This page outlines the different types of appointment we offer outpatients, and information about what to expect when you attend them.
What happens at my appointment?
Updating your personal information
Before coming to hospital as a patient, please update the information we hold about you via this link – https://forms.office.com/r/YJD9z62gLX, or using the QR code below. We will ensure your information is processed in line with UK Data Protection laws.
Face-to-face, video, or telephone
Everyone who attends an outpatient clinic is under the care of a lead clinician and their team. You may not see the lead clinician at every visit, but any major decisions about your treatment will be discussed with the lead clinician.
Please ask any member of the clinical or nursing staff if there is anything you do not understand about your condition or treatment.
If your clinician recommends that you have a procedure, they will explain the benefits and risks to you, together with any alternatives, before you consent to treatment. If you need an elective or invasive diagnostic procedure, we will screen you for MRSA and Covid-19 prior to your attendance. This is to ensure the safety of you, staff, and other patients.
If you need to have bloods taken, you will either have these before your appointment at your GP practice (the instructions will be on your appointment letter), at the time of your appointment (if attending face-to-face), or your consultant will arrange for you to have these done at your GP practice following your appointment.
If you need medication, you will either be given a prescription to collect at either the hospital pharmacy or locally, or your GP will be asked to prescribe it.
Can I bring someone with me or request a chaperone?
Please see our latest visiting guidance regarding bringing someone with you for an outpatient appointment.
All patients can request a chaperone to be present during their consultations or procedures. Please ask your clinician or a member of the outpatient team.
For more information, please view our chaperone policy.
You can borrow a wheelchair from main reception. A returnable pound coin is needed to release these.
Transport, directions and parking
If you have to attend an appointment at the hospital, you’ll need to arrange for your own transport to and from the hospital.
If this isn’t possible, or you think you will need some help, please visit the transport and transport costs section for more details on the support we may be able to offer. You can also find details there about travel for patients who live on the Isles of Scilly.
Please click below on the name of the hospital where your appointment is taking place, for directions and information on parking and facilities at each of our hospitals.
Video Group Sessions
Group video sessions are held via Microsoft Teams. Your appointment letter will indicate if this is the case.
On receipt of the appointment letter, unless detailed otherwise, call the number in the letter to provide your email address. This will enable the hospital to send you the unique link to be able to access the group session. Without doing this, you will not be able to access the group session.
Before your appointment
- Download Microsoft Teams on your desktop, mobile or tablet: Download Microsoft Teams.
- Read the full length of the email, containing the group session link.
On the day of your appointment
Click on the link 10 minutes before the group session is due to start.
Your outpatient appointment may now be done by telephone consultation. Your appointment letter will indicate if this is the case.
On the day of your appointment
Please have to hand:
- A list of any questions you would like to ask
- A list of medications you are taking
Please ensure you are somewhere quiet and private for this consultation as your clinician will need to discuss your medical history and current health at the time of the appointment.
Although every effort will be made to call you at the appointed time, we may be delayed and would appreciate your understanding if we call you a little later, or indeed sometimes earlier, than the time stated.
Some clinics will advise you if they expect to call you within a broader timeframe in their clinic letter. If not, and you have not heard anything within 30 minutes of your appointment, please phone the number on your clinic letter.
Can I have anyone with me on the call?
Yes, you are allowed someone else to sit with you during your telephone consultation, but please let the clinician know who else is there.
To access your appointment
The clinician will phone you. Please ensure the device you are expecting the call on is fully charged and not on ‘silent mode’ so you can hear the call.
Telephone calls will usually be from our Hospital Telephone number which is 01872 252525, but occasionally may show as a private or withheld number.
Follow-up appointments are made when your clinician wants to see you again for further treatment, make a plan after tests, or monitor your condition.
We will usually only book your follow-up appointment on the day of your clinic attendance if you are to be seen within 6 weeks. Otherwise, you will be sent an appointment nearer the time of your planned review.
We aim to offer you an appointment as close to the planned time as possible; if you are concerned that your condition or symptoms are deteriorating and you have not received an appointment, please contact the relevant booking office.
Your follow-up appointment may be face-to-face, by video or by telephone. Your clinician will have decided which is suitable.
Patient Initiated Follow-Up (PIFU)
Please see patient information videos about Patient Initiated Follow-Up
Traditionally, follow-up appointments are offered at routine intervals. However, in some cases you may agree with your clinician that a follow-up is not required unless your symptoms flare up or your circumstances change.
To give you (and your carers) the flexibility to arrange your follow-up appointments as and when you need them, the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust is offering patient initiated follow-up (PIFU).
By adopting this approach, we are making it easier and more convenient for you to receive care and support when you need it, avoiding unnecessary trips to hospitals and clinics, saving time, money and stress.
This approach helps empower you to manage your own condition and plays a key role in enabling shared decision-making and supported self-management in line with the personalised care agenda.
For clinicians, it means more time to spend with the patients who most need their support, whilst feeling assured that they are there for all their patients when they are needed most.
How does it work?
If patient initiated follow-up is suitable for you, this will be discussed with you in clinic and a letter sent to tell you which symptoms to look out for and how to make contact with the service. Instead of being given routine follow-up clinic appointments, you will be able to contact the service directly to arrange a follow-up appointment when your condition indicates that you need review. Your clinician will let you know how long you can access the service this way.
Ask your clinician about patient initiated follow-up to check if it is suitable for your management.
How do I book a Patient Initiated Follow-Up (PIFU) appointment?
You will be given a contact point to request an appointment, either in your clinic letter or PIFU information leaflet. If you are unable to find your clinic letter, please contact us on 01872 250000 and ask to be put through to the medical secretary for your clinical team.
When you make contact, details of your symptoms will be taken and a clinician will decide on the best next steps. If an appointment is needed, this will be arranged and may be a face-to-face, video, or telephone appointment.
If you require urgent medical advice, you should contact your GP or NHS 111 in the first instance. For all other concerns outside your condition, or if you are feeling unwell, your GP remains your first point of contact.
If you are on a patient initiated follow-up pathway, you can use the Friends and Family survey to tell us anonymously what you think about it. We are passionate about patient experience and we want every one of our patients to receive the best possible service while under our care. We use your views to improve our services and pass your comments onto the staff and managers.