Attending an appointment

Attending an appointment

Outpatient appointments are offered at health centres and clinics across the borough as well as at the Royal Bolton Hospital. Some services also visit schools and patients’ homes where necessary.

For directions to a specific centre or information on car parking and the facilities available, please visit the locations A to Z.

If you have a query about an appointment with a particular service then please visit their service page for more information, by using our services A to Z or contact the department on the phone number on your appointment letter.

Your outpatient letter will detail which reception area you need to report to and where it is located.

When you arrive at the department and book in at the reception, we will check your personal details like your address, GP and next of kin.

For some outpatient appointments we offer a text message reminder service. Please make sure we have your up-to-date contact details so you can take advantage of this service.

• A list of your prescribed medicines
• any samples that have been requested
• any questionnaires you may have completed
• cash/card for prescriptions or an exemption certificate
• cash/card for car parking charges.

You may take a friend or relative with you into the consultation room.

Children must be supervised in outpatient areas at all times. There are some play areas for children.

This depends; if you are required to have an X-ray or other tests this will take longer but by doing these on the same day it will save you returning on a different day.

You will need to ring the Telephone Access Centre on 01204 390400 to change or cancel appointments:

  • Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm
  • Saturday 8.30am – 1pm

Or you can email us.

It is very important that you attend your appointment.

If you fail to attend and have not already informed us, the clinician/doctor will review your case notes and decide if a further appointment is required based on clinical need.

Alternatively, and in most cases, you will be discharged back to the care of your GP.

Failure to attend results in the loss of valuable resources and can delay other patients being seen.

You could see a consultant, or another doctor who is a member of the medical or surgical team, or you may see a specialist nurse or therapist.

This will be discussed with you at your appointment.

If you need further investigations/tests or procedures every effort will be made to try and have these carried out on the same day. If we are unable to accommodate this on the day, then a further appointment will be made for you to attend.

Some patients may be offered a ‘patient initiated follow up’ (PIFU) appointment. This allows you or your carer to contact us as and when you need to, rather than coming back for routine appointments when you do not want or need them.

If this is suitable for you then your healthcare professional will discuss this with you and will tell you what symptoms or complications to look out for that would mean you should make an appointment.

They will also provide you with the information you need to contact the service and make an appointment if you need to.

If you are informed that you need surgery for your treatment you will be contacted with an admission date.

You may also need an assessment to make sure that you are fit for surgery and we will contact you with details of an appointment for this and any other necessary arrangements.

If there is a need for an interpreter, we can arrange this but please inform the department in advance.

We will also need to know which language the patient speaks so we can book the interpreter.

If you require a British sign language interpreter, a lip speaker or note taker we will do our best to make arrangements to provide these for you.

Written information can also be provided in other languages, as well as larger print and Braille.

Hearing loops are located in many areas around the hospital and health centres.

Alternatively we can arrange someone to help.

There is also a Minicom service available via the switchboard operator.

Just let staff know in advance and we will do our very best to address your needs to ensure complete understanding during every part of your patient journey.

If you need an ambulance to bring you to your appointment then please contact the Referral Booking Management service on tel: 01204 462882, Monday to Friday 8:30am – 6:30pm.

If you need to come back for a further appointment which is less than six months in the future, we can arrange the transport as you leave.

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