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Outpatients

We see patients who don’t need to stay in hospital overnight. You may have an appointment with us or need treatment that we can provide during the day. 

The impact of COVID-19 on outpatient services

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re prioritising patients who need urgent care. As a result, we have postponed many non-urgent appointments and procedures. 

We’ll contact you if we need to reschedule your appointment or procedure, or carry it out in a different way. If we invite you for an appointment it’s important that you attend. 

We apologise for any delays and the inconvenience or anxiety they may cause. We’re really grateful for your support and understanding during this challenging time. 

If your symptoms get worse please call your GP or the appropriate hospital team for advice as soon as possible. You’ll find contact details for each ward or service under our A-Z search, or in letters you have received from us. 

We’re doing everything we can to keep you safe. We have put extra measures in place to help prevent the spread of infection and reduce the amount of contact you have with other patients.  

How we’re helping to protect you  

Our staff wear appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) at all times. Hand sanitiser stations are available across our hospital sites. 

We’re treating patients with COVID-19 symptoms in a separate part of the hospital. 

We have also restricted access into our hospitals. You may need to enter the hospital via a different entrance than you may have used for any previous visits. Signposts on our hospital sites will direct you.  

Patient screening 

We screen all patients attending outpatient appointments. If you’re at risk from COVID-19 you’ll need to return home and we’ll reschedule your appointment.

Please help us, protect you and those around you by following our guidelines.

Keep a safe 2 metre distance away from other people 

Wash your hands 

  • Before and after your appointment 
  • Wash thoroughly for more than 20 seconds 
  • Use the hand sanitiser if available 

Wear a face covering 

  • Please wear your own 
  • Wash your hands before putting your face mask on 
  • You may need to wear a surgical mask 
  • Remember not to touch it  
  • Remove it carefully following your visit 
  • Wash your when you take off the mask. 

For safety reasons, you don’t need to wear a face covering if you:

  • have breathing or developmental difficulties 
  • experience genuine discomfort or distress while wearing a face mask 
  • are pregnant and have gone into labour 
  • can not remove your mask without assistance 

You do not need to provide a face covering for a child under the age of 2 or a person who is unconscious. 

DO NOT come to your appointment if:

– you have tested positive for COVID-19
– you or anyone you live with has been advised to self-isolate.
 

Or if you or anyone you live with has:

  • a high temperature
  • a change to your/their sense of smell or taste
  • flu symptoms in last 7 days
  • returned from any restricted country in the last 14 days

Please call us immediately so that we can rearrange your appointment.

Attend appointments alone 

Unless you need support. A family member or carer can accompany you if:

  • you’re under 16 
  • you have a learning disability, cognitive impairment or autism 
  • have communication challenges including hearing or visual impairment 
  • English is not your first language. 

Family carers can contact Carers Bucks on 0300 777 2722 for additional information and advice, or you can visit their website.

Check your appointment letter  

Make sure that you:

  • follow instructions about where to wait 
  • avoid waiting in confined spaces 
  • avoid entering until 5 minutes before your appointment 
  • wait in your car if we ask you to until we call you for your appointment. 

 

We’ll send you a letter telling you: 

  • the time and date of your appointment 
  • which hospital and ward you need to go to, including maps and directions 
  • what you need to do before you arrive 
  • any medication you need to bring with you. 

If there’s anything you’re not sure about, please call us before your appointment. You’ll find the number to call on your appointment letter. 

If you need to cancel or re-arrange your appointment  

You must tell us as soon as possible. Call the number on your appointment letter.   

If you need help before you arrive 

Call us before your appointment date if you need help getting from the car park or hospital bus.  

Under normal circumstances yes, however during the COVID-19 risk period and to reduce social distancing in our waiting areas, we ask all our patients to come alone to their appointments. Please see our guidance above. 

If you need support because of a disability or essential need, please call the number on your appointment letter. 

Only one person should accompany a child. Please do not bring any other children with you. 

Please bring:

  • your appointment letter 
  • any medication you’re taking including prescription medicines, over the counter medicines and alternative medicines including herbal remedies 
  • a small amount of money for drinks and snacks 
  • information about any change of details for example your name or address 
  • any samples we have requested (urine or stool).

Please go to the outpatient clinic reception that you’re attending and let a member of staff know that you have arrived. 

The receptionist will book you in and explain what’ll happen next. Please let the receptionist know about any changes in your personal details. 

You may need to go to another department for tests 

Please allow at least 2 hours for your first outpatient visit to allow for any tests or x-rays you may need. 

We’ll do our best to see you on time but you may experience delays. The patient before you may take longer than expected, or the doctor may need to attend an emergency. We’ll keep you informed of any delays. 

You may notice that a patient who has arrived after you is seen before you. This patient will probably be seeing a different doctor to you. 

Please arrive on time. If you arrive early we can not see you sooner. If you arrive late, we’ll prioritise patients who arrived on time and you may need to wait longer.

You may see a consultant or another doctor working in the same team. If you feel strongly about seeing a female or male doctor, please let the clinic nurse know when you arrive. 

The nurse may carry out some provisional tests, such as testing a urine sample or measuring your blood pressure. 

Medical students 

Some of our doctors teach medical students during their clinics. If you would prefer not to have medical students present during your appointment, please tell us. 

Consenting to treatment 

We want to make sure that you fully understand your condition and the different treatment options available to you. Before you receive any treatment, your doctor will explain their recommendation, including the benefits, risks and any alternatives. Please ask if you’re unsure about anything. 

You may need to sign a consent form for your treatment. You can refuse treatment at any time, including after you have signed a consent form. If you’re unsure please ask us. 

If you need further treatment or a follow up appointment, we’ll contact you. Please make sure the team has your correct contact details before leaving the hospital.

If you have any communication needs

If you have a hearing impairment, visual impairment, learning disability or speak/read little to no English, please tell us so that we can arrange additional support. 

If you have religious or cultural needs

We respect your privacy, dignity and religious and cultural beliefs at all times. Please call us if you have any special needs such as washing and praying facilities.

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