Waiting for your appointment or procedure

We’re working hard to make sure patients get the treatment they need, as quickly as possible.

We also know that, as a result of the pandemic, some patients are waiting longer for routine operations and procedures than we would like.

If you are on the waiting list for treatment at our hospital, our teams will contact you about when your procedure or operation will take place.

If you have a question about the treatment you are scheduled to have, please contact the hospital department directly.

If your health gets worse

If your symptoms change or become worse, it's important to let us know.

Contact a GP if:

  • you have not had your first appointment with the department at the hospital
  • your GP has referred you for a diagnostic test, such as a scan or X-ray

Contact the hospital team caring for you if:

  • you're waiting for a follow-up appointment, after being seen by someone at our hospitals 
  • someone at our hospitals has referred you for a diagnostic test, such as a scan or X-ray
  • you're waiting for surgery or an outpatient procedure
  • you no longer need or want to have treatment

Find contact details for your hospital team using our A to Z list of services.

Out of hours

If you have an urgent medical problem, contact NHS 111. Call 111 or go to 111.nhs.uk

In an emergency

Call 999 or go to your nearest emergency department.

Keeping well while you wait

In the time before your treatment, you can take simple steps to improve your physical and mental health. This will reduce your risk of complications and improve your wellbeing now and during your recovery.

It’s important to:

  • follow any specific advice you’ve received about how to prepare for your procedure or operation
  • stop smoking. Our stop smoking service can support you with this
  • keep taking your prescribed medicines, unless you’ve been told not to by your GP or hospital clinician
  • eat well, and get to or keep a healthy weight
  • exercise and keep active, unless you have been told not to
  • control your blood pressure
  • control your blood sugar levels, especially if you have or are at risk of diabetes
  • avoid drinking more than the recommended 14 units of alcohol per week
  • get support for your mental health if you need it

The NHS has information about exercise, healthy weight, sleep, eating well, alcohol, sexual health and mental health.

Read more in the NHS Live Well advice

You can also get advice and support from a GP, or the hospital team caring for you.

Do you still need an appointment?

If you no longer need your appointment, please let us know.

To try to speed up waiting times, we're making sure only people who still need an appointment are on our waiting lists.

If you're waiting for an appointment, please look out for a text message from us.

Follow the link in your text message to let us know if you still need your appointment.

Your response is crucially important to help us manage our waiting list. If you receive a text from us, please do not ignore it.

  1. If you're waiting for an appointment, we'll send you a text message from +44 78 6003 9092 asking you to let us know if you still need an appointment.
  2. Follow the drdoctor.thirdparty.nhs.uk link in your message to reply. The link is trustworthy and delivered by our partner DrDoctor. DrDoctor is accredited to the highest standards set by the NHS for protecting the healthcare information. For more information, see the NHS data and protection toolkit certification and DrDoctor's privacy. policy.
  3. Once you've responded, we'll ask you to verify your date of birth. If you're answering on behalf of someone else, please use their date of birth. This is so our booking team can confirm the text message was sent to the right person.
  4. Depending on your response, you'll:
  • stay on our waiting list, or
  • be discharged back to the care team that referred you if you no longer need an appointment

If you answer the question wrong or want to change your answer, do not worry. You can go to 'answer the question again' and you'll find information about who to contact.

If you've a medical problem or concern and are unsure what to do, please contact your GP, pharmacist or NHS 111 directly.

We have partnered with our digital solutions provider, DrDoctor to provide this service.

Support and advice

The patient advice and liaison service (PALS) offers you support, information and help.

Find out more and how to get in touch.

Your right to non-emergency care

You have the right to access services for non-emergency care within a certain amount of time.

The maximum waiting time is 18 weeks.

This starts from the date we receive your referral letter.

The waiting time ends on the date you receive treatment for the condition for which you have been referred.

If you wait longer than 18 weeks, the NHS should take all reasonable steps to offer you a range of suitable alternative providers.

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