Our outpatient department provides clinical care to more than 17,000 patients a month in the form of consultations, assessments, tests and treatments. Patients coming to our Outpatients department are expected to be unaccompanied unless there are exceptional circumstances (for example a child or an individual who needs a carer).
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we ask that you attend any appointments alone unless you require essential support. If so, only one other person will be permitted to join you in your appointment.
Please do not attend your appointment if you are symptomatic.
Also, please do not arrive earlier than 15 minutes before your appointment.
Non-urgent advice: Cancelling your appointment and 'Did Not Attend' appointment
Should you need to cancel, re-arrange, or no longer require your appointment please contact the clinic listed on your appointment letter as soon as possible so the appointment can be reallocated to another patient. If you miss your appointment, or repeatedly cancel or decline appointments; subject to clinical review/approval, you may be discharged back to the care of your GP.
Your first appointment
To book an appointment in our outpatient clinic, you first need to be referred to the hospital by your GP or another healthcare provider. You can find your GP here.
Before your appointment
Before your outpatient appointment there are a few items we suggest you bring with you:
- Your appointment letter or appointment card
- Information about you; including your address, your GP’s address and for children, their school address.
- You will be asked about your previous medical history, so it's a good idea to make short notes on information you think is helpful before you come to clinic including a list of the medicines and allergy treatments; the names of the medication, what you’re taking it for and how often you take it. This includes anything prescribed by your GP, medicines bought over the counter at a pharmacy, herbal and homeopathic remedies. You may also find it useful to make a note of questions you want to ask.
- A pen and paper - it may be useful for you to make notes about anything the doctor says in the clinic so you can be clear about what has been discussed later.
Remember to leave plenty of time to travel to the hospital and find your clinic. If you are not sure where to go please ask at the reception desk.
Consider whether you need a chaperone.
Non-urgent advice: Video appointments
Your outpatient appointment may now be done by video consultation using Attend Anywhere. This enables you to be able to attend your appointment from home, saving you time and money.
When you arrive
Your appointment letter or appointment card should tell you where to go when you arrive.
If not, please call the number on your appointment letter or appointment card. If you misplace your appointment letter or card you can find clinic contact details on our clinic A-Z.
If you need information, a wheelchair or any other help when you arrive, please ask at the outpatient reception desk.
If you have any questions or are unsure about what to do or what is happening, please ask - our staff are there to help you.
Please tell the clinic receptionist if you have any hearing or sight impairment.
Delays may happen sometimes. For example, when doctors are called away on an emergency, consultations take longer than expected or emergency cases are referred. Please bear with us in these circumstances - we will be working to see you as soon as possible. Clinic staff will keep you informed about what is happening.
At your appointment
When you see the doctor
At your appointment, you may be seen by the consultant in charge of your care, or by another doctor who works on the consultant’s team. If the consultant or doctor decides that you need to be seen again, you will be asked to book a further appointment with the clinic receptionist before you leave.
Ask us questions
We want you to be involved in your healthcare and play an active part in decision making. We will always make time to listen, so please speak up if you have any queries or concerns.
How to identify our staff
All staff in our hospitals wear identity badges, which should be visible at all times. Ask any member of staff to show you their badge, and they’ll be happy to do so. Staff such as nurses, healthcare support workers and domestics all wear uniforms. Doctors and consultants don’t have uniforms, but may wear a white coat.
The majority of outpatient appointments are held during normal working hours.
There are some clinics where appointments are arranged for weekends or early evening to accommodate particular individuals/family commitments. In these cases you can expect to have the same access to chaperoning as during usual clinic times.
Concerns, comments and complaints
If you are unhappy with any aspect of your care or the service you receive in your outpatient clinic, please speak to a member of clinic staff as soon as possible.
If you are still not satisfied, please contact PALS (Patient Liaison and Advice Service) situated in the information centre in the hospital's main reception.
If you have visited outpatients recently, either as a patient, friend, relative or carer, please take the time to complete our friends and family survey. This will take no longer than 5 minutes to complete.