NHS penalty charge notices for dental treatment.

16th August 2018 | Posted by: Vanessa Giraud

No-one wants to receive an NHS penalty charge notice in the post. They are triggered by an automated checking system introduced ten years ago to make sure people pay the correct fee for dental care.

smiling woman at reception talks to man about NHS penalty charge notices The NHS penalty charge is here to stay.

The automated system was brought in to tackle the high number of invalid claims for NHS fee exemptions.  Just this week, however, discussion in parliament once again raised the concern that the system disadvantages vulnerable people. Steve Brine MP, the Under Secretary of State for Public Health and Primary Care, responded that there are “no current plans to change” the system.

How much is the  NHS Penalty Charge?

The NHS penalty charge notice asks for:

It is possible to make a claim against the NHS penalty charge if you think there’s been a mistake, or because of exceptional circumstances.

Penalties can result from genuine mistakes.

Not all of the claims that are flagged up are deliberate attempts to cheat the system. Many are genuine patient errors. It’s all too easy to fill in a form incorrectly, or not be fully clear about whether an exemption is full or partial. Yet, because the patient signs that the details are correct, the signature is binding so an appeal is difficult.

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) monitoring the system warns patients to make sure the correct box is ticked on the dental treatment claim form.

A friend, relation or member of the dental team can tick the form on behalf of the patient. It there is an error, however, it is the patient’s responsibility.

Check your entitlements.

Some NHS dental patients may receive free dental care.  Others, as part of the NHS Low Income Scheme, are entitled to some help with their fees. It is very important that patients understand what their payment status is. The NHS BSA issues an increasing number of penalty notices to dental patients each year.

If your status has changed, you may not be exempt from paying dental charges any more.

It’s important to keep your status up to date.

You can read more detailed information about the NHS penalty charges on the NHS BSA website 

Steps to take to avoid getting an NHS penalty charge notice.

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