Before your appointment
Once you have your outpatient appointment booked with us you will receive an appointment letter to inform you when your appointment is and where you need to go.
This will tell you which consultant you will see or which specialist clinic you will be attending. You may see the consultant or a member of their team including specialist nurses and trainee doctors.
One week before your appointment, you will be contacted either by our automated appointment confirmation system or by a text message to your mobile phone to remind you about your appointment. This will ask you to confirm your appointment or give you the option to cancel and re-book.
What to do if you are unable to attend your appointment
It is very important that you let us know if you are unable to attend your scheduled outpatient appointment. With enough notice, we can offer the appointment slot to another patient.
Should you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment please contact: 01642 383838
At your appointment
The outpatient departments are divided into different clinic waiting areas. When you arrive for your appointment you should go to the main reception desk.
Please let the receptionist know that you have arrived for your appointment and they will point you in the right direction.
A chaperone is a Health Professional who can be with you during a physical examination or procedure to offer support and reassurance and answer questions.
Please ask a member of staff for support.
Let us know if your GP practice has changed
During your appointment, if your GP practice has changed please inform the healthcare specialist.
What to bring with you
When you come for your appointment please bring:
- your appointment letter
- list of medications
- anything specific will be asked for in your letter, such as a urine sample
What are patient initiated follow-ups?
A Patient Initiated Follow up (PIFU) is a new way of arranging your hospital outpatient appointments.
Currently, regular follow-up appointments are arranged by the hospital within a specific timeframe. For example, every six months or every year. Some patients find these regular visits useful and reassuring. For others, it can be frustrating or stressful coming to hospital if they do not feel they need to.
Through your PIFU plan you can arrange follow-up appointments with your hospital care team when you feel you need them, or if your symptoms get worse. This puts you in control of your follow-up appointments and gives you access to support and guidance when you need it most.
Please be aware that PIFU appointments may not suitable for every condition, your hospital care team will be able to discuss this further with you.
We are here to support you to lead a healthier life. Our staff would like to have a brief conversation with all patients coming into the Outpatients Department, and will deliver healthy lifestyle messages. Should you want support they will direct you to local services that can support you.
Health information leaflets are also available in the department and we encourage you to take the leaflets home with you.
We also have a ‘Living well with us‘ section, with helpful support and advice.
General, Gynaecology and Paediatric Outpatient Appointments
Phone: 01642 383838
Orthopaedic Outpatient Appointments
Phone: 01642 624486
Peterlee Community Hospital
Phone: 0191 5863474