During Your Outpatient Appointment

Frequently Asked Questions - Outpatient Services

Who will you see?

On arrival

Please use our express attendance machineslocated in the outpatients department. You do not require any letters, just your date of birth. Upon completion the kiosks will direct you to the correct location of your appointment.

Our reception staff are available if you require any assistance.

The clinic nurse

Our nursing staff are allocated to look after the clinics and they are there to assist in getting observations and specific tests performed that the doctor may request prior to you seeing them. They will also chaperone you during any examination and assist with any procedures that may be performed during the consultation. To assist you identifying members of staff; the departments have a pictorial wall board.

The Health Care professional

When your GP requests for you to be seen by a Hospital doctor we will put you under the care of a specific consultant. Our consultants aim to see as many patients personally that they can, but it may not always be possible for you to be seen by them on every visit. If not you will be seen by one of the medical team or clinical nurse specialists that assist the consultant.

What to expect from the consultation

The Health Care Professional who is seeing you will want to know:

  • What signs and symptoms you are experiencing i.e. pain swelling etc
  • How long they have been there
  • The history of the condition when it occurs, where it occurs, frequency it occurs
  • Any previous medical conditions
  • What medications you are receiving
  • Your family history

The nursing staff may perform some observations prior to seeing the doctor like having your height or weight checked. Some clinics require more specific tests to be performed but you will have been given information about the preparation for this in your letter.

During the consultation the nursing staff are there to chaperone and assist with any examination or procedure that might need to be performed. We aim for all our patients to be treated with dignity and respect.

You will be asked whether you smoke or not at your appointment.  This is because we want the best for your health.  If you smoke, then stopping is the best thing you can do to improve your health.  If you need treatment such as an operation in hospital, then stopping smoking will speed up your recovery.  Smoking also increases the risk of developing complications, such as a chest infection and can delay wound healing. If you would like help to stop, please ask your doctor, nurse or therapist to refer you to the local NHS stop smoking service.   

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation NHS Trust is a teaching Hospital that helps to train medical students who will soon become doctors.  Patients have an excellent opportunity to help with their learning, both in the inpatient and outpatient areas.

These may be present during your consultation but you can request that you have a private consultation.

Consenting to treatment

We want to make sure that you fully understand your condition and the treatment choices available to you. Before you receive any treatment your doctor or nurse can help you:

  • understand what the treatment is and how long you need to use it
  • understand the benefits of the treatment
  • manage any side effects
  • talk about your worries about your treatment or medicines.

If you decide not to have a treatment or take a medicine, tell your doctor or nurse. They can support you and explain how this could affect you.

Treatment will not be carried out without your consent unless it is an emergency and you are unconscious.


At your outpatient appointment you may be given a prescription. Most prescriptions can be taken to a community pharmacy for dispensing while some drugs can only be supplied by the hospital pharmacy. You will be told at the outpatient clinic where the prescription can be dispensed.