Attending an Appointment
If you are required to come into one of our hospitals for an appointment to see a specialist but will not stay overnight, you will be treated as an ‘outpatient’.
If you need to come to one of our hospitals for tests or surgery and are given a hospital bed but not required to stay overnight, you will be treated as a ‘day patient’ or ‘day case’. This may include treatments such as minor surgery, dialysis or chemotherapy.
When you are referred to one of our hospitals for tests or treatment, you will receive a confirmation letter from us. The letter will include all the necessary information to prepare you for your appointment.
Outpatient appointments are held in a number of departments. Please check your appointment letter to make sure you get to the right department.
If your GP wishes to refer you to a clinician and you have chosen New Cross Hospital, Cannock Chase Hospital or West Park Rehabilitation Hospital you should agree a convenient date and time for your appointment whilst you are attending the GP surgery. The GP will use a national system called NHS e-Referral Service (formerly called Choose and Book).
Click here for more details about the NHS e-Referral Service.
A letter will then be sent to you confirming the date and time of your appointment
What happens if there are no appointments?
On occasions, depending on how many patients have been referred to the particular clinician, there may not be any appointments available. If this happens, your GP surgery will issue you with a password and a telephone number for the national appointments line, together with details of what you will need to do to try and make your appointment. If there are still no appointments available, a message will be sent to the hospital for us to contact you to arrange a suitable date and time.
Click here for more details about the NHS e-Referral Service.
Arriving for your hospital appointment
You will attend one of our outpatient departments to be seen by the consultant in charge of your care of another doctor/nurse who works on the consultant’s team.
When you arrive at the appointments reception desk the clerk will need to ensure that all your details such as your name, address, date of birth, contact numbers including mobile number, GP details, next of kin etc. all are correct in order for your hospital records to be accurate and any information we need to send to you in the post arrives at the correct address. It is necessary to check these details on every visit.
Please be aware that you will be seen in order of your appointment time not in order of your arrival time. You are advised to book in 10 minutes prior to the appointment time. Sometimes events happen which may cause you to have to wait longer in clinic than anticipated. Should a delay occur you will be informed by the nursing staff.
What will happen at your appointment?
Many appointments will result in a conversation between yourself and the clinician to agree the next step. However, please be aware sometimes procedures can be undertaken in clinic at short notice which may require a detailed examination. Should you feel that you are not prepared to undergo any procedure, please discuss this with the clinician to arrange a more suitable date and time.
Blood tests or x-rays may also have to be undertaken whilst attending your hospital appointment. This will result in you spending longer at the hospital than you anticipated.
If the clinician prescribes you with a new or different medication they will write to your GP or give you a prescription to take to the pharmacy. The standard national prescription fee will be charged unless you do not pay charges. If you receive free prescriptions, you need to bring proof of your exemption with you.
On leaving the outpatient department you must return to the reception desk and handover any paperwork given to you by the clinician or nursing team. This will ensure that your health record is updated and you have the opportunity to choose a date and time for your next appointment which is convenient to you.
What if I am unable to attend?
It is important that you let us know as soon as possible if you are unable to attend or do not wish to continue with your appointment.
To change or cancel your appointment you can contact the central booking team between 8:30am and 8pm on 01902 481777 or via the telephone number at the top of your letter.
The hospital staff will already have details about your condition but please bring the following with you on the day to help our staff help you:
- Your appointment letter/card
- Your personal details, such as your address, postcode and a contact number
- Your home address if this is different from where you currently live
- Your GP’s address and telephone number
- Details of any medicines or tablets you are taking including herbal and homeopathic preparations
- Proof that you do not have to pay prescription charges, where applicable
- Any specimens or information requested in your appointment letter
Support with travelling to your appointment
The Trust offers support to facilitate appointment attendance including its partnership with National Express, which means patients and visitors are eligible to receive 25 per cent off a Day Saver ticket when travelling to our hospital sites.
To access this discounted ticket, simply download the NXBus mTicket app create an account. Tickets must be used within 48 hours of purchase.
Find out more at National Express - The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust Offer.
You can claim help with travel costs if you or your partner (including civil partner) receive any of the following benefits:
- Income Support (evidence required, i.e. award letter)
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (income based, evidence required)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (evidence required, i.e. award letter)
- Working Tax Credit (evidence required, i.e. valid NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate / award notice)
- Child Tax Credit (evidence required, i.e. valid NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate / award notice)
- Pension Credit - Guarantee Credit (evidence required, i.e. award letter)
- HC2 (full help) to cover dates attending hospital (evidence required, i.e. certificate)
- HC3 (limited help) to cover dates attending hospital (evidence required, i.e. certificate)
- Universal Credit (evidence required, i.e. award letter)
- If you are a patient who is not in receipt of a qualifying benefit, but are on a low income, and your savings are £16,000 or less (or £23,250 or less if in a care home, or £24,000 or less if residents in Wales), you may be eligible for assistance with your NHS travel expenses
To claim travel expenses for a hospital appointment, you or your representative need to take the following documents to the General Office on the day you visit the hospital for your appointment:
- Proof of entitlement (as described in the section
- Valid receipts for public transport / car parking / taxi
- Hospital letter or appointment card confirming the appointment
- A letter from a health professional confirming it was appropriate to travel by taxi (if applicable)
You can get a form by either:
To become a registered user of Ring and Ride, you must find it difficult or impossible to use conventional public transport and be resident in one of the seven districts of the West Midlands. The service is particularly ideal for:
- anyone suffering from a temporary injury (such as a broken leg, a sprain, a sports injury or recovering from an operation);
- young and elderly people who find it difficult to use public transport;
- disabled people who want the convenience of a door-to-door service
Telephone Booking: 0330 053 8141
Booking lines are open from Monday to Saturday between 9.30am and 2.30pm
Online booking: West Midland Travel Ring and Ride
If you are travelling by bus to your appointment, some useful details on bus routes are listed below:
- Bus Service No. 28
Wolverhampton - Willenhall via New Cross Hospital (Outpatients), Ashmore Park and New Invention
- Bus Service No. 57
Wolverhampton - Bilston via Stow Heath, New Cross Hospital (Outpatients), Long Knowle and Willenhall
- Bus Service No. 59
Wolverhampton - Ashmore Park - Wolverhampton via New Cross Hospital (Wolverhampton Road Entrance), Wednesfield
- Bus Service No. 69
Walsall - Wolverhampton via New Invention, New Cross Hospital (Wolverhampton Road Entrance)
- Bus Service No. 89
Walsall - Wolverhampton via Bloxwich, New Cross Hospital (Wolverhampton Road Entrance)
- Bus Service No. 25 & 25E
Wolverhampton to Bilston via Three Tuns.
- Bus Service No. 25E
Comes into the New Cross Hospital site in the evenings only.
- Bus Service No. 70
Wolverhampton - Huntington via New Cross Hospital (Outpatients), Cheslyn Hay and Cannock
- Bus Service No. 71
Wolverhampton - Huntington via New Cross Hospital (Wolverhampton Road Entrance), Cheslyn Hay and Cannock
For more information telephone 0871 200 22 33 (Bus and Metro only).
Lines open Monday to Saturday 7.30am to 8pm and Sunday 10am to 6pm