This section will tell you everything you need to know about your first Outpatient visit to one of our hospitals. Please go to the following links for information on:
The Outpatient Department includes a number of clinics which are held our three hospitals – Dewsbury and District Hospital, Pinderfields Hospital and Pontefract Hospital.
It is important that you attend your Outpatient appointment(s), for your own health as well as that of other patients. Patients who do not attend (DNA) Outpatient appointments across our hospitals have a direct and potentially serious impact on the length of time that other patients have to wait for their care. Your missed appointment could have been given to another patient.
Failure to attend your appointment without informing us will result in you being returned to the care of your GP. Another appointment will not be offered automatically. Changing your appointment on multiple occasions may result in you being returned to the care of your GP to ensure the safe management of your condition.
We have put in place a new automatedreminder call system to help reduce missed appointments. This uses information from our appointment system to call patients with an automated recorded message, reminding them of the hospital, date and time of their appointment.
The system will ring you a maximum of seven days before your appointment and you will be able to indicate if you will attend or want to cancel or rebook your appointment. If you do not want to receive reminder calls please tell the Receptionist when you come into the hospital.
In April 2011, we introduced a new system called ‘Partial Booking’, to help improve our service to patients in planning and agreeing their Outpatient appointment date and time.
Patients receive a letter six weeks prior to their appointment, giving them three weeks to call the Appointments Centre and book an appointment at a time that is convenient for them. Patients who do not respond within two weeks receive a second reminder and those who fail to book their appointment following this reminder will automatically be referred back to their GP. An automated letter will then be sent to their GP to inform them that this has happened. Hospital staff will also be made aware and where necessary should provide supporting information to the GP about the patient’s ongoing care.
It is hoped that the new system will help improve patient experience by offering an appointment at a time and date to suit them, as well as reduce the number of patients who miss appointments. Vascular and Rheumatology were the first services to offer this service and we plan to introduce it across all services.
Our Appointments Centre has increased the number of calls it can handle to reflect the additional calls that the new system will bring about. We’ll closely monitor this as we roll it out to further services over the year.
You should have received a letter with an appointment date and details of where to go when you arrive at the hospital. Please remember to check which hospital you should attend.
Please read your appointment information carefully, as it may ask you to bring certain items with you (such as a urine sample, your spectacles or any questionnaires you have been asked to fill in prior to your appointment,depending on the type of clinic or appointment). Remember to bring with you your appointment letter, information and any medication you are taking.
Car parking facilities are available, but as spaces cannot be guaranteed please allow plenty of time to park. You may need some change as parking is Pay and Display at our Pinderfields and Dewsbury Hospitals. Please visit the Getting here and car parkingsection for information on car park charges. There are designated parking spaces for disabled permit holders. If you are being brought by car and are unable to walk from the car park there are drop-off points outside the entrances.
You are expected to make your own way to the hospital wherever possible. Only if your medical condition stops you making your own travel arrangements, please contact your GP, who will arrange for transport to your first Outpatient appointment.
Patients on a low income or those who are dependents of those on benefits may claim a refund for travelling to hospital for treatment but not for visiting patients. Please contact your local Benefits Agency for further advice. Any refunds should be claimed at the hospital’s General Office by calling 0844 811 8110.
Automated check-in is available at Pinderfields Hospital and Pontefract Hospital and manned receptions are at all three of our hospitals. You should arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. Early arrival does not mean you will be seen early. If you arrive late you may have to wait until the end of the clinic to be seen. You should expect to be seen within 30 minutes of your appointment time. Up-to-date information about clinic delays will be displayed in the waiting area. If you have waited 30 minutes without an explanation, please contact reception.
It may not be possible to make a diagnosis at your first appointment, as further tests may be required before this can be done. The Doctor or other medical professional will discuss this with you and you may be provided with written information.
If you need to change your appointment, you should telephone the number on your appointment letter or visit the Your appointmentsection to change it online.
Sometimes, the hospital may advise you that it is important your GP and Consultant know that your care is being delayed, so we may refer you back to your GP and not offer you a further appointment – this is to ensure and maintain the safe management of your condition.
If you need to change the date of your appointment, please give as much notice as possible to allow us to offer the cancelled appointment to someone else.
If you need another appointment within six weeks, you will be asked to agree it at reception. If it is for after six weeks’ time, we will ask you to call and agree your next appointment at a later date.
There are refreshment facilities available at all our hospitals.
Toilets, including facilities for wheelchair users, are available in most Outpatient departments.
If you are bringing children with you to your appointment, we suggest you bring something to occupy them while you wait. Children remain your responsibility so please don’t leave them unattended. We have facilities for feeding/changing infants. Please speak to a member of staff for more information.
Most clinics are mixed sex and care is taken to maintain privacy and dignity in our clinics. If you have any special requirements, please speak to a Nurse when you arrive.
Staff wear identity badges with our Trust logo. If you cannot see their badge please ask. You may be seen by any member of the specialty team.
The Trust plays an important role in training healthcare and medical staff. Patients may be asked to take part in this training process. If you would prefer not to take part, you have the right to refuse without your care being affected.
A named Nurse will be responsible for your care whilst you are in the Outpatient clinic. If you are unsure of any aspect of your care, please speak to a member of the nursing team.
Please bring a note of your medication, including the name and dosage of the medicine(s) you take, as well as any questions you want to ask, with you to all your Outpatient appointments.