Before your appointment

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Update for patients re: routine outpatient appointments

We have made the unprecedented decision to temporarily suspend upcoming routine outpatient appointments in response to the extraordinary COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation.

If you have received a letter advising you that your appointment(s) has been cancelled then you must not attend

If you have not received a letter then you SHOULD attend your planned appointment at the hospital unless you have received a telephone call from the hospital indicating that you now have a telephone appointment.

We have taken these steps because the NHS needs to divert staff and resources away from routine activity to support an increased need for critical care.

If you did have an appointment scheduled please be assured that your case will be reviewed by our clinical teams to identify the most appropriate next steps for you. We will then contact you again to let you know what will happen next. This may take some time depending on how the national situation develops.

If you have concerns about medications that you normally collect from the Hospital Pharmacy, we are making plans to ensure you receive your medication. This may not be through the Hospital Pharmacy and we are looking at alternative arrangements, for example with local pharmacists. If this affects you we will be in touch to confirm the arrangements.

You should now await further communication from the Hospital, please do not contact us as we will be in contact with you in due course either via letter or telephone.

We do understand that this may be difficult for you and we appreciate your patience in light of this unprecedented situation.

We are sorry for any inconvenience and anxiety the cancellation of your appointment may cause. Thank you for your support to the NHS and the wider community at this time.

Before you come for your outpatients appointment there are some simple things that you can do to prepare for your visit.

Please check which hospital you need to visit for your appointment. This information can be found in 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. Your appointment letter/card will also provide the name of the healthcare professional you are coming to meet, the date, time and venue of your outpatient appointment. For directions and parking information please visit our Visitors section.

It is very important that you tell us as soon as possible if you are unable to attend your appointment. You can do this by using the contact details on your appointment letter or by completing our online form.

What to bring with you to the appointment

  • Your appointment card or letter
  • Proof of exemption from payment of prescriptions where applicable
  • Your personal contact details – address, postcode, contact telephones numbers and dates of any holidays
  • Any other specific requirements detailed on your appointment letter
  • A list of medicines or tablets you are taking (if possible, please bring these in the original containers)
  • If you are diabetic it may be wise to bring a snack with you


In order to reduce the number of missed appointments, an appointment confirmation/text reminder service is currently in use.

How are the reminders made?

Reminders are made using either an automated telephone call or via text message.

What should I do when I am called?

Follow the instructions in the telephone call/message, 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?

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 2018. For further information please contact the Trust Information Governance Manager on 0161 291 3747.