Top tips for getting the best out of your appointment



Before your appointment

  • Write down your two or three most important questions, so that you remember to ask them.
  • List or bring all your medicines and pills – including vitamins, supplements and non-prescription medications.
  • Write down details of your symptoms, including when they started and what makes them better or worse.
  • Ask your hospital or surgery for an interpreter or communication support if needed.
  • * Patients cannot be accompanied in waiting areas, unless they are a child, vulnerable adult or there are exceptional/compassionate circumstances, in which case one adult may accompany the patient – providing the patient and accompanying adult are free of COVID-19 symptoms.While we are asking everyone to attend on their own, if this is not possible, please contact us on the number on your appointment letter to let us know and we can make arrangements with you. Only one support person in essential cases is welcome to attend with you and they may need to wait elsewhere during your clinical consultation.

During your appointment

  • Don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t understand. For example, ‘Can you say that again? I still don’t understand.’
  • If you don’t understand any words, ask for them to be written down and explained.
  • Write things down, or ask a family member or friend to take notes. *

Before you leave your appointment

  • Check that you’ve had your questions answered and that you understand the answers, for example ‘Can I just check I understood what you said?’
  • Check that you know what should happen next – and when. Write it down.
  • Ask who to contact if you have any more problems or questions.
  • Ask about support groups and where to go for reliable information.
  • Ask for copies of letters written about you – you are entitled to see these.

After your appointment

  • Write down what you discussed and what happens next.
  • Keep your notes.
  • Book any tests that you can and put the dates in your diary.
  • Ask ‘What’s happening if I’m not sent my appointment details,’ and ‘Can I have the results of any tests?’
  • If you don’t get the results when you expect – ask for them.
  • Ask what the results mean.
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