Making, changing or cancelling your appointment
Waiting times at appointments
We recently launched our new electronic health record system for patients, Epic. There may be some delays and longer waiting times as we get used to the new system. Please allow a little more time at your appointment. We’re sorry for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding.
We've also changed the system we use to do video appointments from Attend Anywhere to Microsoft Teams.
If you have an appointment in a hospital or clinic but do not need to stay overnight, it means you're being treated as an outpatient or a day patient.
You may be having an appointment for treatment, diagnosis or a procedure.
Your appointment may be a:
You’ll agree what’s best for you with your healthcare professional.
You can view your hospital choices and book your first outpatient appointment in a number of ways.
Using the NHS e-Referral Service
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.
Your GP can book it while you're at the surgery, or you can book yourself:
- book online using the appointment request letter your GP gives you
- phone the NHS e-Referral Service line on 0345 608 8888 (open Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm, and on weekends and bank holidays from 8am to 4pm)
Booking directly with the service
Some appointments need to booked directly with the service. If this is the case, your GP gives you a letter with the number you need to call to book your appointment and the opening hours for the service.
Referrals from other hospitals
We'll contact you to arrange your appointment once we have processed your referral.
If you need to change or cancel your outpatient appointment, please contact the number on your appointment letter.
If you do not have an appointment letter, search for contact details using our A-Z of services.
If you use MyChart, you can also cancel and manage some appointments using the app or website.
How to let us know
If you're unable to attend your appointment, please tell us as soon as possible. This is so we can give your appointment to another patient. You can let us know:
- during your GP appointment
- online on the NHS website
- by calling the national e-RS appointment line on 0345 608 8888
- by textphone: 0345 850 2250
Appointments with our community services
If you would like to make or change a community appointment, 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) appointments
If your condition is stable and your service feel it’s suitable, they might let you decide when to book a follow-up appointment. This gives you the control to self-manage your condition, and contact the service for an appointment when you feel it’s necessary.
This is known as PIFU, and is a good alternative for some patients to routine, booked appointments.
If your condition changes, you can contact the service through a dedicated helpline.
PIFU appointments are only available in some of our services. Your health professional will talk to you about it if it's an option.
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 they're recommending and will answer any questions you may have. No treatment is carried out without your permission (consent) unless it is an emergency and you are unconscious.
You might be asked to take part in a study to help improve healthcare. The researcher will explain the study in detail to you, including:
- the aims of the study
- why you are suitable to take part
- what taking part involves
If you decide to take part, you'll be asked to sign a consent form giving your permission.
If you do not want to take part, your care will not be affected in any way.
Our spiritual care and chaplaincy service offers 24-hour spiritual, religious and cultural care.
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 about waiting for your appointment or procedure.
If you have any questions about your hospital or community services appointment, please contact the department that will be treating you.
You can contact them using the number on your appointment letter.
You can also search for a contact number using our A-Z of services.