Coming for an outpatient appointment

The majority of our int20160211-_MG_1400ernational and private patients come to Great Ormond Street Hospital as outpatients.

This information is designed to help you prepare for your child's outpatient appointment and explain what you can expect to happen during your visit.

When you receive your appointment letter

We will have telephoned you a few weeks previously to discuss your preferred date and time to come to Great Ormond Street Hospital for your child's outpatient appointment. We will then confirm this by sending an appointment letter and some forms for you to complete if your child is new to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

If this date and time becomes inconvenient, please telephone the International and Private Patients admission team as soon as possible so that we can offer it to another child.

Location of our outpatient clinics

The Outpatient department is located on level two of the Octav Botnar Wing in the Harris International Patients Centre and can either be accessed by its main entrance on Lambs Conduit Street or by the main hospital access on Great Ormond Street. 

Your appointment letter should give details of where the appointment will be held.

If you are not sure where to go, please show your appointment letter to a member of staff and ask for directions.

The day before your child's appointment

It is dangerous for some of our patients to come into contact with people who could have certain infectious diseases.

If your child has been in contact with a person with measles, mumps, chicken pox or a tummy bug in the four weeks before the appointment, please telephone us and do not bring them to Great Ormond Street Hospital. We will then arrange another appointment as soon as possible.

It is also important to let us know if your child has had diarrhoea, vomiting or had any other symptoms of illness before you come for your appointment. If you are unsure, then please call the ward on +44 (0)20 7405 9200 (extension 0681) and ask to talk to a nurse who will be able to help you.

If your child has Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), please ring the department to inform us, as your child will need to be seen in a special isolation room. When you arrive at the hospital, please ask the receptionist to tell the clinic nurse too. Please do not go to the clinic area, but wait in the isolation room.

When you arrive at the hospital

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Please report to the reception desk which is situated in the Harris International Patients Centre on level two of the Octar Botnar Wing.

Registration will take place at the reception desk and there will be an advocate on hand if you require any help.

For registration you will need your appointment letter, insurance details and two forms of identification. These should be official documents and include something which shows your residential address.

The consultation

Your appointment letter will usually give the name of the consultant caring for your child.

Our consultants work in teams with other doctors, nurses and specialist nurses.

Multidisciplinary teams of specialists, such as nurses, dietitians, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists and psychologists, run some clinics. You may see a number of different people during your child's appointment but they should always introduce themselves to you.

Although your clinic appointment is for a set length of time, some appointments overrun, particularly if the doctor has to give a family a difficult diagnosis or explain a complicated treatment. This can have a 'knock-on' effect on following appointments.

The clinic staff will always try to keep you informed about any delays.

Privacy and your child's wishes

When the clinic nurse calls you and your child to see the doctor, there may be more than one person in the room.

As Great Ormond Street Hospital is a teaching hospital, some of these people may be doctors, nurses and other professionals in training. Your doctor should introduce them to you and explain why they are there.

If you or your child would prefer not to have these other people there during the consultation, it would be helpful if you could let us know before the appointment. Asking to be seen alone will not affect your child's care in any way.

Question time

The doctor will usually start by asking you and your child lots of questions about their illness or condition. This information helps the doctor make a diagnosis and plan any treatment.

If the doctor wants to examine your child, they will ask your child to lie on a bed that has curtains around it. You will, of course, be able to stay during any examinations.

When the doctor has finished, you will have the chance to ask them any questions. If there is something the doctor explains which you do not understand, please ask them to explain it again.

Booking your next appointment

At the end of the consultation, the doctor will tell you if they want to see your child again and if so, approximately when.

They will also give you a form with this information on to take to the reception desk. The receptionist will then arrange a suitable date and time for your child's next appointment before you leave the hospital.

If you have any questions about making an appointment, please call the international patients appointments team   on +44 (0)207 762 6822

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Prescriptions for medicines

If the doctor gives you a prescription for medicines, you will need to get them from the hospital pharmacy. Please ask the staff to help you order your medicines.

Please tell us if your child has any allergies to food, medicines, preservatives or colourings. Also, if your child prefers to take medicine in a certain format, for instance as liquid or tablets, please discuss this with us when you hand in the prescription.