Printed at: 03:07:47 / 09-07-2020

Outpatient Patient Leaflet

Information about your outpatient visit

Large Print Appointment Letters and Information

Most appointment letters are available in large print. If you need this service please call the phone number written in large print on the bottom of your appointment letter.

COVID -19 Information

  • Where medically appropriate, we have changed some face-to-face appointments to telephone or video appointments.  If this is applicable to you, you may initially be contacted by phone or text message, followed up with a letter. All instructions will be on your appointment letter for telephone appointment or email for a video appointment.
  • If you are symptomatic of coronavirus, i.e. Fever/high temperature,sudden reduction of sense of smell or taste,cough do not attend your appointment.

Please notify us by contacting our Central Booking Office on 01908 997050 in order for us to reschedule your appointment and offer your appointment to another patient.

  • We are working hard to ensure that social distancing measures are in place for face-to-face appointments.  For example, we are ensuring a maximum number of patients in waiting areas at any one time.  You may be asked to wait in an alternative waiting area or return to your car whilst waiting to be seen.  Please do not arrive more than 10 minutes before your appointment time and only bring someone with you to your appointment if it is absolutely essential.  Please limit this one person.

Patient rights – The NHS Constitution

If your GP refers you for consultant-led treatment, for non-urgent conditions you should start your treatment within a maximum of 18 weeks from referral. For urgent referrals where cancer is suspected, you should be seen by a cancer specialist within a maximum of two weeks from GP referral. If this isn’t possible, the NHS must take all reasonable steps to offer you alternatives.

To avoid unnecessary delays to your treatment, if you do not attend your appointment without cancelling beforehand, or you reschedule more than once, you may be discharged back to your GP.

Call Reminders

Most patients find it helpful to receive reminders for their appointments. We use a third party call reminder service (ERS) – typically contacting you one week before your appointment. You will receive either an automated or a personal phone call; you will be asked for your date of birth, to maintain patient confidentiality. In addition the Hospital may use a text reminder service one day before your visit.

Length of Appointment

This varies a lot, depending on why you’re here. Some appointments may take only 15 to 30 minutes, but others may take up to two hours – particularly when tests are carried out. Patients are usually seen in appointment time order, although some vulnerable patients may be prioritised.

Hospital and Public Transport

If it has been agreed that you will be coming by hospital transport, please be aware that it is only available for clinics from Monday to Friday. To book: Call 0300 100 0015. For public transport, the Hospital is served by several local buses – please check the local timetables for up-to-date information.

Car Parking

There is ample patient car parking available around the hospital. Charges apply: Please take your ticket to the nearest payment kiosk after your appointment and before returning to your car.

Free parking for Blue Badge Holders is available in car parks A, B and D, with plenty of covered spaces in the multi-story car park.

More information on where to park and charges can be found here.

Interpreter/Sign Language

If you need an interpreter or British Sign Language facilitator, please contact the phone number or email address on your appointment letter, giving at least 7 days’ notice.


Smoking, including electronic cigarettes, is not allowed anywhere other than in designated shelters. For free help to quit, please telephone 01908 254026.

Help Us to Keep You Safe

We work hard to control infection. Please help by using the hand gels that are widely available.

When You Arrive

Your appointment letter should tell you which Outpatients entrance number to use, so you are as close as possible to your clinic. With your letter you should get a map and/or directions. Our reception staff will help you check in, or if you prefer you may be able to use self check-in kiosks. You’ll be asked for some details to ensure we keep our records up to date.

What to Bring With You

  • Your appointment letter, plus any specific items requested in the letter
  • Any medications you’re taking (prescribed, over the counter or herbal)
  • Hearing aids/glasses if you wear them
  • Money for prescriptions, or proof that you do not have to pay (eg. exemption certificate)
  • Proof of UK residency (eg. medical card, passport, UK driving licence, pension book, utility bill, student ID) if appropriate

At Your Appointment

Please bring a friend or relative with you if you’d like to, but where possible, please limit it to just one person. Waiting areas can be very busy and seating space is limited.

  • Portable Hearing Loops are available from most reception areas if you need one to take into your appointment
  • Wheelchairs are available near main entrances. To use them you’ll need a (refundable) £1 coin
  • Drinking water is available, and there are several places to buy refreshments
  • If you would like to have a chaperone, please ask a member of the nursing team or clinical staff.

If You Need a Follow-up Appointment

Please hand to the receptionist the orange form that you are given in clinic. If you need to return within 6 weeks, where possible, we will book your appointment then and there. If not, an appointment will be sent to you within a few days.

If you need to come back more than 6 weeks in the future you’ll receive either a letter or a phone call about this appointment 3-6 weeks beforehand.

Friends and Family Survey

While you’re here you’ll be asked to fill in a very short survey – a national requirement for us. This is the most important way that we, and the whole NHS, can understand how to improve our services, and to know what we are already doing well. Please fill one in before you leave and place it in the box by reception.

Teaching and Research

As a teaching hospital, we conduct education and research to improve healthcare for our patients. During your visit students may be involved in your care, or you may be asked to participate in a clinical trial. Speak to your doctor or nurse if you have any concerns.

Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS)

Should you have any cause for concern or issues please tell us during your visit, so that, where possible, we can try to do something right away.

If you have a problem that you have not been able to sort during your visit, PALS is there to provide patient friendly support and assistance. They can be contacted via the telephone on 01908 995954, email at [email protected] or our receptionists can direct you to the office, which is open from Monday to Friday (except on Bank Holidays) from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm

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