Prepare for your outpatient appointment with our simple guide.

Preparing for your appointment

Check your letter

Once you've been referred to our hospitals for an appointment you will receive a letter from us with information about the location, date, time, where you need to go when you arrive and how to find us. We will also give you any special instructions for your appointment, such as whether you need to fast the night before or bring a urine sample with you.

If you have any communication, mobility issues or learning disabilities which you think may affect your visit to us, please contact us by calling the phone number on your appointment letter.

Changing or cancelling your appointment

If you need to cancel or change your appointment, please let us know as soon as possible. If you do not turn up for your appointment you will not automatically be offered another appointment.

To cancel or change your appointment, please call the number on your appointment letter or you can email

If you cannot get hold of anyone by calling the number included in your appointment letter, please Contact Us

Disclaimer: Information sent by email is not secure. Please be aware that we cannot guarantee the security of any information sent by unencrypted email. If you are concerned about your personal details being visible to a third party, please do not use email.

Occasionally, appointments are cancelled by us. If this happens we will contact you, apologise for any inconvenience caused and will give you an alternative appointment date.

Appointment reminders

If you have given us your mobile number, we'll send a text to remind you about your appointment. We will do this two weeks before your appointment is due and again 3 days before. In the event that you are unable to attend your appointment, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can reschedule or cancel. We offer cancelled appointment times to other patients.

All mobile numbers are stored securely as with all personal details, and you are able to opt out at any time by contacting your care team. Receiving a text message will not cost you anything, unless you are outside the UK, in which case your mobile provider may charge you.

When you arrive


It is a good idea to plan ahead for your appointment and to give yourself plenty of time to get here.

Transport is only provided to patients with specific clinical needs, as identified by a GP. Read more about non-emergency patient transport. You may be entitled to a parking exemption or help with your parking costs.

What to bring

Please make sure you bring the following to your appointment:

  • Your appointment letter
  • Any medication you are currently taking (or a list of it)

You may also need:

  • Money to pay for prescriptions and/or travel.

Check-in kiosks

You can now check-in quickly for your appointment by using one of our touch screen self check-in kiosks in the outpatient departments. These kiosks are easy for visually impaired patients to use and display clear instructions in a number of languages.

Disabled access

Our main outpatients departments at Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal Hospitals both have disabled access and accessible toilet facilities. See our Gloucestershire Royal Hospital map and our Cheltenham General Hospital map for more information.

Waiting times

Please set aside at least two hours for your first appointment to allow for any tests or scans you may need, though some appointments may take longer than this.

We will work hard to make sure your appointment is on time but our outpatient departments are very busy places and doctors may be called to deal with emergencies, so please accept our apologies if your appointment is delayed.

Who will I see?

During your appointment, you may see your consultant or another doctor or nurse working in the same team. All of our staff will be wearing their name badges and will introduce themselves to you.

If you feel particularly strongly about seeing a female or male doctor, please let a member of staff know when you arrive.

Mobile devices and WiFi

You may bring your phone, tablet or other mobile device with you for your appointment but please be courteous and do not disturb other patients who are waiting for their appointment.

We have free WiFi in most areas of our hospitals. Just look for NHS WiFi in your device Settings to connect.


Smoking on any of our hospital buildings or grounds is not permitted.

At your appointment

We encourage you to ask questions at your appointment. You and your healthcare professional will work together to make decisions about your care, so before you leave your appointment, make sure you understand:

  • What your diagnosis is/what might be wrong
  • Which treatment is best for you
  • Whether you need any further tests
  • Whether you need to book a follow up appointment at reception
  • What happens next.

It is not always easy to remember the questions that you want to ask the consultant or member of their team during your appointment. You may wish to write questions down in advance and take this with you to your appointment.


If your doctor or nurse gives you a prescription at your appointment you will need to collect this from the hospital pharmacy.

Follow up appointments

If the healthcare professional you see asks you to book a follow up appointment, please ask to do this at reception before you leave.

Share your feedback

Please tell us what you think about your experiences at our hospitals. Your feedback helps us improve our services for future patients.

When not to come to hospital

If you have had vomiting or diahorrea in the last three days we would ask you to contact us to rearrange your appointment. This is to protect other patients.