Coming to hospital

Your outpatient appointment will probably have been held at a private facility. At the appointment, your consultant will have discussed your medical history and any tests or scans you’ve had. Your consultant might then recommend further diagnostic tests or a procedure.

Diagnostic appointments

Your consultant may recommend tests. He/she may want to have more recent results, or it may be a test that is only available at a large NHS hospital.

West Herts has state of the art equipment that enables the trust to provide procedures and high-resolution images often not available at smaller private hospitals. Most tests take place at Watford General Hospital.

We offer a full range of fast and accurate diagnostic and screening pathology tests, with friendly and professional phlebotomy services available on site. This includes access to thousands of routine and specialist tests in Biochemistry, Haematology, Endocrinology, Microbiology, Virology, Andrology, Immunology, Cytology and Cellular Pathology tests.

See the full range of services we offer here.

Day Surgery

Most procedures are done as day surgery. Your letter will tell you where to go when you get to the hospital.

What to bring

As a day patient, you won’t stay overnight but you may be given your own bed or private room for the day. So it’s a good idea to bring:

  •  Any medications you’re taking
  •  A book, e-reader, mobile or other entertainment to keep you occupied between tests, during treatment or while you recover (eg after minor surgery)
  •  You will need to remove any cosmetics, nail varnish and jewellery before your operation.

After your appointment, you may need to rest for a while before going home. If so, you’ll be able to relax in a recovery room and your consultant or nurse will let you know when you can go home.

Before you leave

You will be given:

  •  Any medication you need (we usually provide a week’s supply)
  •  A sick certificate if required
  •  Information about a follow-up appointment with your consultant
  •  Any money or valuables you handed in for safekeeping.

We will give you advice depending on your circumstances which may include:

  • Managing any pain
  • Looking after your wounds if you’ve had surgery
  • Your recovery and how long it’s expected to take
  • Things you can do to help your recovery
  • When you can get back to your usual activities, such as driving or work
  • Next steps


Car parking charges at our hospital sites apply 24 hours, Monday - Sunday. There is a new multi-storey car park at Watford General Hospital. The address is: Shrodells Road, Watford. See here for further information.

Specialist services for your recovery

If your consultant feels it will benefit your recovery, you also have access to a full range of specialist nursing and occupational therapy services. These are particularly important if you have undergone joint replacement, breast or certain types of bowel surgery.

If your treatment involves an operation as an inpatient, you’ll be given advice about preparing for surgery and an information pack to take home with you.