Outpatients (Adults)

This page is a brief guide to Outpatients for adults coming to the hospital for the first time. It has some information to help you before your appointment and when you arrive.


It is very important you are able to attend your appointment. If you need to change or cancel your appointment please let us know as soon as possible by telephone:


  • General Outpatient Appointments: 01691 404360
  • Spinal Disorders Outpatient Appointments: 01691 664930


If you miss your appointment and do not tell us, you may need to go back to your GP. One week before your appointment you may be reminded about it by text.


You should allow at least two hours for your appointment, or longer if you are also coming for tests.


If you have special needs, please call the Outpatients Department and speak to a member of the nursing team to discuss before your appointment. This will allow us time to put things in place for you.


Do you need an interpreter?


If you speak little or no English and you need an interpreter, please ring the Appointments Team to discuss before your appointment. Interpreters will be accessed by our staff through a telephone system and if required, for purposes of consent to treatment, face to face, but these must be booked in advance with the Appointments Team.


If you require a Sign language interpreter please ring the Appointments Team to discuss before your appointment as this must be booked in advance.


What should I bring?


  • Your appointment letter
  • Any medicines you are taking (prescribed, over-the-counter or herbal)
  • Money for prescriptions or proof that you do not have to pay
  • A list of questions to ask - you may find our questions to ask about your care leaflet helpful. 
  • Your GP's name, address and phone number
  • Any specimen(s) you were asked to bring
  • Any mobility or hearing aids, and spectacles
  • Money for refreshments and/or parking
  • Pen


Would you like a Chaperone?


If you would like a formal chaperone (another healthcare worker) to be with you when you are examined, please tell a member of staff. If there is no suitable chaperone, you may have to wait until a chaperone becomes available, or even reschedule your examination to a time when the chaperone can be with you.

If you feel uncomfortable about the number of people in the examining room, tell us, and we will do our best to have fewer people in the room.


When you arrive


Your appointment letter should tell you where to go, but if you are unsure ask at the Main Reception Desk. 


Please check in at the self check-in kiosks in the main entrance and make sure that we have your correct address and GP details. If you need assistance please ask at the main reception desk.


We understand that visiting hospital can be a disorientating and unsettling time for anyone, and that hospitals are busy places which can be overwhelming at times. We want to support you and your family/carers to reduce any anxiety. It is important to us that is there is anything you are worried or concerned about that you ask a member of the Outpatient team. If they cannot answer the question themselves they will guide you to the right person to ask.


If you or your relative has special needs, whether physical or relating to mental health, please let one of the Outpatient team know on your arrival in the waiting area and we will do our best to assist you.


Waiting in clinic


Delays can occur but our staff should always tell you the reason. If you have a special reason why waiting is difficult, please let us know. If you feel concerned about your waiting time, speak to the clinic nurse or receptionist.


Everyone is seen in order of their appointment time, not in order of their arrival.


At your appointment 


Your doctor and clinical team will make sure you are involved in any discussions or decisions about your treatment.  You are entitled to a clear explanation of your condition and your treatment choices - including any risks and benefits there may be.  So please ask if there is anything you are not sure about.


Teaching and research


We are teaching hospital, so we might ask your permission for healthcare students to sit in during your consultation. You need not have students present if you are worried about it.

You could also be asked to take part in a research project while you are a patient with us. We will always ask for your consent and you will be told fully what is involved.

Your care will not be affected in any way if you choose not to take part in teaching or research.


After your appointment


You may need a follow up appointment. If it is within one week, the main outpatient reception staff may arrange this for you at the time but if it is longer then we will write to you.

After your appointment we will write to your GP. We also send you a copy of this GP letter.




Prescriptions given to you by your doctor or nurse must be collected from the hospital Pharmacy. If this is written out of the hospital Pharmacy opening hours, we will provide you with a different prescription to take to your local chemist. See the Pharmacy page.


For your safety


Please do not bring valuables to the hospital or leave your belongings unattended. RJAH cannot be held responsible for items that are lost or stolen. Staff cannot take responsibility for personal belongings.

We are working hard to prevent and control infection. You can help by washing your hands (with soap and water or alcohol gel) at the start of your visit and again before you leave the hospital. If you see anyone or anything that concerns you, please tell a member of staff straight away. Visit our Infection Prevention and Control page for more information. 


Zero tolerance


It is your right to be treated with courtesy and respect at all times. Our staff are entitled to be treated the same way and should be able to do their jobs without fear of abuse.  We will take action over incidents of unacceptable behaviour.