Outpatients

Patients who attend hospital for a clinic or treatment, but do not stay overnight, are called 'Outpatients'.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

If your appointment has been postponed, you will have been contacted.

If you have not been contacted, please attend your appointment as planned. 

During the pandemic, the Trust has followed Government guidance on social distancing, and replaced some face-to-face outpatient appointments with 'virtual appointments' by phone and video.

It's important that you prepare for these as you would for a traditional face-to-face appointment - please see Virtual appointments - a guide for patients.

At this time, we are not allowing family or friends to accompany patients to appointments.

Patients should attend appointments alone, unless advised otherwise by a clinician. 

If you have arrived at hospital by car, your driver should remain in the car, unless advised otherwise by a clinician.

Family or friends should not enter the hospital building, unless advised otherwise by a clinician.

How we have created a safe environment

All our staff are highly trained, experienced and focused on maintaining a safe environment for patients. 

The hospital has been organised so that patients with coronavirus (COVID-19) are cared for in separate areas to other patients.

Similarly, you will not be treated by staff working in dedicated COVID-19 areas.

We have done all we can to reduce the risk of infection to patients and visitors, including: 

  • Regular deep cleaning
  • Strict social distancing rules
  • Strict hand hygiene procedures 
  • Face masks for patients, visitors and staff
  • Separate entrances for staff and patients or visitors
  • Offering virtual appointments where appropriate 
  • One way system at the main entrance

To maintain social distancing and reduce crowding, the central glass doors will be used for entrance only, whilst the disabled access door next to the restaurant will be used for exit only. 

If you are getting drinks or food from Costa, please follow the floor stickers and queue towards the disabled access door. Please do not queue in the main atrium to avoid crowding and disrupting traffic.

What you need to know before attending your appointment 

To maintain social distancing in waiting areas, please do not arrive any earlier than five minutes before your appointment. 

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, please do not attend your appointment.

If you will not be attending, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can give your appointment to another patient. 

Advice for family, friends or carers accompanying outpatients   

If you are accompanying a patient, please wait outside the hospital building.

You must not wait in corridors, in the main atrium reception area or in any other communal area.  

You are welcome to enter the hospital building to accompany a patient, if:

  • You are a carer for a patient with a physical or mental disability
  • You are accompanying someone under the age of 16
  • You have been given permission by a clinician

For more information on accompanying others, please see Visitor guidance.

Opening of restaurants

From Monday 6 July, the Refresh Restaurant will be open to the public for takeaway service only.

A one-way system will be in place and there will be clear markings in the restaurant.

Please enter the restaurant via the Atrium and the exit will be located at the far end of the restaurant which will take you past the vending machines to the streets.

Remember to use the hand gel provided before entering the restaurants and ensure surgical face masks are always worn.

Please see also Coronavirus (COVID-19): Outpatients: Frequently asked questions.

Your appointment

When you come for an Outpatient appointment you will need:

  • Your full address, including the postcode
  • Name and full address of your GP
  • Appointment card or letter
  • Any medicines that you are currently taking (or a list of them)
  • A urine sample, if requested
  • Money to pay for any prescriptions, or an exemption card if you are entitled to free prescriptions

Please make a careful note of where your appointment is - we run clinics at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon and at several other locations throughout Wiltshire.

Important: if you cannot attend

If, for any reason, you cannot make your appointment, please let us know; if we have enough warning, we will offer it to another patient.

So that we can give you the best care and in the shortest amount of time it is very important that you attend all your hospital appointments.

If you know you are unable to attend your appointment please contact us as soon as possible by calling the phone number on your appointment letter or completing the online form.

By letting us know early we will then work hard to offer that appointment to another patient waiting for treatment.

  • Not attending your appointment costs the Trust about £160
  • Last year 35,671 were missed, so that's more than £5million which we could have saved

Further information

See also:

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