Making, changing or cancelling your appointment

Outpatient appointments


Keeping everyone safe

We've adapted how we look after you in our hospitals and community sites.

This is so we can provide the best care for everyone, including people with coronavirus (COVID-19).

Your appointment may be a telephone appointment or a video appointment.

We offer patients a face-to-face appointment where it is safe to do so and a specialist doctor agrees that it's best.

If you do have a face-to-face appointment, it's important that you attend. We have measures in place to keep our patients and staff safe.

Making an outpatient appointment

If your GP has referred you, you can use the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) to choose the place, time and date for your first appointment.

You can view your hospital choices and book your first outpatient appointment in a number of ways.

Using the e-Referral Service at our hospitals

We're working hard to make all our services directly bookable on e-RS. Some services are only be available as indirectly bookable. This means your GP gives you a letter with:

  • the number you need to call to book your appointment
  • the opening hours for the service

Changing or cancelling your appointment

If you need to change or cancel your outpatient appointment, please visit the DrDoctor website.

You'll be asked for your:

  • name
  • date of birth
  • postcode

Once you've provided the requested information, you'll be sent a code to your mobile phone.

After you enter this code on the DrDoctor website, you'll be able to see all your appointments. You can make any changes or cancellation requests here.

If you're unable to change or cancel your outpatient appointment using DrDoctor, please contact the number listed on your appointment letter.

If you do not have an appointment letter, you can search for a contact number using our A-Z of services.

If you're unable to attend your appointment

If you're unable to attend your appointment, please let us know as soon as possible. This is so we can give your appointment to another patient. You can let us know:

  • during your GP appointment
  • by calling the national e-RS appointment line: 0345 608 8888 (open Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm, weekends and bank holidays from 8am to 4pm. Closed Christmas Day)
  • online on the NHS website
  • by textphone: 0345 850 2250

To book your appointment through the national e-RS appointment line or online, you need your:

  • unique booking reference number
  • password or access code

Please contact your GP practice if you do not have these or have lost them. You do not need to see your GP as a member of the practice team should be able to help.

Referrals from other hospitals

We'll contact you to arrange your appointment once we have processed your referral.

Waiting for your appointment

It's important to keep well while you wait, and to get help if your symptoms are getting worse. It's also important to let us know if you no longer need your appointment.

Read more information about waiting for your appointment or procedure.

Appointments with our community services

If you would like to make or change a community appointment, you will need to contact the service directly by:

  • contact the service using the number on your appointment letter, or
  • search for a contact number using our A-Z of services

Patient initiated follow up (PIFU) lets you decide when to book a follow-up appointment.

It is an alternative to routine, booked follow-up appointments.

PIFU is suitable for you if you have a stable condition and you're able to self-manage. If your condition changes, you can contact the service through a dedicated helpline.

It's only available in some of our services.

Your health professional will talk to you about it if it's an option.

If we have your mobile number, we'll send you text messages using the DrDoctor service to:

  • confirm your appointment once booked 
  • remind you of your appointment date and time

If you want to be added to this service, please contact the department treating you.

You can also ask to be added to the text reminder service at reception on your next visit.

How to stop receiving text message reminders

You can opt out of text message reminders by replying STOP to the most recent message.

You can also update your preference by:

  • contacting the department treating
  • at reception on your next visit

In some of our services, we may send a text message asking you to complete online assessment forms. The form could be:

  • before your appointment
  • after your appointment
  • for follow-up needs

The form links to the DrDoctor patient website.

You need to sign in using your location details. We need this information to make sure your health information stays secure and you have access to the right forms.

The information in the forms helps us decide on the best treatment plan.

DrDoctor has access to your contact information but not your health information.

Please make sure we have the right contact details. You can check or make changes to your details:

  • on the DrDoctor website
  • by calling or emailing the department caring for you
  • at the hospital reception

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