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Face-to-face appointment

Patients and visitors

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In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we have made significant changes to how we deliver our services in order to help protect our patients, visitors and staff. We will continue to update our website with the latest information.

To provide the best care we can for our existing and new patients, including patients with coronavirus, we are adapting how we look after you in our hospitals and community sites. Your appointment may be a telephone consultation or a video appointment.

We are offering patients a face-to-face appointment where it is safe to do so and there is a clinical need. If you do have a face-to-face appointment it is important that you attend, and we have made a number of changes to keep our patients and staff safe

Before your appointment

Once your outpatient appointment has been booked with us you should receive a letter with an appointment date and details about where to go when you arrive at the hospital.

If you are uncertain about anything, please telephone the contact number on your letter.

Don't forget to:

  • check the appointment details and contact us if you can't make the date – if you don't come to your appointment and don't let us know, you may be discharged from our care back to your GP
  • call 020 7188 8815 or email if you need an interpreter or signer and one wasn't booked when you arranged your appointment
  • make sure we have your mobile number so we can text you reminders
  • call the number on your letter if you have any special needs, such as washing or praying facilities
  • call us if you develop diarrhoea and vomiting three days before your appointment.
  • Planning your journey

    Remember to check which hospital or community venue you are due at before setting out. 

    Use public transport where possible as both hospitals are located in the congestion charging zone of London and parking is very limited. See our travel pages for more information.

    Give yourself plenty of time

    Our hospitals are big and it can take a while to get to where you're supposed to be. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to find your way to your appointment.

  • What should I bring?

    Read your appointment letter very carefully as it may ask you to bring certain items with you, or ask you to visit another department for tests before your clinic appointment.

    Please remember to bring:

    • your appointment letter, and any other information that we may have sent to you
    • your NHS number to help us match you to your health records. For more information on NHS numbers and how you can find out yours visit the NHS website
    • medicines or inhalers that you are taking at the moment, including medicines you have brought yourself and any alternative medicines
    • a small amount of money in case you need to buy a drink or snack
    • information about any changes in your personal details, for example, if you have a new address or a new GP
    • proof of entitlement to free prescriptions, if appropriate
    • proof of entitlement to free travel or help with travel, if appropriate
    • any samples requested by your doctor or nurse.

    To help you get the most of out of your appointment, you could take a list of questions with you.

  • Allow time for your visit

    We will try to see you at the time given on your appointment letter or card. However, we can't guarantee how long your appointment will take, so please allow plenty of time.

    If necessary, please make appropriate arrangements at home before you come to the hospital. For example, you may need to ask a friend or relative to collect your children from school.

  • Overnight accommodation

    If you're travelling a long way, you may want to stay somewhere overnight to break up your journey.

    We can usually help patients with accommodation. We may also be able to help any relatives and friends who come with you, but you should ring first to check.

    For information on types of accommodation and contact details please see our accommodation pages. 

At the appointment 

We understand coming to hospital may be worrying so we do our best to make it as easy and comfortable as possible.  This page contains information to help you get the most out of your visit. 

Remember to check which hospital you're due at before setting out.

Our hospitals are big and it can take a while to get to where you're supposed to be. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to find your way to your appointment.

  • Arriving at the hospital

    Please go the location written on your appointment letter. If you are not sure where to go, ask at the main reception. 

    The clinic receptionist will book you in and explain what will happen next. Please let the receptionist know if any of your personal details have changed, like your address.

    To help us meet your needs we will ask you questions about your ethnic background. You do not have to answer these if you don't want to.

    We do our best not to keep you waiting, although delays sometimes happen. We'll tell you if there is likely to be a delay.

  • Your medical team

    usually, you will be seen by a consultant (senior doctor) or a member of their medical team. However, you may be seen by other staff, such as a nurse consultant, a nurse specialist, a midwife or a therapist.

    All staff wear an identity badge with their name and job title on it, so you know who they are. They also wear different coloured uniforms to help you recognise them more easily.

    If you are unhappy about any aspect of your care, speak to someone in charge of the clinic, who will try to sort things out for you there and then.

  • Will there be students around?

    Both Guy's and St Thomas' are teaching hospitals, responsible for training a wide range of health professionals. This means that students, supervised by qualified staff, may be involved in your care. It does not affect the quality of your treatment in any way, but does provide valuable training for the students.

    If you do not want to be seen by students, please tell the doctor or nurse in charge - it won't affect your care in any way.

  • Involving you in your care

    We want to make sure you fully understand your condition and the options available to you.

    Before you receive any treatment the doctor will explain what he or she is recommending and will answer any questions you may have. No treatment is carried out without your consent unless it is an emergency and you are unconscious.

    We are a major centre for health research, developing future treatments and care. You might be asked to take part in a study. The researcher will explain the study in detail to you, including its aims, why you would be suitable to take part and what it would involve. If you decide to take part, you will be asked to sign a consent form. If you do not want to take part, your care will not be affected in any way.

    If you are unsure about anything, please ask.

  • Is my treatment confidential?

    Everyone working in the NHS has a legal duty to keep any information about you confidential. Your information is only shared with those who need to provide your care, including your GP, unless you ask us not to do this.

    To give you the most effective care, we hold health records for all our patients. This includes names, addresses, telephone numbers and medical history information.

    No information about you will be used in a way that can identify you unless we have sought your permission. We may use some of the information about you for research or education, but only after we have removed any details which would make it possible to identify you.

  • Before you leave your appointment

    Make sure you know:

    • what might be wrong
    • whether you need any tests
    • what treatment is best for you
    • what happens next and who to contact.
  • Pharmacy

    If the doctor prescribes medicines, you will be asked either to collect these from the hospital pharmacy or from your GP.

    There are also some smaller specialist pharmacies. If you need to go to one of these staff will explain where you need to go.

    Pharmacy staff can tell you about your medicines, so please feel free to ask them questions.

    Current prescription charges apply to all medicines. 

    If you're entitled to free prescriptions, bring proof of entitlement with you, such as proof of income support, family credit or disability benefit, or a prescription prepayment certificate.

  • Spiritual care

    Our spiritual care and chaplaincy service offers 24-hour spiritual, religious and cultural care.

    For more information about our services including how to contact us and details of religious services see the spiritual health care section.

Which hospital?

Don't forget to check which of our hospitals or community venues you are due at before you set out.

Need to cancel your appointment?

Find out how to make, cancel or change your hospital appointment