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Outpatients Clinics

This information is to help you during your visit to our hospital. You may also find it useful to refer to the other sections such as General Information. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask a member of staff.

About your appointment

If appointment has been made for you to attend an Outpatient Clinic at Woolmanhill Hospital, you will find details of the date, time and which clinic you are to attend on your appointment card. Any additional information regarding your appointment is contained on a coloured page enclosed with your card.

You are welcome to bring a relative or friend with you.

Please bring your medicines with you, or a note of all your medication, when you attend for your appointment.

A specialist is always responsible for the clinic session. You may not be seen by them, but by another clinician who can discuss your management with the specialist, if required.

If, for any reason you are unable to attend or want to cancel your appointment, please let us know by telephoning the clinic. The telephone number is on your appointment card. Alternatively, you can write to the clinic receptionist. Your help in this will mean fewer wasted appointments and help us to keep waiting times down.

If you do not attend this appointment and you have not notified us, your GP will be informed.

If for any reason, your appointment has to be cancelled by the clinic, we will let you know of an alternative date by letter or by telephone. We can also place your name on a waiting list for an earlier appointment should a cancellation become available. If you wish your name to be placed on this list, please telephone the clinic.

Your general practitioner (GP) will not be able to arrange for an earlier appointment unless your condition deteriorates. If, unfortunately, your condition does deteriorate whilst you are waiting for your appointment, you should make a new appointment with your GP who will consider what needs to be done.

Woolmanhill Hospital is a teaching hospital where we train students and carry out research. Whilst recognising that you need not assist in teaching or research, we hope that you will to help us if asked to do so. Please let staff know if you do not wish students to be present during your consultation.

Hospital appointments and waiting times

The NHS in Scotland has set national waiting times targets, which say how quickly you should be able to get a hospital or outpatient appointment, or be admitted for treatment. We want to make sure that all patients who are waiting are treated fairly.

  • For routine appointments or hospital treatment, you should not have to wait longer than 18 weeks.
  • Your waiting time will be counted from the date the hospital puts you on the waiting list. They will do this as soon as they get the letter from your GP referring you to hospital.
  • You may not need to wait the full 18 weeks. Often, you will get an appointment earlier than this.

To make sure your waiting time is kept as short as possible:

  • Contact the hospital as soon as you know you cannot attend an appointment or admission(the telephone number will be on your appointment card or letter).
  • Arrive for your appointment or admission at the right time.
  • Tell hospital staff and your GP as soon as possible if you change your address or telephone number.
  • Let hospital staff know if there are any dates you know you will be unable to attend, such as holidays.

There are times when you might have to wait longer than the national waiting times set by the NHS:

  • If you do not turn up for your appointment or admission, the time you have to wait to be seen at the hospital will be counted from the date you were supposed to attend.
  • If you cancel your appointment or admission, the time you have to wait will be counted from the day you contact the hospital to cancel.
  • In some cases, the hospital may ask you to go back to your GP, who will then decide whether to re-refer you, your waiting time will be counted from the date this is done.

For further information, please read the Hospital Appointments & Waiting Times Explained leaflet:

Link opens in new windowHospital Appointments & Waiting Times Explained (web version)
Link opens in new windowHospital Appointments & Waiting Times Explained (pdf version, 260kb)

Change in your personal details

Please telephone or write to the clinic to let us know of any change(s) in your name, address or telephone number. You can find the telephone number on your appointment card.

On arrival

Please hand your card in at the clinic reception desk. The clinic receptionist will check your details. You will then be asked to go to the clinic waiting area and you will be seen according to your appointment time.

We aim to see patients at their appointment time, or at least within 30 minutes of their appointment time. If delays are likely, we will keep you informed of the reason and how long you are likely to have to wait. Please note several types of clinic may be running at the same time. 

If you are diabetic you should bring a snack with you in case you are delayed.

Some tests may have to be performed before you are examined, and in a number of clinics you may be asked to provide samples of blood and/or urine.

All permanent members of staff wear a name badge that has their photo to help you identify them.

During your appointment

A specialist is always responsible for the clinic session. You may not be seen by him or her, but by another clinician who can discuss your management with the specialist, if required.

If it is decided at your appointment that you need surgery, you will need to have your fitness for an operation assessed (known as pre-admission assessment). This may be carried out immediately after your appointment in the Outpatient Department. If your assessment can't be carried out immediately after your appointment, we will arrange another appointment for this to be done either at the Outpatient Department or at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

Your assessment will be carried out by healthcare professionals and can take from 30 minutes up to several hours. Having an assessment done at this time means that you will have to spend less time in hospital when you come in for your operation.

Clinical teaching

For the purposes of training and research, students may be present. While recognising that you need not assist in teaching or research, it is hoped that you will wish to help us if asked to do so. Please let staff know if you do not wish students to be present during your appointment.

After your appointment

You may be asked to return to the clinic. The hospital specialist will send your GP a report advising of any treatment or further investigations needed.

If your treatment is to begin immediately, you will be given a letter to hand to your GP.