At UHSM, we make sure that our patients are our priority. The aim of this section is to provide you with information which will ensure you have the best experience possible when attending for your outpatient appointment.
Please check which hospital your appointment is at, this information is on your appointment letter. Keep the letter to hand - you will need it if you ring us and you should bring it to the hospital when you attend. The addresses and telephone numbers of our hospital sites are:
Wythenshawe Hospital - Southmoor Road, Wythenshawe, Manchester, M23 9LT. Telephone - 0161 998 7070
Withington Community Hospital – Nell Lane, West Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2LR. Telephone – 0161 434 5555
Your appointment letter / card will provide the name of the professional you are coming to meet, the date, time and venue of your outpatient appointment. It is very important that you contact a member of the team as soon as possible if you are unable to attend your appointment because we may be able to offer this slot to someone else.
What to bring with you to the appointment
- Your appointment card or appointment letter
- Proof of exemption from payment of prescriptions, where applicable
- Your personal details, such as full address, postcode, contact telephone numbers and dates of any holidays you have booked
- Any other specific requirements detailed on your appointment letter
- A list of medicines or tablets you are taking (if possible, please bring these in their original containers)
- If you are diabetic, it may be wise to bring a snack with you
On arrival at the Hospital
Getting to the right department
Please check your appointment letter / card and the hospital map to find the location of the department the clinic you are attending is in. When you arrive at the hospital if you are not sure where to go, the Concierge Team are available to assist and support you. The team can be found at the main entrances to Withington and Wythenshawe Hospitals, and at the Outpatients entrance at Wythenshawe Hospital.
When you get to the Outpatient department, please report to the receptionist. The receptionist will check your personal details against the hospital records. It is important that you tell the receptionist if any of your personal details have changed sine you last provided them at the hospital or to your GP.
Shortly after arriving, you may be asked to provide a urine sample; you will also be weighed and measured. The Nurse may offer you some health promotion advice, based on these basic tests.
How long will you spend at the hospital and who will you see when you come for your appointment?
It is likely that you have been referred to see a particular consultant or healthcare professional who is a specialist in your medical condition. Sometimes there may be students or learners present in the outpatient department. If you would prefer that students / learners are not present during you appointment please tell the nurse on the clinic.
Sometimes a test or investigation may be required. In order to avoid you having to come back for another appointment for this, we may be able to do this at the same visit. Whilst we always try and carry out tests and investigations within the Outpatient department, if the test is specialist, it may be necessary for you to go to another department. If you have problems walking or you would prefer to go in a wheelchair we will help with this. If you have any concerns about this please tell the nurse on the clinic.
Privacy and Dignity
We will respect your privacy and dignity at all times. If you wish, a friend or relative can accompany you throughout your appointment. If an examination or treatment is required, a nurse will be available to chaperone you, to provide support and explanation.
When you see the healthcare professional, please ask them to explain anything you don’t understand and tell them about your anxieties, concerns or queries. It is important to us that you receive clear explanations about any proposed tests, treatments, including possible risks involved and whether there is any alternative course of action.
Other useful information
We would recommend that you do not bring children with you to the appointment (unless it is your child who has the appointment). Hospitals are not a suitable environment for children and may distract you when you are being given important information about your health. If you have an infant with you and require a private area to breastfeed, please ask the Nurse on clinic.
We keep all personal information strictly confidential. All staff have a legal duty to respect the confidentiality of the patient. In some cases, in order to provide you with the best possible care and treatment, some information will be shared between health professionals in the Trust and in the community (such as your GP) and , only where appropriate, other organisations such as Social Services. This will only be on a ‘need to know’ basis.
We cannot accept responsibility for the loss of personal property or valuables unless you have handed them over for safe keeping and obtained a receipt. It is best to avoid bringing anything that is valuable to you into hospital.
In the outpatient department, we aim to promote your comfort and well being by promoting a relaxed and peaceful environment. For this reason mobile telephones should not be used in the clinic area. They can be used on corridors and outside.
Smoking is not permitted within any of the Trust’s hospital buildings; on the grounds (including the car parks) we aim to encourage individuals who visit the hospital to quit smoking. All our ‘No Smoking’ signs will display details of local, free, NHS ‘stop smoking’ services. Staff on clinics can also provide you with advice and leaflets please ask them if you wish to make use of this service.
What if I can not attend my appointment?
It is important you let us know if you can not attend your outpatient appointment. Last year over 35,000 appointments were lost due to non-attendance.
If you cannot make your appointment and need to cancel and rearrange, please call our Contact Centre on 0161 291 5120 our offices are open between 8am – 6pm Monday – Friday. Alternatively, please e-mail us at Booking@UHSM.nhs.uk. Please provide your hospital number for all e-mail communication.
Please note patients who fail to attend for their appointment and do not provide prior warning may not be automatically issued with another appointment.
Appointment Confirmation Service
In order to reduce the number of missed appointments, an appointment confirmation service is being introduced. By providing reminders to our patients of forthcoming appointments this will reduce the number of missed appointments and allow patients to re-schedule to a convenient time.
How are the reminders made?
Reminders are made using either an automated telephone call or via an agents from the Contact Centre.
What should I do when I am called?
Follow the instructions in the telephone call, which will ask you to confirm who you are before giving you appointment details. You can press the appropriate button on your telephone keypad to confirm, cancel or rearrange your appointment.
Do the calls cost me anything?
No, the service is completely free of charge.
Are the reminders expensive for the Trust?
Missed appointments cost the NHS Millions of pounds every year. The cost of the reminders is insignificant compared to the amount of money wasted by missed appointments.
What if I do not wanted to be contacted?
We would hope patients welcome this service. However, if you prefer not to be reminded about your appointment, you can opt out anytime by informing the receptionist or our Contact Centre on 0161 291 5120.
Is my data safe?
The Trust follows very strict guidelines in relation to the data protection and patient confidentiality. All data collected will be stored and managed in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998. For further information please contact the Trust Information Governance Manager on 0161 291 5755
Booking follow-up appointments
The Trust has recently reviewed the way in which it currently books follow-up appointments. Patients who require a follow-up appointment within 6 weeks of their out-patient consultation will receive their appointment from the Clinic Receptionist before leaving the hospital. For patients who require an appointment in excess of 6 weeks, e.g. 6 months, one year etc, the Trust will write to the patient approximately 6 weeks before their due date and invite them to contact the Outpatient Contact Centre to make an appointment at a convenient date and time.
We hope by introducing this system that the number of appointments we have to cancel will reduce; and also the number of patients who fail to attend will also reduce because appointments are not made too far in advance.
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact our Contact Centre on 0161 291 5120.