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Your appointment

Prepare for an appointment

Where do I go for my appointment? / Attending your appointment

You will receive a confirmation letter with details of which department to attend. If you arrive by ambulance you will be taken to the correct department. Please report to the receptionist 10 minutes before your appointment time (unless requested to do otherwise). The receptionist will check your personal details to ensure we hold the correct information about you.

Seating space in our Outpatient Departments is limited. If you need to have someone accompany you, please limit this to one relative or friend if at all possible.

Before you see the doctor, a nurse will make an assessment which may include your weight, height and blood pressure. You may also be required to supply a urine sample for testing.

Your doctor and clinical team will make sure that you are involved in any discussion or decisions about your treatment. You are entitled to a clear explanation of your condition so please ask if there is anything you are not sure about. Your doctor will write to your GP and if you would like a copy of this letter please ask at the time of your appointment.

Depending on the reason for your appointment, you could see a consultant or a doctor, a nurse, a therapist such as a physiotherapist or occupational therapist or a radiologist if you need an x-ray.

We are a teaching hospital so we may ask your permission for a student to sit in on your consultation or you may be asked to take part in a research project. Your care will not be affected in any way if you choose not to take part.
There are areas available to purchase refreshments on all our sites

How long will my appointment take?

Every effort is made to see patients at their appointment time but unfortunately this is not always possible. Delays in clinic can occur but our staff should be able to tell you the reason. Everyone is seen in order of their appointment time and not in order of arrival.

If you need to have any diagnostic tests such as an x-ray then this may increase the length of time you are at the hospital.

If the decision is made that you will need an operation you may be asked to attend a pre-operative assessment directly after your appointment alternatively we will book an appointment for you with the pre-operative assessment clinic

What if I need support?

Wheelchairs are available at the entrance and if you need an ambulance to bring you to the hospital your GP will arrange that for you. If you have any special requirements please contact the number on your letter and we will do whatever possible to assist you. If you need an interpreter please contact the number on your letter as soon as possible so this can be arranged for you.

What to bring with you

You should bring:

  • your appointment letter and any additional items listed on it
  • any medicines you are taking (including herbal preparations) together with your medication list
  • money for prescriptions or proof that you do not need to pay
  • your GPs details
  • any mobility or hearing aids and your glasses.
Find an appointment

New patient waiting for an appointment?

Your referrer (usually your GP) will have written to us to request an appointment for you or you may already have made an appointment with us through the Choose and Book system. If you are waiting for an appointment we will send you one as soon as possible or write to you to ask you to contact the Booking Office to arrange a date and time to suit.

If you feel your condition is getting worse while you wait for your appointment please contact your GP.

How do I book an appointment through the Choose & Book System?

You will be given an appointment request letter and a password by your GP. You can book your appointment online at www.chooseandbook.nhs.uk/patients

If you wish you can telephone the Choose and Book appointments line on 0345 608 8888 Monday to Friday 8:00am to 8:00pm and Saturday and Sunday 8:00am to 4:00pm. Unless you have been told to contact the hospital directly, you should telephone the Wirral Booking Office on 0151 604 7501 Monday to Friday between the hours of 8:00am and 6:30pm.

Choose and Book explained

Choose and Book is a service that lets you choose which hospital or clinic you wish to attend and enables you to book your first appointment.

When you and your GP agree that you need an appointment with a specialist, your GP can access the Choose and Book system to see which hospitals or clinics are available for your treatment.

If you know where and when you would like to be seen, you may be able to book your appointment before you leave the surgery. You will be given confirmation of the place, date and time of your appointment.

You may want more time to consider your choices. If so, you can take the appointment request letter away with you and book your appointment later. Your appointment request letter lists your unique booking reference number, your NHS number and a list of hospital or clinic options for you to choose from. Your GP practice will also give you a password with your appointment request letter.

You can then decide how you wish to book your appointment. This could be by telephone using the national number on your letter or on the internet.

Please note that whilst the vast majority of appointments can be booked this way, in some cases you will need to telephone the hospital directly to make your appointment. This is because not all our services are yet linked to Choose and Book.

The benefits of Choose and Book:

  • you can choose the date and time of your appointment 
  • you experience greater convenience and certainty
  • there is less chance that information will get lost in the post because correspondence takes place online.

Follow up appointments

If you need to be seen again after your first appointment then either the receptionist will arrange this for you at the end of your appointment or we will write to you with a further appointment.

Change an appointment

Reminder service/Confirmation service

To reduce waiting times and provide a more efficient service we have introduced a reminder service for some specialties. You may be contacted approximately 7 days before your appointment and asked to confirm your attendance. If you are not able to attend the service inform us and we will send you another appointment.

What happens if I don’t attend my appointment?

If you do not attend your appointment and have not told us, your care may be returned to your GP.

What happens if we cancel your appointment?

Medical emergencies and unforeseen circumstances sometimes mean that we occasionally have to cancel appointments. We apologise if this happens to you and will arrange a new appointment as soon as possible.

How to cancel an appointment

There will be a number to telephone at the top of your confirmation letter if you wish to cancel your appointment or no longer need it. 

Please let us know as soon as possible if you are not able to attend your appointment so it can be given to someone else and not wasted and we can arrange a new time for you. Patients who do not let us know they will not be attending their appointments cause unnecessary delays in patients being seen.

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