Before your appointment

Outpatient appointments

We'll send you a letter with an appointment date and information about where to go when you arrive. We send this as a digital letter that you can open from a text or email. If you don't or can't open it, we'll post it to you instead.

Please remember, you can talk to your service or ask at reception when you next visit if you need to set or change your communication preferences.

Please remember to:

  • check your appointment details and contact us if you cannot make it. If you miss your appointment and do not let us know, you may be discharged back to your GP
  • call 020 7188 8815 or email [email protected] 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 accessibility, communication or cultural needs, such as washing or praying facilities
  • call us if you develop diarrhoea and vomiting in the 3 days before your appointment

Preparing for your appointment

It can be helpful to write a list of the things you want to talk about in your appointment. This could include:

  • your symptoms
  • medicines you're taking including prescriptions, medicines you've bought yourself and alternative treatments. You can bring the medicine packets or your prescriptions with you, or take photos of them
  • any allergies you have
  • any questions or concerns
  • anything your GP has recommended you ask the healthcare professional

Support for your appointment

You can ask someone to come with you to your appointment, such as a carer, family member or friend.

If you have any accessibility needs, communication needs or cultural needs, please tell the service before your appointment. We can save your preferences and requirements for future appointments.

Travelling to an appointment

If your appointment is at one of our hospitals or clinics, we suggest looking up where it is and planning how you'll get there before you travel.

Getting set up for phone and video appointments

For video appointments you'll need a charged smartphone, tablet or computer with a camera, microphone and internet connection.

Read more about video appointments.

For a telephone appointment, make sure you have provided your up-to-date telephone number. This could be your mobile or landline phone number. If you plan to use your mobile, check its battery is charged and you're somewhere you can get signal.

Read more about telephone appointments.

Appointment reminders by text message

If we have your mobile number, we'll text you with confirmation of your appointment and a reminder of the date and time.

You can change your details or preferences by contacting your service or asking at reception on your next visit. 

You can also use our app for patients, MyChart, to set your communication preferences. 

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 preferences by contacting the department treating you, or asking at reception on your next visit.

Questionnaires and assessment forms

In some of our services, we may ask you to complete assessment forms or questionnaires.

The information you give us helps us decide the best treatment plan, and understand how your condition or treatment is affecting you. This lets us support your quality of life by adjusting how we provide your care based on your needs.

If you use MyChart, you can complete the form in the app or on the website before your appointment. Or we might ask you some questions at your appointment, or to complete a form while you wait.

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 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.

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