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General information leaflet regarding telephone clinics – Infectious diseases

Patient information A-Z

What is a telephone clinic?

Telephone clinics are outpatient appointments conducted by telephone.

A dedicated time slot on a specific day will be allocated to you, but rather than the appointment taking place in a hospital clinic, it will be done with you over the telephone.

Why have they been set up?

  • Some patients travel very long distances to attend hospital clinics as part of a specialist service.
  • Often the appointment is a routine follow-up to discuss your progress during antibiotic therapy and/or to discuss blood results that have been done at your local hospital or general practice (GP) surgery.
  • We have therefore set up a telephone clinic to discuss your ongoing infection issues and results without you having to come to the hospital.
  • This is designed to be more convenient for you and save you time and travel.

How do these clinics work?

  • You will be sent your clinic date and time by text message, or given the details via telephone.
  • During your allocated appointment time we ask you to remain close to your telephone and ensure it is not in use.
  • The telephone number we ring is entirely your choice, but we recommend that you choose a number where you feel comfortable talking to us.
  • We will ring you and ask some security questions to ensure that we are speaking to the correct person. Due to patient confidentiality issues we will only be able to have the consultation directly with you, our patient.

What if I prefer to come to clinic?

The choice is entirely yours at any time throughout this process. The telephone clinic is offered as an alternative for you to choose the option that suits you best.

If you prefer face-to-face contact with your doctor, at any given time, you are very welcome to attend outpatient clinics at the hospital as before. In this case, please ring the infectious diseases clinic co-ordinator on 01223 257183 to arrange a mutually convenient clinic appointment.

Will I always be followed up in this manner?

No, the telephone clinic is intended as an alternative and depending on the nature of your infection issue you may still need to attend the hospital for an appointment in the infectious diseases clinic.

If you wish to change your mind at any time about a telephone clinic appointment, please contact us.

What if I need bloods taking or a prescription?

We will arrange for any blood tests or prescriptions to be undertaken via your GP. If this is not possible we will ask your GP to refer you to your local hospital for blood tests. In some cases, we may organise blood tests at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

We will ensure we get the results and we will contact you directly if any follow-up is needed.

What if others want to listen to our consultation?

We will need to hold the initial consultation with you, as you are our patient. However, should you have a speaker phone and wish others to listen in on our consultation that is entirely your choice and decision.

Some of our patients prefer others to listen in to help remember what has been discussed. We are also happy to repeat what has been said to your next of kin with your express consent should you so wish.

Who do I contact if I have any concerns?

We always advise you to contact your GP as a first port of call. Your GP will receive a copy of all correspondence, including letters that we send after your telephone consultation, so they will be fully aware of your current health issues.

You are always very welcome to contact us for advice and information. Please find a list of useful contact numbers below.

Useful contact details

For changing appointments for your phone consultation please contact our:

  • Infectious diseases clinic co-ordinator on 01223 257183 or
  • Infectious diseases secretary on 01223 217141.

Patient advice and liaison service (PALS)

PALS is here to provide help, advice, support and information and to listen to your suggestions and concerns.

If you, your relatives or your carers are unhappy with any aspect of your care, or the service you receive while you are attending an outpatient clinic or via the telephone clinic, you or they should speak to a member of the clinic staff as soon as possible.

If you feel unable to speak directly to staff, then contact PALS on 01223 216756 or email them at and they will assist you.

You can ask a friend or relative to speak to us on your behalf, but we must have your permission before we can discuss your personal circumstances with anyone else. Very often problems can be resolved straightaway, so please contact us as soon as possible so you can be reassured about any aspect of your care.

The PALS office is open Monday to Friday 09:00 to 17:00 (with extended hours when staffing permits).

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151