St Thomas' Hospital
2nd floor, Lambeth Wing
Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7EH
Tel: 020 7188 2815
Fax: 020 7188 2646
You need a referral from your GP or health professional to attend.
What to bring to your appointment
Details of someone we can contact in an emergency.
A list of all the medications you take.
Letters/reports from your referring doctor.
Your GP details. We recommend that you register with a general practitioner (GP) as they can deal with non-HIV related problems, and manage acute medical problems (HIV or non-HIV). They also offer other services such as home visits, 24 hour care and district nurses.
Changing or cancelling your appointment
To cancel or change an appointment, please telephone our reception staff on 020 7188 6666. If you need to cancel your appointment, please tell us as soon as possible, preferably at least 48 hours in advance. This means that we can give the appointment to someone else.
About your appointment
What to expect
Please arrive on time, as it may not be possible to see you if you are late. Most consultations last 30 minutes, but your first visit usually lasts one hour. This is to make sure we get all the information we need and that you have the opportunity to discuss your concerns with us.
A nurse will ask you some questions, do a basic health assessment and explain how our service works.
We will take (with your consent) some blood samples. These are to show how much virus you currently have in your blood (viral load), and how well your body's immune system (the part that fights infection) is working (CD4 count).
First doctor's appointment
You will be given an appointment with one of our HIV specialist doctors within a few weeks. This is to discuss your initial blood results (we do not give blood results over the telephone) and have a physical examination. We realise the importance of developing a good relationship with your HIV specialist and, where possible, encourage you to see the same doctor for each consultation. However, some doctors may only be available on specific days.
We usually like you to come into the clinic for a routine consultation with your HIV specialist doctor every 3-6 months. This is to monitor your health and to discuss any medical issues or problems that you may have.
We will arrange for you to have a series of blood tests a few weeks before each visit, so that we have your latest results for each appointment. Sexual health screening is also available for all patients during their visit to Harrison Wing.
Most follow-up consultations last 30 minutes, but please allow extra time for blood tests to be done or prescriptions to be processed by the pharmacy
Urgent medical problems
During clinic opening hours
If you have an urgent medical problem that cannot wait until your next appointment with your regular clinic doctor, we have an emergency clinic. This is open Monday - Friday, 1.30pm - 4pm. It is closed on bank holidays. If possible, please call the nurses first on 020 7188 2641 to discuss the problem. The emergency clinic doctors should not be used as a replacement for your regular HIV doctor or the routine services that your GP provides.
New medical problems
If you have any new medical problems, you should talk to your GP first. He/she can help you to decide whether you need to involve our clinic. If you are still unclear, call our nursing staff, who can advise you where it would be best to receive treatment. Nurses are available during normal clinic hours (as time allows) to provide support and advice in person, or on the telephone. You can discuss your medical and social problems with them.
When the clinic is closed
Contact your GP or call the hospital switchboard on 020 7188 7188 and ask for the on-call HIV doctor. Either will be able to advise you what to do.
In an emergency you should go (or be taken) directly to the nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department.
Aidsmap - a help site produced by 3 UK AIDS associations
Terrence Higgins Trust - the UK's largest HIV and AIDS charity
MetroM8 - site provided by London Gay Men's HIV Prevention Partnership