Making the Most of Your Appointment

  • Prepare your thoughts and problems in advance by writing down your problem e.g: When your symptoms started, how they have changed.
  • Do a urine sample if you have pain passing urine or lower abdominal pain.
  • Do not try to add another person in on your consultation. Let reception know you need another appointment for this individual or prioritise who needs the appointment more.
  • Be honest with the doctor. It is important to tell the doctor the main reason you are there at the start of the consultation. If you are embarrassed, don’t be, the doctor is there to help and won’t be shocked.
  • Please be aware that doctor’s appointments are 10 minutes long. It is very difficult to deal with more than one problem effectively in 10 minutes. If you have more than one problem please let the doctor know right at the beginning of the consultation. This allows you both to choose which area to focus on. The doctor may be able to deal with more than one problem if they are related. However, they may advise you to book another appointment, especially if they are new or complex problems.
  • Unfortunately due to limited capacity and frequent missed appointments patients are unable to book a double appointment directly with reception unless it has been specifically requested by a doctor or they are being seen for an appointment which requires extra time (for instance an annual mental health, diabetes annual review, or an appointment with an interpreter).
  • If you have any special needs please inform reception in advance so we can prepare the appointment for you first time (e.g. need an interpreter, visual impairment, hearing impairment, prefer male/female doctor etc..)
  • If you know you have difficulty understanding or explaining things, bring someone you trust with you or if you require an advocate, see the NHS choices advocacy services for further guidance.
  • Dress accordingly for possible examination. Loose clothing is best and remove any layers in advance.
  • Please let reception know if you would like a chaperone.

A consultation is about sharing in decisions about your care and goals. To make a good consultation you should let your doctor know about your goals, hopes, fears and expectations. This is why doctors ask you for YOUR thoughts. At the end of a consultation you should know:

  • What is your main problem.
  • What do you need to do about it.
  • What to do if it does not get any better.
Useful Links

NHS Choices – Get the most from a doctor’s appointment