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Attending an Appointment

Attending an Appointment

Attending an Appointment: Coronavirus - You must wear a face covering if you are visiting hospital

Please continue to attend your appointments and operations as normal, unless you hear from us directly.

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

Information for visitors attending our outpatient department

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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 hospital appointment.  To change or cancel please contact the Appointments department via the appropriate telephone number below, between the hours of 8.30am and 4pm Monday to Friday giving your hospital details. This enables us to offer your time slot to another patient.

Please locate your speciality in the list below and use the appropriate telephone number:

01902 695800 01902 695100 01902 695200
Specialities Specialities Specialities
Gastroenterology Cardiology
Gynaecology Dermatology
Elderly Care
Haematology General Surgery
Ophthalmology Neurology
Maxillofacial/Oral Surgery
Renal Medicine Plastic Surgery
Rheumatology Respiratory Medicine


What to bring

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


A Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham