Arriving at your appointment
We do our best to make coming in for an appointment as easy and comfortable as possible.
You'll be asked to show proof of your appointment when you arrive at the entrance.
Please remember to bring along your appointment letter or your text confirmation.
We're asking people to attend most appointments alone, at the moment, to reduce the number of people in our hospitals and community sites. This helps us all to stay safe. If you need someone to accompany you, please contact us.
All staff and visitors entering and leaving the hospital need to sanitise their hands with hand gel. This is provided for you.
We ask all staff, patients and visitors to wear face masks. Face masks are available at the entrances of all our hospitals.
How to find and book in to your appointment
Please go to the location written on your appointment letter. If you’re 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.
Keeping you safe during your appointment
When you arrive at your outpatient department you may be asked to complete a questionnaire or answer questions to check that you do not have symptoms.
Some areas of the hospital may have social distancing requirements, stagger appointment times or have reduced our waiting space. You might be asked not to arrive at the department too early.
We've changed where and how we offer blood tests and observations. Please follow the guidance of the clinician when you arrive, as this may be different to the process you have followed in the past.
When you arrive at the department, you may be met by staff who are wearing recommended personal protection equipment (PPE), this may be a mask, apron or visor.
There are hand washing facilities and hand gel available, which we ask all visitors to use before and after their appointment.
We understand that these changes may be difficult for some and we thank you for your patience and support. Please understand that these measures are to make sure we can give care to those who need it most, while keeping our patients, their families and our staff safe.
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.
Before you leave, 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
More useful information about your care
Student health professionals
Our hospitals 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 will not 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 they're 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:
- 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.
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.
Keeping your health information 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 this is only done after we have removed any details which would make it possible to identify you.
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.
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.
Our spiritual care and chaplaincy service offers 24-hour spiritual, religious and cultural care.
For more information, visit the spiritual health care pages.