At the Clinic:
On the day of the clinic you should turn up in good time. On arrival, check-in for your appointment following the information on your appointment letter.
Getting to your appointment
Most people attending a hospital or clinic appointment will be able to get there by walking, travelling by car or using public transport (for details contact the National Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 or www.traveline.info). If you are on certain benefits you may be entitled to have some of these travel costs refunded. Voluntary services providing affordable transport for people living in the Scottish Borders include the Bridge. For further details contact 01896 755370 (Galashiels) / 01835 863554 (Jedburgh & Hawick) / 01721 723123 (Peebles). Berwickshire Wheels (01361 884652) offers a service from Berwick.
At the Borders General Hospital, please note the parking regulations. There is a 20 minute drop-off point at the Main Entrance, with Car Parks 1 and 2 being short stay for up to a maximum of 4 hours.
If you require assistance to access any department within the hospital, please contact the main hospital switchboard on 01896 826000 when you arrive at hospital, who can arrange for a porter to assist you from your car to the department. Alternatively, there is a call bell located on either side of the main hospital entrance to summon assistance.
If you should be unavoidably delayed at a clinic, and are concerned about parking, you should raise this with one of the nurses.
Patient Transport Service
Some patients will need special transport which is provided by the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) through its Patient Transport Service.
The criteria for Patient Transport are that you:
- need the skills of an ambulance care assistant during your journey
- have a clinical condition that means it could be harmful or detrimental to your medical condition to travel by public transport
- have a condition or disability that makes it difficult or undesirable to travel by any other means
- have a medical condition that means you must have an escort to travel with you to your appointment
If you meet the criteria you may be eligible for ambulance transport. You need to contact the Scottish Ambulance Service no more than 28 days before your appointment between 9:00am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday on 0300 123 1236.
Should you then need to cancel your appointment please remember to also cancel any transport that has been arranged.
How long will I be at Clinic?
We are unable to say exactly how long you will be at the Clinic so please note:
- If you are going to have tests, your visit may take several hours.
- The person/specialist you are seeing could be called away to deal with an emergency; this would delay your appointment.
- If it is decided that an operation is needed you may need to also see the 'Pre-Assessment' team.
Who will I see?
At the clinic you may not be seen by the named clinician, but by another member of the clinical team.
What to bring with you:
- Your appointment letter/card and any details of any medication you are taking.
- Your appointment letter will also detail if you need to bring anything specfic to your appointment, e.g. urine sample.
- Please wear loose clothing in case you need to be examined during any tests.
At the Borders General Hospital, as well as the Royal Voluntary Service shop at the Main Entrance, the Dining Room in the blue zone on the first floor is open to the public.
After the Clinic:
If the clinician needs to see you again, please make another appointment with the Receptionist before you leave.
You may be asked to see your GP after a report has been sent from the Hospital.
If you have made use of a wheelchair from the main entrance, please return it as you leave.
We want to help you remember your appointment. Five to seven days before your appointment you will receive an automated voice message from 01896 820410 asking if you still plan to come for your appointment. You will be asked to use your telephone handset to tell us this. As part of the security you will be asked to confirm your year of birth on your keypad.
However if the call is picked up by an answering machine on your landline you will not receive a reminder.
If we have your mobile number, you will also receive a text message the day before the clinic as a final reminder.
If you do not want to receive a reminder, please advise us using the telephone number on your appointment letter.
Please let us know as soon as possible if you are not going to keep an appointment
Missing an appointment could mean missing out on important medical treatment, and can mean other people waiting longer.
Using the telephone number on your appointment letter, please give us as much notice as possible so your appointment can then be offered to another patient, and you can be given an alternative if required.
If you fail to attend without giving notice, normally you will not be offered another appointment.
The NHS Borders Patient Access Policy outlines the approach NHS Borders will follow to book appointments in terms of how much notice you can expect, the number and types of offers you can have.
Why might we cancel your appointment?
Occasionally we will have to cancel your appointment at short notice. This can happen when the clinician is not available to see you (e.g. sickness), or you didn't attend a related appointment and we are unable to proceed. We will arrange a new appointment to see you as quickly as possible and within our 12 weeks standard for waiting.
Safeguarding Your Information
All NHS staff have a legal duty to keep information about you confidential and store your personal health information securely. Only relevant information about you is shared inside the NHS or with other organisations involved in your care.
Further information about how the NHS uses health information and your rights can be found on the Health Rights Information website.