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NHS Dental Charges Penalty Charge Notice - Dentist at fault did not update system!!!!


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I used to be on the dole but on my visit a few months ago to the dentist, I told the receptionist that was working there I was no longer on benefits and could she update the system to show this...she also gave me a blue paper to sign which I did (I assumed this was normal procedure) after I had told her to update the system to show I was not on the dole anymore.

 

Last week I got a NHS DENTAL PENALTY CHARGES NOTICE for £150.00!

 

I was gobsmacked because I remember telling the receptionist to update the system to show I was not on the dole, so this would not happen.

 

Luckily I had another dental appointment this week and explained to a receptonist the above, she said she could not understand why the receptonist months ago on my last visit had not updated the system and told me to email the practice manager who would investigate this and also locate the blue slip I was asked to sign (after telling the receptionist on my visit a few months earlier I was no longer on the dole)

 

I emailed the practice manager explaining I had told the receptionist on my last visit I was no longer on the dole and to update the system to show this. This is the email I received in response from the practice manager

 

'

Thank-you for your recent email, in which you state that you were not in receipt of any benefits on (date), as you has NHS treatment there is a set NHS fee to pay.

The charge is levied irrespective of any misunderstanding or error on either part(patient or receptionist) as at the end of the day there appears to be no confusion as to whether you were in receipt of any benefit.

It is incumbent on the patient to pay any fees due just as you would pay at a supermarket check-out, where you are in receipt of goods or services.

May I also point out that the form you signed is a statutory legal obligation which must be disclosed by us the the NHS upon request.

 

There is currently a no if’s no butt’s campaign by the NHS to recover lost fees and we would ask you to bear this in mind when receiving treatment from '

 

The error is clearly on the receptionist at the time who failed to update the system to show I was no longer on the dole, if the system had been updated when I had told them this would not have happened, the practice manager is fobbing me off, what can i do ?

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The practice "system" does not record what benefits you are on.

 

Each time you receive treatment, you sign a declaration that you are entitled to free treatment and tick the appropriate box saying why.

 

Every course of treatment.

 

You do not tell the practice once that you are entitled and they assume you continue to be.

 

Did you not read the declaration you signed?

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Hi amy

 

I think the Dental Practice has to share the fault here too, their response to you sounds like 'a covering their own back exercise'.

 

What happens when I claim help with health costs?

When you make a claim at a pharmacy, dentists’ surgery, opticians or

hospital

 

- you must sign to say that you do not have to pay

- you will be asked for proof that you do not have to pay

- you must make it clear the reason why you do not have to pay

- if you do not show proof, you will still receive your treatment or item

free of charge, BUT

- the NHS will make checks later with the relevant organisation that

you are exempt and may ask you again for proof.

 

Here's some info:- don't' just help yourself

 

Here's some info (FOI):- Section Seven — NHS Dental & Penalty Charges and Deb

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  • 2 months later...

I was on JSA upto July 2014, in June/July 2014 I visited the dentist the receptionist asked me to sign a blue form once I arrived to confirm my appoitment, I did not read what I was signing, the receptionist simply put it on the reception counter and asked me to sign it.

 

Upon leaving I was given a follow up appoitment for Septmber 2014 where I visited the dentist, upon leaving I was given a 6 month follow up for March 2015, when I left the dentist I can't remember if i was asked to sign a paper or not.

 

Then in Dec 2015 I received a NHS Penalty charge of £150, which I could not understand why, because when I signed the blue paper I was on benefits upto July 2014.

 

My next appoitment at the dentist was the following week (1 week after having received the NHS Penalty charge letter) so I took the NHS Penalty charge letter to the dentist and asked the receptionist why this has happened. The receptinist asked me if I had ticked on the paper to say if I was on benefits, I explained to her on my last visit in June/July 2014 I was on JSA , but the JSA had ended after my visit in June/July 2014.

 

I explained on my last visit in Sept 2014 I was not on benefits and I could not remember if I was asked to sign a blue paper in Sept 2014, so she told me to write to the practice manager to request a copy of the FP17. I asked the receptionist to update the dentist system to show I was now not on benefits, she said the system was now updated and this would not happen again.

 

So i wrote to the practice manager explaining the above, her response was

 

"Thank-you for your recent email, in which you state that you were not in receipt of any benefits in September, as you has NHS treatment there is a set NHS fee to pay.

The charge is levied irrespective of any misunderstanding or error on either part(patient or receptionist) as at the end of the day there appears to be no confusion as to whether you were in receipt of any benefit.

 

It is incumbent on the patient to pay any fees due just as you would pay at a supermarket check-out, where you are in receipt of goods or services.

 

May I also point out that the form you signed is a statutory legal obligation which must be disclosed by us the the NHS upon request."

 

She seemed like she was passing the buck and at this stage I was unware of the FP17 or to ask copies of the papers that I had signed.

Now last week I received another NHS Penalty charge of £150 for the visit to the dentist in Dec 2014 (where I explained to the receptionist to update the computer system, she told me she had updated it to show I was now not on JSA)

 

So I rang the number on the NHS Penalty charge letter and explained I had visited the dentist in Dec 2014 on my appoitment and requested the receptionist update the computer system to show I was now not on JSA from July 2014 she told me she had updated it. I also explained I could not remember what if anything I had signed in Dec 2014 and I requested a copies of the blue papers relating to my visit on Sept 2014 and Dec 2014, I was informed to contact the practice mananger and ask for copies of the FP17, so I could check my signature and see where i had signed the papers for my own piece of mind, the practice managers response was

 

"I am no longer in receipt of these forms as your claim is under investigation I have sent them to the Business Services Authority at their request"

 

Now I have another appointment this week at the dentist, what i will now do is record on my mobile me asking the receptionist to confirm what status it shows against my name on the system as on JSA or not on JSA, because i do not want another penalty charge, I will also request a copy of the FP17 that I may sign one this week, If the receptionist tells me the sytems is showing me as on JSA I will explain I requested in Sept 2014 to have it updated and I was promised by the receptionist she would update it.

 

I want to see the blue papers that I am supposed to have signed in Sept 2014 and Dec 2014 because I suspect the dentist ticked the boxes on the form themselves to claim NHS payments or even forged my signature, thats why I asked the practice manager for the FP17 and she did not give them - do dentists keep copies for the FP17?

 

How can I make 100% sure the dentist records are updated to show im not on JSA because I dont want this happening a 3rd time.

 

What do i need to do on my next visit and has the practice manager fobbed me off by saying she no longer has the FP17 forms that I signed ? I want to see them for my own piece of mind, if i signed in error, then its my fault, but if my signature is forged or a tick is forged to say I was on JSA - then the dentist receptionsts are at fault?

 

I clearly told the receptionist in Dec 2014 to update the system to show i am now on on JSA she said it had been updated, so why the penalty charges?

 

I suspect the receptionists are ticking the on JSA tick box on the form after i have the forms because I clearly do not remember ticking any box on the forms

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It isn't entirely clear from your OP whether you paid for the treatment that you received in September or December? I get the bit about you being on JSA when you originally went to the dentist in July 2014, but having come off JSA in July you would surely have paid for treatment at appointments after that date, and if payment was not requested would you not have queried that? Especially after the first penalty was sent?

 

Sorry if I am missing something here

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Layla, if the dentist no longer holds the forms then do a SAR on the NHSBSA. The PM will provide you with the address if you don't already have it. I'd also be inclined to ask to see your records at your dentist. On the systems we use in GP surgeries we scan all paperwork on before sending it anywhere. I don't know for certain if they do the same in dentistry but it's worth an ask.

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Problem arises in most cases, JSA entitlement, BUT Contribution JSA you have to pay as we found out, but no-body pointed it out at the Dentist, ;-

 

Taken from NHS site after event:-

 

You must ask the patient for evidence when they sign the declaration to say they do not have to pay NHS dental charges. Since April 2006, orthodontists have been required to complete form FP17 (see below), which includes the ‘Evidence not seen’ box.

:mad2::-x:jaw::sad:
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think about it, i request the FP17 forms and the practice managers response was

"I am no longer in receipt of these forms as your claim is under investigation I have sent them to the Business Services Authority at their request"

 

I explained to her I visited the dentist in Dec (and brought the penalty charge letter for Sept 2014 to show the receptionist) - who said she would update the system to show I was not on JSA - surely if the receptionist had done and updated the records to show I was not on JSA, I would not have been landed with a 2nd £150 last week.

 

How do I do a SAR on the NHSBSA?

 

What is the procedure to get a copy of my records at the dentist, so I can double check everything for my own peace of mind, because this should not have happened, why should I be left with a penalty charge if the receptionist and even the practice manager did not do their job and update the records in Dec 2014.

 

The practice manager confirms she was aware I was not on JSA from her response in Dec 2014

 

"Thank-you for your recent email, in which you state that you were not in receipt of any benefits in September, as you has NHS treatment there is a set NHS fee to pay.

The charge is levied irrespective of any misunderstanding or error on either part(patient or receptionist) as at the end of the day there appears to be no confusion as to whether you were in receipt of any benefit.

It is incumbent on the patient to pay any fees due just as you would pay at a supermarket check-out, where you are in receipt of goods or services.

 

May I also point out that the form you signed is a statutory legal obligation which must be disclosed by us the the NHS upon request."

 

She's trying to deflect responsibility by saying

 

"The charge is levied irrespective of any misunderstanding or error on either part(patient or receptionist) as at the end of the day there appears to be no confusion as to whether you were in receipt of any benefit."

 

So if the receptonist makes an error she's not to blame? - its her fault for not updating the records in Dec 2014 as I requested her to do, she must have left it as claiming JSA and then they simply sent the forms off to claim as much money from the NHS as they could, if the receptinist had updated the records as I requested, why on earth did the dental practice send the forms to the NHS, even after I told them I was not on JSA?

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Their response to appeal:-

 

 

I appreciate you taking time to explain your circumstances, however we are unable to waive the penalty charge based on the information you have provided. The Patient Record form (PR form) signed at your dental practice explains which benefits automatically exempt a patient from paying for their NHS dental treatment and that a penalty charge may be applied if an exemption from paying is claimed incorrectly.

 

Should you wish to see a copy of the PR form, please contact your dental practice directly.

 

The outstanding amount inclusive of the penalty must be paid.

 

Click here to view the methods for payment in full.

 

If you are unable to pay the outstanding amount in one payment, you may be able to set up an instalment plan, if you wish to set up an instalment plan please reply to this email and advise.

 

For general enquiries, you can now use the 'Ask Us' section of our website at http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk.

 

If you require any further assistance please contact us by email or telephone us on 0300 330 1368.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

also on their website they state, even if you have recently paid the £13.00 etc to Dentist the Penalty charge applies( £65.00) was the penalty charge failure will incur further charges so pay within a set time.

:mad2::-x:jaw::sad:
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When I originally went to the dentist in the summer June or July 2014 I was on JSA, I cant remember If i signed anything then, my next appointment was in Sept 2014 (not on JSA) cant remember if i signed anything (which I why I want the FP17 form) because I think the dentist must have sent the forms off that I may have signed in June or July 2014, I was landed with a penalty charge of £150 for the Sept 2014 visit.

 

The £150 charge letter for the Sept visit was received in Dec 2014, I had an appoitment that same month at the dentist where I took the penalty charge letter and queried why this had happened and I asked the receptionist to update the records to show I was now not on JSA, the receptionist said she had updated her records to show this and she told me to contact the practice manager who response was

 

"The charge is levied irrespective of any misunderstanding or error on either part(patient or receptionist) as at the end of the day there appears to be no confusion as to whether you were in receipt of any benefit"

 

What I want to know is if the receptionist had updated my records when I asked her in Dec 2014, then why was I landed with a 2nd penalty charge for my Dec 2014 visit last week?

 

And why did the dental practice try to claim from the NHS for my treatment when I had clearly explained to the receptionist in Dec 2014 I was not on JSA and the receptionist told me she had updated my records

 

Ive had to pay £300 and I feel its the dental practics fault

 

 

It isn't entirely clear from your OP whether you paid for the treatment that you received in September or December? I get the bit about you being on JSA when you originally went to the dentist in July 2014, but having come off JSA in July you would surely have paid for treatment at appointments after that date, and if payment was not requested would you not have queried that? Especially after the first penalty was sent?

 

Sorry if I am missing something here

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On my visit in Dec 2014 having explained to the receptionist to update my records to show I was now not on JSA I assumed eveything was now o.k, I had no idea the dental practice or the receptionist would go and claim from the NHS for my treatment, why they did this I do not know? maybe they get paid much more from the NHS than if I had to pay them myself? I don' know why they did this!

 

The dentist practice ask you to pay once youve finished a course of treatment and I assumed after my visit in Dec 2014 my course of treatment was starting new or had not finished and I would be asked to pay on my next visit in 2015

 

 

It isn't entirely clear from your OP whether you paid for the treatment that you received in September or December? I get the bit about you being on JSA when you originally went to the dentist in July 2014, but having come off JSA in July you would surely have paid for treatment at appointments after that date, and if payment was not requested would you not have queried that? Especially after the first penalty was sent?

 

Sorry if I am missing something here

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MIKE770, I dont understand your reply below, please explain

 

Their response to appeal:-

 

 

I appreciate you taking time to explain your circumstances, however we are unable to waive the penalty charge based on the information you have provided. The Patient Record form (PR form) signed at your dental practice explains which benefits automatically exempt a patient from paying for their NHS dental treatment and that a penalty charge may be applied if an exemption from paying is claimed incorrectly.

 

Should you wish to see a copy of the PR form, please contact your dental practice directly.

 

The outstanding amount inclusive of the penalty must be paid.

 

Click here to view the methods for payment in full.

 

If you are unable to pay the outstanding amount in one payment, you may be able to set up an instalment plan, if you wish to set up an instalment plan please reply to this email and advise.

 

For general enquiries, you can now use the 'Ask Us' section of our website at http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk.

 

If you require any further assistance please contact us by email or telephone us on 0300 330 1368.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

also on their website they state, even if you have recently paid the £13.00 etc to Dentist the Penalty charge applies( £65.00) was the penalty charge failure will incur further charges so pay within a set time.

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Layla,

 

you can see how to do a SAR by clicking on the link in your post.

 

I've just looked at the form and I need to draw your attention to the reverse of the form and in particular the patient declaration that you will have signed.

 

Unfortunately, the second line down states very clearly:

 

The patient is responsible for the accuracy of this claim, NOT the dental practice.

 

Full guidance on how to read / complete / decypher the form is here: http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/Documents/DentalServices/Completion_of_form_guidance_-_FP17_-_England_(V4)_-_11.2014.pdf

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Layla / Mike,

 

here's where I hope I'm wrong but I've looked at the FP17 and in particular the patient declaration on the link I've provided above.

 

It seems that ALL responsibility for the correct use of the form and the services it provides is, as a condition of its use, placed on the patient and not the practice.

 

Now, I can't say that this is entirely what I'd expect or that I personally agree with it, but nevertheless it's clear that when signing that form that you accept all responsibility for it. It does detail (well this version at least) which benefits are acceptable and which are not and the last thing it says before the signature box is:

 

I understand that I will have to pay a penalty charge of up to £100 if it is not correct or I am not entitled.

 

likewise, the NHSBSA guidance issued to practices accompanies this by saying:

 

Please do not indicate where the patient should complete the form. It is the patient’s responsibility to make this claim. Please ask them to read the form and

complete the section that applies to them. Please do not advise them about their entitlement.

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double talk as one says one thing another para states another all catch 22, best never to claim anything un less you are an MP or have Duck ponds.

 

Just looking for the contradictions here and struggling a bit to be honest.

 

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