somewhat disappointed that you were not assisted to make payment at each of your appointments. Issuing a bill would suggest that your treatment had been concluded and payment could have been made at this time. A further bill and reminder would not then have been necessary.

I would like to better understand the circumstances of your experience of our service. Should you wish me to investigate this matter further and perhaps provide you with a more detailed explanation, please do contact me.

Thank you for raising this issue as it allows us to review the service we provide to all of our patients and to make any necessary amendments.

Margaret G Jamieson, Dental Business Manager

NHS Shetland

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Update posted by SunflowerSue (the patient)

Well it's one thing to say how it should have happened, but another to encourage it to happen in practice. I can assure you my treatment is far from complete. I won't be coming forward with further information as I don't want to be blacklisted.