Top Tips for getting the information you want from your outpatient’s appointment
Before your appointment
- Write down your two or three most important questions.
- List (you could bring your repeat prescription) all your medicines and pills - including vitamins and supplements.
- Write down details of your symptoms, including when they started and what makes them better or worse.
- If you need an interpreter, translator or other support with communication, please arrange this with your surgery or hospital before your appointment.
- A friend or family member is welcome to come with you, if you would be more comfortable
During your appointment
- Do not be afraid to ask if you don't understand, For example, "Can you say that again please?" or "I still don't understand."
- If you don't understand a word, phrase or medical term, please ask for it to be written down and explained in a way you can understand.
- Write things down, or ask a family member or friend to take notes.
Before you leave your appointment
- You have covered everything on your list
- You understand what you have been told, for example, you could say "Can I just check that I understood what you said?"
- You know what should happen next - and when. Write it down.
- Who to contact if you have any more problems or questions.
- About support groups and where to go for reliable information, and
- For copies of letters written about you - you are entitled to see these but currently patients are not automatically sent them so make sure that you ask at your appointment
After your appointment, don't forget the following
- Write down what was discussed and what will happen next. Keep your notes.
- Book any tests that you can and put the dates in your diary.
- "What is happening if I am not sent my appointment details, what do I need to do?"
- "Can I have the results of my tests?" - If you do not get results when you expect them, you can ask for them. You can also ask what the results mean.