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Your visit

Attending outpatients

Your outpatient appointment journey

Your GP or referrer will let you know that you are being referred to hospital.  Your GP or referrer sends your clinical details to us to be clinically assessed by our clinicians. Patients are seen according to their clinical priority. 

Many patients are referred via the national electronic booking system e-Referral Service (e-RS).

Unfortunately, we are dealing with long wait times for some outpatient appointments.  Patients are prioritised by our doctors, according to their clinical urgency, which means waiting times can vary.

We are currently working hard to reduce maximum wait times for outpatient appointments across the Trust.  The Government has asked all Trusts to work to a maximum wait time of 65 weeks by April 2024.

Appointment date

We will send you an appointment letter with details of your appointment as soon as something suitable is available. Please read your appointment letter carefully.

If you cannot attend, please let us know as soon as possible by calling the contact number of your appointment team. This number will be on your appointment letter.

We work in partnership with Patient Knows Best, a handheld patient record software, which enables us to send appointment letters via the NHS App. Find out more about Patient Knows Best.

Keeping in touch - Text messages

We will keep in touch with you whilst you are waiting for your appointment, specifically at 12, 26, and 52 weeks to check if you still need your appointment. 

Please make sure we have an up-to-date mobile phone number for you so that we can stay in touch. 

See further information on text messages for outpatient appointments.

Providing feedback - comments, complaints, and concerns

Would you like to say thank you, make a comment, get an answer to a concern, or make a formal complaint? We are always interested to hear from patients, relatives, and carers about our services and the care we provide.

Contact patient experience.


Why has my GP booked me into a service with a 2 am appointment? 

These are 'dummy' appointments needed to transfer your information into our system from your GP. It is not an appointment for you to attend. In order to differentiate this from normal appointments, we set the time to 2am. Your appointment details will also state '(not for patient attendance)'. 

We are sorry for the confusion that this may cause.  We are currently working in partnership with NHS England to update our software so that we can remove the need to book a ‘dummy appointment’.  We hope to have this improvement in summer 2024.

If you have the NHS App, your 'dummy' appointment may look like the below.

Screenshot of NHS App with text 'You have 1 upcoming appointment. Booked appointment - Wednesday 22 November 2023, 2am. Heart Palpitation Referral Triage (Not for patient attendance)York - York Teaching Hospital NHS'. Screenshot from NHS App with text 'Information - Please note this is not an appointment for you to attend hospital. This is confirmation that your GP has referred you for clinical assessment. If you have not been given a date/time to contact the hospital

How will my appointment be delivered?

Appointments can be delivered:

You will be under the care of a consultant and their team of doctors. You may not see the consultant at every visit and may see one of the other members of the team. 

We understand that you may need to bring children with you, but please note we do not provide child-minding facilities.

What should I do if I cannot keep my appointment?

Your appointment is important and you should always try to keep it.

To request to reschedule or cancel your appointment, complete our short cancellation form or call the number on your appointment letter.

Please note that if you fail to attend your appointment without letting us know or repeatedly cancel your appointment, we will refer your notes to your clinician for review and this may result in you being discharged from the hospital and referred back to your GP.

What is a chaperone?

When you attend your appointment, you may need to be examined by a doctor as part of your assessment or treatment. Sometimes this examination is of an intimate nature, depending on your symptoms or condition. If this is required, we will always offer you a chaperone. For more information on this, please discuss with the nurse when attending for your appointment.

Can I have an interpreter at my appointment?

If you need an interpreter, we can arrange this. Please call the number on your appointment letter to let us know the language you require.

Can I opt-out of having trainees at my appointment?

Our Trust is committed to teaching, training, and research to support staff development and improve healthcare. Staff or students in training may attend consultations for this purpose (alongside a qualified member of staff delivering the appointment). Staff may also ask you to be involved in our research. You can opt-out if you do not want trainees to attend.

Looking down a long bright hospital corridor with treatment rooms on the left and windows on the right. At the bottom of the corridor is one member of staff in a blue nursing uniform

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