Your Outpatient Appointment
Before you come for your appointment
Once you have booked an outpatient appointment with us you will receive an appointment confirmation letter. This will contain details of your first appointment, such as the date, time and where you need to go once you get to the hospital.
Please check you know which of our two hospitals you are coming to. To find out how to get to the hospital, visit our find us page
Cancelling your appointment
In July 2012 patients did not attend 3,761 appointments. If you need to cancel or rearrange your appointment please follow the instructions on your appointment confirmation letter. Please take steps to cancel or rebook your appointment as soon as you know that you are unable to attend so that the appointment may be allocated to another patient.
Interpretation and sign language
If you need help with interpretation or sign language services call the interpreter service on 024 7678 6878 to arrange this. Please contact them at least 48 hours before your appointment using the details below.
Some of our hospitals are teaching hospitals. This means that doctors teach medical students during their clinics. If you would prefer not to have medical students present during your consultation, please inform a member of staff.
Please set aside at least two hours for your first outpatient visit to allow for any tests or X-rays you may need.
Be on time
It is very important that you arrive on time for your appointment. If you are early you will not be seen more quickly, but if you are late other patients who arrived on time may be seen before you.
When you arrive
When you arrive at the hospital, please go to the reception of the outpatient clinic that you are attending and let a member of staff know you have arrived.
There may be limited seating in the waiting area so we request that you only bring one relative or friend with you. We make exceptions for patients with young children
During your consultation
You may see either your consultant or another doctor working in the same team. If you feel particularly strongly about seeing a female or male doctor, please let the clinic nurse know when you arrive.
The nurse may also carry out some provisional tests, such as testing a urine sample or measuring your blood pressure.
After your consultation
Once you have seen a doctor, a member of staff will tell you if you need to visit other parts of the hospital for further tests, such as X-rays. The clinic nurse will explain what the tests involve and how to get there, so please ensure you report to the nurse before you go.
Our staff will make every effort to ensure you are seen on time, but outpatient departments are very busy and sometimes delays are unavoidable. The patient before you may take longer than expected, or the doctor may be away on an emergency. Our staff will keep you informed of any delays.
You may notice that a patient who has arrived after you is seen before you. This patient will probably be seeing a different doctor to you.
If your doctor or nurse gives you a prescription you must collect this from the hospital pharmacy. To find out where the pharmacy is and what its opening hours are, select the relevant hospital below:
University Hospital, Coventry - the pharmacy is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm and is located on the Ground Floor close to Reception (024 7696 6045).
Hospital of St Cross, Rugby - the pharmacy is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm and is located in Withybrook Wing (01788 545221).
Please note that, as with all NHS prescriptions, you will have to pay a charge unless you are exempt. If you are exempt, you will need to bring proof of your exemption with you, such as an income support book.
If you need another appointment a member of staff will explain how you can book one. You usually do this at reception before you leave.
Our hospitals will keep a record of your health and the treatment you receive from the NHS. This record is important to help ensure you receive the best possible care, and in case you need to come back for further treatment.
Your information is kept strictly confidential. Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to maintain patient confidentiality.
Some information from medical records may be used for other purposes such as training and educating our clinical staff, carrying out medical and other health research, and in the planning of future NHS services. However, your personal details will not be divulged.
Protecting your information
Your personal information is used to help the NHS provide you or your child with the best possible care. Read our information leaflet on how we keep your health information confidential.
Access to your record
If you would like to access your record, please complete this application form and send to the health records manager at the hospital, using the details below. Please be advised that there may be a charge for this service, up to a maximum of £50
Legal Department Manager
2nd Floor Clinical Sciences Building
Clifford Bridge Road
Consenting to treatment
We want to make sure that you fully understand your condition and the different treatment options available. Before you receive any treatment, your doctor will explain what he or she is recommending, including the benefits, risks and any alternatives. Please ask questions if you are unsure about anything.
You may be asked to sign a consent form for your treatment. You are able to refuse treatment at any time, including after you have signed a consent form.
Help with travel costs
If you are on a low income or you receive benefits such as income support, job seeker’s allowance, child tax credit or disability living allowance, you may be entitled to reclaim the cost of travelling to and from the hospital if you use public transport.
To find out if you can make a claim, please speak to a member of staff at the reception of the outpatient clinic you are attending. You will need proof of your low income or benefits, receipts or tickets for your journey, and you will need to complete a travel expenses claim form.
Making a claim
If you are able to make a claim, you will need to go to the cashier’s office to collect your money. To find out where the general office is, select the relevant hospital below:
The Health Information Centre at University Hospital, Coventry can provide more written information on your condition, treatment or procedure. Find out more about the Centre in the Help and Support section.
Further help and support
If you need further help or advice, you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) at your hospital. Find out more about PALS in the Help and support section.