Outpatient clinics

Different medical specialties are allocated different days for clinics in our outpatients department, so it may be only on a particular day of the week that a doctor will be able to see you about your condition.

An important note about patient cancellations

  • If you are unable to attend your first appointment we will try to schedule an alternative appointment with you.
  • If you are unable to attend a your second appointment you will be discharged back to the care of your GP
  • If you do not attend your first outpatient appointment you may be discharged directly back to the care of your GP.

We apologise if this sounds unduly harsh but we have to work by these rules in order to provide the expected quality of care to everyone who visits us. It’s quick and easy to cancel your appointment. If you give us warning, we can give it to someone else who really needs it. We’d also be happy to rearrange your appointment to a more convenient time. Please have your appointment letter to hand as you will be asked for your hospital number. If you do need to cancel or reschedule your appointment please call the number on your letter.

We try to keep every appointment we make, but medical emergencies and unforeseen circumstances mean that we sometimes have to cancel appointments. If this happens we are sorry for  any inconveniance caused and will arrange a new appointment for you as soon as possible. Please note that hospitals cannot reimburse you for any costs incurred as a result of a cancellation.

Please note that you may be asked to provide your overseas eligibility status at check in

Contact numbers
Please contact the telephone number on your appointment letter regarding any changes to your appointment or for general queries.

You can be referred to one of our outpatient clinics via your GP, or by a consultant. Your GP can directly book your appointment via The Electronic Referral Service (e-RS)

Things to bring with you to your appointment:

  • your appointment letter
  • current medication you are taking
  • any samples asked for in your appointment letter
  • a list of questions you may want to ask.

Please aim to arrive at the hospital about 15 minutes before your appointment time. 

E-Referral Service

E-Referral is the national electronic referral service that gives you the choice of place, date and time for your first outpatient appointment in a hospital or clinic.

How does E-Referral work?
When you and your GP agree that you need to see a specialist, your GP will discuss the choice of providers available to you that are clinically appropriate for treating your medical condition. You will be able to make your choice of provider from a menu of hospitals or clinics and you will be able to choose a date and time suitable to you. 

Following your discussion with the GP, if you know where you would like to go, you may be able to book your appointment before you leave the surgery. You will be given confirmation of the place, date and time of your appointment, an appointment confirmation letter will also be sent to you from the hospital. 

If you would like more time to consider your choices you can take an appointment request letter away with you and book your appointment later, either via the internet or phone. Instructions for this are on the letter. 

Your appointment request letter shows your unique booking reference number (UBRN), your NHS number and the list of hospital or clinic options that you chose with the GP; it also shows your password which will be required when you book your appointment. 

Will E-Referral reduce my waiting time?
e-RS will speed up the process of your referral; it will ensure that the referral letter is electronically transferred to us and will not go astray in the post. 

What are the benefits if I use E-Referral?

  • you can choose any hospital in England funded by the NHS (this includes NHS hospitals and some independent hospitals). More information about hospitals is available on the NHS Choices website
  • you can choose the date and time of your appointment
  • you can plan and manage your appointment around existing appointments, if you are currently undergoing treatment
  • you can fit your treatment in with your other committments, at home and at work
  • you can choose appointments that fit with your carer's schedule
  • there is less chance that information will get lost in the post because all correspondence takes place through computers.

How do I change or cancel my appointment via E-Referral?

If you have an appointment that needs to be changed or cancelled due to other commitments there are three ways to do this:

  1. through the National Appointment Line (TAL) on 0345 608 8888 (opening times - Monday to Friday 08.00 – 20.00, weekends & Bank Holidays 08.00 – 16.00, Christmas Day closed). You will need your UBRN (unique booking reference number) and password 
  2. on the E-Referral website  – you will need  your UBRN
  3. through Central Bookings at Homerton Hospital on 020 8510 5544, you will need your UBRN and password. 

If you no longer require your appointment please let us know as soon as possible, by doing this we can offer your appointment to another patient.