Central Outpatients

 

​​​The Central Outpatients Department is located on Ground Floor and Floor 1 of Main Building. Over 500,000 patients attend the department per year for either a new or follow up appointment and we pride ourselves in being able to provide an excellent service.

The Appointment Centre is open Monday - Friday 8am - 6pm and Saturday 9am - 1pm

Telephone: 01782 676676

Clinics are open from approximately 8:30am - 5:30pm every weekday, with appointment slots available from approximately 9:00am - 4:00pm.

You are able to alter an appointment once, but further delays in attending for an outpatient appointment may result in your referral being returned to your GP.

If you cannot attend your appointment, please inform the hospital by telephoning 01782 676676. This will enable us to offer this appointment to someone else. You can also email uhnm.appointments@nhs.net with your details.  Missed appointments cost the NHS £160​.

Please note, if you do not cancel your appointment without giving us prior notice, we may close the referral. We will notify you and your GP, who can then discuss with you whether or not you wish to be re-referred.

Before attending the appointment

When you attend your appointment you will be asked about your previous medical history, so it may be a good idea to make a note of information you think will be helpful before you come to clinic including a list of the medication you are currently taking. This includes anything prescribed by your GP. You may also find it useful to make a note of questions you want to ask.

If you require any assistance with directions or accessing a wheelchair when you arrive please inform the department's main reception. All children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult with parental responsibility.

Hospital passport

When you are getting ready for your appointment, think - do you need to bring your hospital passport with you?​

On arrival

When you arrive you will need to use the check-in screens to book in for your appointment. These screens are similar to those used in many GP surgeries. It will not let you check in any earlier than one hour before your appointment.

Patients who require one may wish to bring their hospital passport with them.

Outpatients Self Check-In Screens

We have seven check-in kiosks in total. There are two banks of three kiosks in the Main Entrance to the Hospital and a seventh kiosk in the Children's Department.  This means there should not be less queing for patients.


How do they work?

The kiosks are similar to those used in many GP surgeries. The system will ask you questions to find out who you are. It will then ask you to confirm some of your details, such as address and telephone number. These details are important to us in case we need to contact you in the future.

The system will check to see that you are on the clinic appointment list for the relevant day.  As long as you are not too early for your appointment, it will allow you to check in. It will then look at how many people are in the clinic waiting room.  If there is a seat, it will send you straight there. If the clinic waiting area is full it will ask you to wait in the main waiting hall until a seat becomes available.

Patients are listed for doctors and nurses in appointment time order. It does not work on a 'first come, first served basis'.

It will give you a printed ticket with your name and a unique identification number on. Please do not forget to take your ticket.

The numbers are generated randomly to help protect your privacy.

The system will help us make your visit smoother, with less people asking for and checking your details out-loud.

Key facts

We highly recommend that you use the kiosks. It is more confidential than staff reading your personal details aloud for checking. However, you should take care - as when using a cash machine - to safeguard your own data.

Also:

  • Please respect the privacy of other patients booking in
  • We have a duty of care to check your details on arrival
  • Your personal information is safe
  • Screens have advanced privacy filters installed. People walking past or standing to the side cannot read what is on the screen
  • There are alcohol gel dispensers next to the screens.  Please use these
  • The screens are cleaned hourly throughout the day
  • It helps us keep your information up to date
  • If the smaller waiting rooms are full, it will ask you to stay in the main wait area until a seat becomes available
  • You are given a number so that we are not letting other people know your name or what clinic you are going to
  • The numbers are not in order like at the post office. This makes it difficult for people to know what numbers other people have
  • There will still be someone on reception you can speak to if needed


Why have we got them?

They will help you navigate through the new hospital. 

What if I don't want to use them?

A member of staff will be around to help you through the check-in process.

Why won't it let me check in early?

The system works on seeing patients in the order of their appointment, not first come, first seen. You cannot check in more than one hour before your appointment time.

What if the system fails?

We have back up plans in place to make sure you get to the right clinic for your appointment.

Why is it asking me to wait in the main hall?

The system may ask you to take a seat in the main hall because all the seats in the clinic area are full. When one becomes available it will call you down to the clinic.

Why does it ask me so many questions?

We have a duty to make sure your details are kept up to date.

Are they easy to use?

Yes, you don't need to push down on the screen hard. They are sensitive and simple to use. After you press start it will ask you:

1. Your gender

2. Your date of birth

Enter your date of birth in eight digits as seen below:
(5th November 1965) 05 / 11 / 1965​

There are staff in the reception  area of the Main Building who are there to help you and will be happy to help  and answer any further questions.

Delays sometimes occur even though we try to keep these to a minimum, but on occasion this is beyond our control however we will keep you informed if this happens.

Outpatient Appointment Change Request

You can rearrange your outpatient appointment by phone or email. Please be aware that any emails you send to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, and those which we may send to you, are not guaranteed to be secure as email messages may be intercepted.

To change or query your appointment email uhnm.appointments@nhs.net.

Within your email, please ensure you provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Address including postcode
  • Telephone number
  • Date of Birth
  • Previous appointment date
  • Name of your GP
  • Choose and Book reference number (if you have one)
  • Unit No./Hospital No. (if known)
  • NHS No. (if known)
  • Consultant's name/speciality (if known)
  • Your email address
  • Any further comments

We will send your amended appointment by email. Besides choosing the hospital where you want to be treated, you can also choose your appointment time so, if the appointment we send you is not convenient, please let us know and we will email another date and time to you. If we do not hear from you within the next seven days we will assume the date given to you is suitable. Missed appointments cost the NHS £160.

When Leaving the Clinic

At the end of your consultation you will be handed a clinic outcome form. Please ensure that you hand this in to the receptionist before you leave the clinic, as it will contain specific information about your future care.

Deaf Awareness

There is a hearing loop system within the Central Outpatients Department. Please let reception know if you need to use it.

Our students

We are a teaching hospital and on occasion you may be asked if Students can attend your consultation to observe. If you do not want them to be present then please make the reception desk aware. This will not effect your treatment in any way if you decline.

Other information

Did you know you can request a copy of your clinic letter?

Normally, your clinic letter is just sent to your GP. However, you might want to retain a copy for your personal records. If you would like to do this, simply:

  • Tell reception you would like a copy of your clinic letter
  • Reception will give you a blue form to fill in
  • Fill the blue form in while you are waiting for your appointment
  • Hand the blue form to your doctor when you go in for your appointment
  • Your doctor will give this to their secretary
  • Their secretary will then send a copy of the letter to you

You may be entitled to claim for your Travelling expenses if you are receiving the following benefits:

  • Supplementary benefits
  • Income support
  • Disability working allowance
  • Working family tax credits

The Department of Health leaflet HC11, 'Are you entitled to help with costs?' explains this. Expenses will only be paid if you are able to produce the necessary documentation.