We see thousands of outpatients (patients who don’t stay overnight in hospital), either in one of our main outpatient departments or in other specialist departments. Our teams aim to provide specialist consultation in a welcoming and professional environment, alongside the highest achievable standards of individualised care.
Outpatient departments are often extremely busy. Although we make every effort to keep clinics running to time, there may be emergencies that cause clinics to run late, and we thank you for your patience.
You should have received a letter telling you;
- the time and date of your appointment
- which hospital your appointment is at, and which reception you should go to when you arrive
- anything you need to do beforehand
- what you need to bring with you
If you’re not sure about your appointment, what you need to do before/bring with you, or where you need to go, please call us on the number in your appointment letter to check any details. We are here to help.
When you arrive
Please arrive at the hospital and head to the reception mentioned in your letter as near to your appointment time as possible. Depending on your appointment, you may need to go to another department, please check your letter carefully.
Tell the reception staff that you have arrived and they’ll register you and show you to the waiting area.
Patients are seen in order of appointment. If you have any questions or are worried about your appointment, just ask the nurse in charge of your clinic who will be happy to help you.
What will happen at my appointment?
Everyone who attends one of our outpatient clinics is under the care of a particular consultant and their team. You may not see the consultant at every visit, but the doctor you see will discuss any major decisions about your treatment with your consultant.
If there is anything you do not understand about your condition or treatment, please ask any member of the clinical or nursing staff.
If you need to have a procedure, the doctor or nurse will explain the benefits and risks to you, and any alternatives, before you consent to treatment.
How long will my appointment last?
We’ll usually give you an estimated length for the appointment in your letter. Please remember to allow for any waiting time. After you have seen the doctor you may be asked to go to another department for a test, minor investigation or x-ray. We suggest that you don’t make other arrangements for at least two hours after your appointment time.
Do you have my correct phone number?
We will have collected your phone number when you last attended the hospital. If it is your first attendance the GP will have supplied us with this information. If you have recently changed number, please tell us by calling 01539 716998.
I have a speech problem/I am not comfortable on the telephone. Can you help please?
Our staff are trained to handle all calls in a sympathetic and patient manner. If you would like someone to speak on your behalf during the call, please let the clinician know during the call.
I am deaf, can I use Type Talk for telephone appointments?
Yes. This can be used as normal.
If you are a British Sign Language (BSL) user, you can also use SignLive to contact the Trust 24 hours a day. SignLive is a free service that connects people to a qualified online BSL interpreter. The interpreter will relay the conversation between you and a member of staff. It can also be used for face-to-face conversations on site. You can download the SignLive app onto your mobile phone or tablet, or use SignLive on your computer.
Can I still have a telephone appointment if English is not my first language?
Yes, we can use a system called Language Line to support the call.
Will you send me a transcript of my call?
No. We will only call you to advise if we need you to attend your appointment in person. We will not ask for any further information.
Is it ok for me to record my call?
Yes, but you must inform the health professional that you will be recording the call so a note can be made in your notes, including responsibilities and any concerns discussed. This should be only used to support you and be for your personal use only. You are responsible for keeping it safe and secure.
I don’t want a call; I only want to see a doctor in person.
The need for a face to face appointment will be determined clinically, however if you wish to discuss any part of your care please do so with your clinical team.
How do I know that the person I’m speaking to is from the hospital?
You will be called by the named clinician on your appointment letter or a member of their team. Our calls will only come from one of the three numbers below:
- 01539 742500
- 01524 581050
- 01229 615390
If you are unsure and call 1471 after the call it will state:
“If you have received a call from this number someone from the NHS in Morecambe Bay has tried to contact you. Unfortunately, it’s not possible for us to say who exactly called you, but please be assured that if it was urgent, they will try again shortly.”
If you can’t make the appointment, please let us know as soon as possible by calling the number in your letter so we can offer it to someone else who is waiting. We’ll do our best to arrange an alternative time that is more suitable.
You’ll need to arrange for your own transport to and from the hospital. Please visit our hospital pages for directions and information on parking and facilities at each of our hospitals.
- Your appointment letter so that you know where to go and who to see
- Any medications you are taking so you can tell us about them
- Any sample we have requested (such as urine or stool)
- Money for your prescription, or your exemption certificate
- A list of any questions you would like to ask
What not to bring
Please don’t bring any valuables with you, such as jewellery or watches, especially if your letter says you will need to remove them at your appointment. We can’t accept responsibility for these items so it’s best to leave them at home.
We take infection prevention very seriously so if you have a cold, cough, stomach upset or any other infectious condition, we ask you not to come into hospital because of the risk of infecting other people.
There are plenty of other things you can do to help us too, these include:
- Wash or clean your hands before and after visiting the hospital and always after using the toilet
- Use soap and water to wash your hands and make sure you wash and dry them thoroughly. There are handwash sinks at the entrance to all of our wards
- There are also hand-gel stations at the entrances to our hospitals
- If you have symptoms such as flu, diarrhoea or vomiting or infections such as chicken pox, please do not come in because you could easily infect someone else
After you have been seen by the doctor, we will tell you if you need any further treatment. You’ll be given a slip of paper giving details of the outcome of your appointment. It is extremely important that you take this to the receptionist before you leave the clinic, so that we can make any necessary arrangements.
If you have been asked to book an appointment for a blood test, please telephone 01539 715700 between 10am - 2pm, Monday to Friday. You will be able to book an appointment closer to your home.