Your Outpatient Appointment

Before Your Appointment

Do you have any particular requirements?

Please tell us in advance of your appointment if you or your family have any particular requirements e.g. a disability or you need for an interpreter, and we will do our best to help.

Things to bring with you  

  • appointment card or letter (if you have one) 
  • A list of any tablets or medicines you are taking 
  • enough money for prescription charges, telephone calls, refreshments and car parking 
  • income support/family credit book if you are receiving benefit and want to claim travelling expenses  
  • your diary dates or special arrangements (such as holidays) which might affect your future appointments or treatment 
  • a book to read in case you have to wait (or a quiet toy for a child). 
  • any questions you want to ask the doctor/nurse/therapist

Please do not bring anything of value.

If possible, please bring only one relative or friend with you as space in the waiting area is limited.

Hospital Car Service

If you are not fit enough to come to hospital by private car or public transport, contact the Transport Access Patient Service.  They will discuss whether you are able to use the hospital transport system.  There is a charge for this which you may be able to claim back if you are on certain benefits.


Derriford Hospital is a smokefree site and no smoking is permitted outside any of the entrances to the hospital, including the main entrance, maternity entrance or the entrances at the rear of the hospital to the Terence Lewis Building or Freedom Unit.

All other Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust sites are smoke free zones. The NHS Smoking Advice Service is able to help patients and their relatives to give up smoking.

Opening Times

The main outpatient department (level 6) at Derriford Hospital is open:
Monday to Thursday 8.00am to 6.00pm and
Friday 8.00am to 5.30pm

When You Arrive 

There are signposts to all Outpatient Departments. 
There are volunteer Hospital Guides at the main reception desk on level 6, who can show you to the clinic. 
Maps and advice are available at the main reception on level 6.

At the outpatient clinic 

Please book in with the clinic receptionist. You will be directed to your waiting area 

Please remember to tell us if you have changed your name, address or your General Practitioner (GP). We need to record these details to update our records and to ensure that we can contact you or your GP if necessary. 

Patients are seen in order of appointment time, rather than in order of arrival to the clinic. 

We do our best to run the clinics smoothly and to schedule.  Sometimes appointments are delayed. This is usually for a good reason, and clinic staff should always tell you why a delay has occurred.   If you have any concerns please ask at the reception desk. 

When you see the doctor 

This may be your only chance to ask questions about your condition. It may help to think of questions before you come to the clinic and write them down. 

Outpatient visits may involve some simple investigations and tests. We will discuss these with you. 

If you think you may not be able to remember what is said to you, please ask for the information to be written down.

Medical students 

Derriford is a teaching hospital, which means we train healthcare professionals. We allow students to get involved in the treatment and care of patients so they get practical experience. 
Please tell your doctor or nurse if you don’t want students to be involved in your care.  Your care won’t be affected in any way by your decision.

Use of mobile phones in hospital 

Please note that mobile phones must not be used in many areas of the hospital as they can interfere with medical equipment.  Areas where mobile phones can be used will be clearly signed.  Public telephones are available in the main concourse on level 6 and in many other departments throughout the hospital.

When You Leave 

Please go back to the clinic reception desk before you leave the hospital.  

Travel Expenses

If you are on benefits and need help with travelling expenses to and from the hospital, please contact the Cashier on level 7, Derriford Hospital.  You must show proof of benefits at each visit to re-claim fares. 

  • Income Support or ESA (income based, not contribution based)
  • Pension Credit – guaranteed credit, not savings credit
  • Job Seekers Allowance – income based only
  • Low Income Certificate HC2 or HC3
  • A valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate (this will automatically be awarded if you are in receipt of working tax credit or  child tax credit and your income is below the threshold laid out by HMRC).

For further information please read the Department of Health HC11 leaflet " Help with health costs ". 

Cancelling or checking your appointment

If you need to change or cancel your appointment for any reason, please let the department know as soon as possible so that your appointment can be given to another patient. The relevant contact details should be in your appointment letter, if not then please contact us via our main switchboard on 01752 202082 or our PALS team who should be able to advise.

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