Before your appointment

Consultant sister and nurse discussing notes

Preparing for an appointment

When you are unwell, and especially before your condition has been diagnosed, patients are often anxious, and so you might find it helpful to prepare some questions and points before your appointment, to make sure you ask all the questions you have in mind and get the information you need.

Before your appointment

  • Write down anything you want to remember to tell hospital staff, such as a change in your symptoms, or family history of any conditions
  • Make a note of any medicines and pills you take, including vitamins and supplements
  • Please ask hospital staff before your appointment if you have any communication requirements such as a need for an interpreter or British Sign Language interpreter
  • You can ask a friend or family member to come with you if you like

During your appointment

  • If you find it helpful, write down important information staff give you
  • If you don’t understand what you’ve been told, please say so, and ask staff to explain further
  • If you’re unsure you’ve completely understood what you’ve been told, you can ask staff to check your understanding - “So what you’re saying is... "
  • If you are being referred for tests, ask what they’re for, when you can expect results, and what to do if you don’t receive results when you expected
  • can ask for recommendations about your treatment options
  • You can ask about other ways to treat your condition
  • You can ask about side effects of treatment
  • You can ask how long your treatment will last
  • You can ask how you will know the treatment is working
  • You can ask what will happen if you don’t have treatment
  • You can ask if there’s anything you need to stop doing or do differently to help your recovery

Before you leave your appointment

  • Check you’ve covered everything on your list
  • You can ask what happens next, and when
  • You can ask for copies of any letters that are written about you
  • You can ask who to contact if you have any problems or questions
  • You can ask for more information about your condition or treatment, or about any support groups that you might want to join

Fast track information for patients with dementia and their carers

If a patient has a diagnosis of dementia please contact PALS the day before the clinic appointment on 01772 522972 or email

The patient can be fast tracked through clinic on the day, and additional support made available from our clinic Dementia Champions. 

Fast tracking through clinic is also available for the Carers of patients living with dementia so please also contact PALS to arrange this