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Outpatient guide

Information for outpatients


Appointments: How to book, cancel or change an appointment

If you are unable to attend an outpatients appointment, please let us know as soon as you can (at least 48 hours’ notice, where possible). Before you contact us, you will need the following information:

This information should all be on your appointment letter, if you have received one.

There are several ways to book, cancel or change an appointment:

  1. Email – send an email to westherts.appointments@nhs.net, containing the information above, and we will get back to you.
  2. Webchat – You can use our web chat function to book, rearrange or cancel an outpatient appointment. This service is manned by our Outpatients team and is available between 8.30am-4.45pm, Monday to Friday. If you message outside of those times, the team will get back to you when they are next in the office – you will need to return to this page to see the response. Please note, you will need your NHS number. Click on the logo in the bottom right-hand corner to begin. 
  3. Phone – call our outpatients contact centre on 0300 303 5929 or use the appropriate number below:
    • 2 Week Wait Appointments: 0300 303 5923
    • Paediatric outpatients in Watford General Hospital: 01923 217720
    • Paediatric outpatients in Hemel Hempstead Hospital: 01442 287309

Video consultations

We are offering video consultations to some of our patients. The decision to offer this type of appointment will be made by a medical professional depending on your individual care needs.

Video consultations are easy to use and are often more convenient – saving you time and money.


We offer Outpatient appointments at three hospital sites. Your appointment letter or card will notify you where your appointment is to be held. The information below applies to all of the sites, but you may wish to look at more site specific information, e.g. directions and journey planning, so please click on the appropriate site below.


What you should bring

Your appointment letter, your current personal contact details (address / phone number / GP name) and change for the car park. Please ensure you bring with you any medication you are taking.


Arrival

On arrival at the hospital, please report to the reception desk indicated in your appointment letter. Show your notification of an appointment and/or your appointment card to the receptionist who will ask to check your personal details and direct you to the appropriate waiting area.

Please bring your appointment card on every occasion that you attend hospital. If you have any disability that may affect you during your visit (for example hard of hearing), please notify the reception staff.

After reporting to the reception desk, you will be given a 'booking-in slip' and told to go to a waiting area that is specific to your clinic. The booking-in slip acts as the notification to nursing staff that you have arrived in the clinic and you are asked to place it in a marked tray within the specific waiting area.


New patients

On your first visit to a clinic, it may be necessary to undergo certain tests and x-rays before and after seeing the doctor, so please allow time for this.


Waiting times

We are aiming to see everyone within 30 minutes of their appointment time; however, from time to time there may be unforeseen delays, for example: medical emergencies. We will endeavour to minimise the waiting times and will also keep you informed of any delays.


Medical staff

The medical staff work in teams, each under the direction of a consultant. You will not necessarily see the same doctor each time, but the one you see will always be familiar with the details of previous visits.


Nursing staff

Each clinic has a member of nursing staff available if you have any worries or concerns.


Medical students

As a teaching trust, education and learning is important to us so there may be medical students present during your consultation. Please let us know if you would rather see the doctor alone.


Drugs

Please inform the hospital if you are currently taking any tablets, medicines or eyedrops. These should be brought with you when you attend clinic. If you are prescribed any medication by the hospital the doctor will give you a prescription. Unless you are exempt from paying prescription charges you will be required to pay in the usual way.


Eye clinics

If you are attending the eye clinic and you wear glasses for reading or for distance vision please bring your glasses with you.


Hospital transport

Hospital transport is not generally available unless your medical condition warrants it and you have no other way of getting to the hospital. If transport has been booked but you no longer require assistance please contact the Patient Transport Liaison Office.


Travelling expenses

If you are on any DSS Allowances, or qualify as 'low income' and require help with travelling expenses, leaflet HC11 can be obtained from the DSS or from the Patient Affairs Office. These give advice on how to reclaim any expenses incurred.


Departure

On completion of your consultation, please ensure that you make your next appointment with the receptionist (if necessary). If you would like any further information or advice, please ask your nurse.


Refreshments

Watford: The Dining Room restaurant is located in a building almost opposite the main building. There is a W.H. Smith shop is located in the near the main reception.

Hemel Hempstead: The All Good Coffee Co shop is located as you walk through to the Outpatient reception desk, level 2, Verulam Wing.

St Albans: The All Good Coffee Co shop is located in the main entrance before entering the Outpatient reception area.


No Smoking Policy

Smoking is not permitted inside any of the trust’s premises or anywhere in the grounds. Patients, members of the public and staff are not allowed to smoke on our hospital sites.

Click here for more information. 


Translating and Interpreting

The Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) can book a professional interpreter in advance for our patients.

Please ask a family member or friend who speaks English to contact the ward or department staff to arrange this service. The ward/department must book interpreting or translation through PALS on 01923 217198. This service is free to our patients.

Please ask if you require this service prior to your appointment.


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