Useful Information for Your Outpatient Appointment

Changing or cancelling your appointment

If you need to change or cancel your appointment, it is very important that you contact the office telephone number detailed in your appointment letter to obtain another appointment. Please give the hospital as much notice as possible for any changes as this helps to prevent valuable appointment slots that can be offered to other patients being wasted. Should you need to cancel your appointment for a second time, this may result in the clinician discharging you back to your own GP.

Alternatively you can request appointment changes using the South Tees Hospitals Website at and clicking on the patients and visitors link. You will then see the link called Rearrange or cancel an appointment. Once your e-mail is received into the Trust, this will be passed to the appropriate appointment office who will deal with your request.

Should you fail to attend your appointment, the clinician may also decide to discharge you back to your own GP

What if you are unwell when your appointment is due?

Please do not attend your appointment if you have any symptoms of sickness and/or diarrhoea. Stomach bugs can be highly infectious and can spread quickly in hospitals, putting patients at risk. You need to be free from symptoms for at least 48 hours before attending your appointment. If you are still ill after a few days contact your own GP or NHS 111. If you need to cancel your appointment due to illness, telephone the contact number on your appointment letter so that another appointment can be organised for you.

Eligibility for ambulance transport

If you have a medical condition that genuinely prevents you from using public transport or your own transport, you may be eligible for patient transport. Bookings for transport should be made at least 2 working days prior to travel.

Patients living in Teesside should call the Transport Information Service on 0345 045 0160
Patients living in North Yorkshire should call the Advanced Booking Service on 0300 330 200
Patients living in East Durham should call Travel Response on 0191 383 5383
All other patients should discuss their transport needs with their own GP practice.

Car Parking (car parking fees are charged at most hospital sites)

If your appointment is at The James Cook University Hospital, car parking spaces in the north visitor’s car park V3 are very limited. Most car parking spaces can be found in car parks V1 & V2. These are located near to the maternity unit. You will need to turn right as you enter the main road entrance into the hospital and follow the signposting

A hospital site map is printed on the back of your appointment letter if you appointment is at the Jame Cook University Hospital or the Friarage Hospital. The South Tees Hospitals website at also contains site information and travel directions as well as local transport arrangements to get to each of our hospitals

Allowing enough time for your appointment

As car parking at some of our hospital sites can be difficult, please ensure you allow enough time to park your car and walk the distance to the department you are attending. You may prefer to be dropped off at the main entrances of the hospital so that you don’t have as far to walk.

If you need your future appointments to be booked at a later time of day to allow you enough time to travel to the hospital then discuss this with the outpatient reception staff at the time you are booking your appointment or contact the department detailed in your appointment letter. Every effort will be made to help you although we may not be able to do this for every request.

Copies of your clinic letters

After your clinic appointment the clinician will write to your GP to keep them informed. If you do not wish to receive a copy of this letter please let your clinician know.

Prescription charges

All out patient prescriptions issued by the hospital and dispensed at the hospital pharmacies are subject to prescription charges unless the patient holds a valid medical exception certificate, they fulfil the criteria for exemption from charges or they hold a valid pre-payment certificate.

Payment can be made by cash/cheque at the pharmacies or by debit or credit card at the cashiers at the north entrance. Free to use ATM machines are also available in the hospital.

Who will you see when you attend a clinic

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is a university teaching hospital. When you attend the hospital you may be seen by students training to be doctors, nurses or other healthcare professionals. If you would prefer not to be seen by students then please inform a member of staff when you attend the hospital.

If you need an operation in the future

When you attend your outpatient appointment, your clinician may decide with you, that you need an operation. For some specialties, your operation may take place at a different hospital to the one you attended for your appointment. You will be notified of the hospital for your inpatient care when your admission is arranged.

How long will you wait for to see the clinician

If your GP refers you for treatment, you should start consultant-led treatment within a maximum of 18 weeks from referral for non -urgent conditions and to be seen by a cancer specialist within a maximum of two weeks from GP referral for urgent referrals where cancer is suspected. If this is not possible, the NHS has to take all reasonable steps to offer you a range of alternatives

Appointment reminder call service

We now use automated voice calls and text messages to remind patients of some appointments. To be excluded or to update your telephone details, let us know by calling the department. Contact details are also given on the website.

Your individual needs

Should you require any other arrangements to help you during your outpatient visit please contact the department detailed in your appointment letter.