In response to the Covid-19 outbreak we have implemented some changes to our outpatient services to keep our patients and staff safe. There are many outpatient areas throughout the Trust providing speciality services to support patients, their appointment or any questions you may have. The Nursing and Admin Teams who work within these areas would be able to assist you if required. We are carrying out lots of appointments by telephone and video, and only asking our patients to attend face to face if recommended by their clinician.
If you have been offered a telephone appointment, the clinician will phone you on the contact number we have on our records at the appointment time stated in your appointment letter.
Sometimes there are unforeseen circumstances that cause delays to clinics, which may result in your phone call taking place at a slightly later time than stated.
If you have been offered a video appointment, we will give you all the information you need to get setup on your smartphone, tablet or computer. A leaflet will either be enclosed with your appointment letter or emailed to you if we have your email address, telling you what to do. You can also find this information on our website.
More information about video appointments can be found here: https://england.nhs.attendanywhere.com
Outpatient appointments may take place at North Devon District Hospital, Barnstaple Health Centre, at one of our Community Hospital sites, or other locations across North, East or South Devon
If you have an appointment at one of our community hospitals and would like to find out how to get there, please take a look at our community hospital information
Parking charges are applicable at some of our sites.
If you have an outpatient appointment booked at one of our hospitals, you will receive either written or verbal communication with our appointment booking teams to confirm the appointment date, time and location.
We are currently undertaking appointments by telephone or video where possible, so please check your letter carefully and ensure you do not arrive at one of our sites if you have been advised your appointment is a telephone or video appointment.
If we’ve asked you to come in for a face-to-face appointment, please be reassured that we have put in place special measures to protect everyone from coronavirus. Read more in our patient information leaflet – Outpatient appointments: Coronavirus precautions for face-to-face appointments
Cancelling or changing your Outpatient appointment
If you know you are unable to make an appointment that has been made for you, whether telephone, video or face-to-face, please let us know as soon as possible by calling the number on your appointment letter or responding to our appointment reminder service.
This allows us to provide you with a new appointment date that meets your requirements and means we can offer the cancelled slot to another patient. This helps to keep our waiting times down and our services running smoothly.
We have an appointment reminder service for the majority of our services. You can expect to receive a text message or a telephone reminder 7 days and 2 days prior to your appointment. If you wish to opt out of this service, please call us on 01271 313949.
After your Appointment
We realise that during your appointment you might have to take in a lot of information, or you may have forgotten to ask a question or two once you have been seen.
Your clinician will write to your GP following your appointment. You will also be sent a copy of this letter, unless you request not to receive one.
Referral to Treatment (RTT)
In England, under the NHS Constitution, patients ‘have the right to access certain services commissioned by NHS bodies within maximum waiting times, or for the NHS to take all reasonable steps to offer a range of suitable alternative providers if this is not possible’. The NHS Constitution sets out that patients should wait no longer than 18 weeks from GP referral to treatment. You can find out more information on this here.
The COVID 19 pandemic has added pressure to the 18 weeks RTT. All referrals that we receive are placed on appropriate wait lists in chronological order on the date the referral was generated and are being reviewed clinically to determine the urgency for treatment. We will endeavor to make sure all patients will be seen in a timely and appropriate manner and the type of appointment that will be offered will be guided by each clinician.