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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Outpatient appointment guidance

In response to the national guidance issued regarding coronavirus (COVID-19), we are working to provide the majority of our outpatient appointments virtually (not face-to-face), with telephone clinics and video clinics for our patients where appropriate.

Please do not attend your outpatient appointment at The Princess Alexandra Hospital, St Margaret’s Hospital or Herts and Essex Hospital if your appointment is after Sunday 22 March.

Our teams will call you before your appointment is due to advise you if you are required to  a face-to-face appointment, so please do not call the hospital, as we are extremely busy.

We will ensure that we keep you updated - thank you for your understanding and support.

Radiology and cardiology diagnositcs appointments

All appointments for radiology and cardiology diagnostics will continue as normal unless you are in self isolation, so cannot attend for your scan. Please notify the team via the telephone number on your appointment letter if this applies to you.

Before your appointment

What to bring with you:

  • Your appointment letter or booking reference number
  • Medication
  • GP name, address and phone number
  • Specimens you were asked to bring
     

Attending your appointment

It is important that you attend your appointment. If you are unable to attend, we ask that you let us know with as much notice as possible.

If you do not attend your appointment, you may be referred back to your GP.
 

Hospital transport

Whenever possible, you should make your own travel arrangements. Please arrange for a friend or relative to drop you off and pick you up, or ask the ward team about arranging a taxi. You can view information about available public transport here. Hospital transport is only available for those who meet the criteria.
 

Arriving for your outpatient appointment

Please be aware that outpatients’ appointments take place across all of our sites: The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, St Margaret's Hospital in Epping and Herts and Essex Hospital in Bishop’s Stortford.

On your appointment letter it will state what hospital you need to go to and more information about how to get to your appointment
 

On arrival

Checking in at the clinic

When you arrive, please check in at the outpatients’ reception desk. The receptionist will ask you a few questions to confirm your identity, such as your date of birth, your GP, address and phone number.

We may ask if your address or phone number has changed to make sure we have the correct contact details for any correspondence we may send to you.

Once you have checked in, you will be asked to take a seat in the appropriate waiting area.

Waiting for your appointment

We appreciate your patience if there are any delays - our people will always keep you informed. If you would like to talk to someone about your appointment, please speak to the receptionist or clinic nurse.

People are seen in order of their appointment time, not in order of their arrival. In exceptional circumstances, some appointments may be prioritised if clinically urgent.
 

What happens?

You will meet a member of the consultant led team for your appointment - it may not always be necessary for you to meet a consultant.
 

After your appointment

Prescriptions

If the doctor decides that new medication is required for treatment, in most circumstances, you will be given a prescription for a minimum of one week’s supply, which you should take to your local pharmacy. There is a standard prescription charge per item. After this time, you will need to get a further supply from your GP. There are some exceptions to this, if your medication can only be supplied by the hospital. In these circumstances, the doctor will explain to you what to do.

Please also remember that your regular repeat medication must always be obtained through your GP.
 

Follow-up appointments

If you have been given a follow-up appointment, please be aware, if your appointment is in:

Under six weeks: You must return to the outpatient reception desk after your appointment to book in your next appointment. A letter will be sent confirming this appointment.

Over six weeks: A letter will be sent to you asking you to book your appointment.  

Pharmacies

The pharmacy at The Princess Alexandra Hospital is located on the ground floor in the main building, Zone B, location B24.
 

Pharmacies in Harlow:

Harlow Pharmacy: Wych Elm, Harlow, CM20 1QR

Medicare Pharmacy: 1 Sumners Hatch, Harlow, CM19 5RD

Well Pharmacy: Market House, Essex, CM20 1BL

Thank you to you all at work in these tough times. You are all brilliant trying so save lives and trying to beat this horrible virus. Without you we don’t know where we would be now. Love to you all in these challenging times for our NHS.                                      

                                                                                     Patient