What can I expect from my appointment?
When you come to your first appointment the staff may talk to you about why they have been asked to see you and they will give you the opportunity to talk about how you are feeling. Then we can work together to find the best way to help you. You might find it useful to write down things you would like to say or questions you may have before your appointment.
At the first appointment
Some questions you might want to ask during your first appointment are:
- How often will the appointments be and how long do they usually last?
- Will the person you see at the first appointment be the person who will always see you or will they be handing over to anyone else?
- If medication is prescribed – how much; how long for; are there any side effects to look out for; what happens when it finishes?
- How information is shared about the treatment and care being offered to you or your relative – who will know and why?
- How the care and treatment offered by the service is reviewed and monitored – including how your views will be included in this?
It’s important to check with the person you are seeing where you can get help if you hit a problem between appointments or at times when the clinic is not normally open, e.g. in the evenings or at the weekends.
You might also want to ask about other places where you can go for help, information and advice and to check out whether the services has any booklets or leaflets about things you can do yourself at home – sometimes called ‘self help’ options.
Finally, it’s always a good idea to ask the person you are seeing what happens afterwards, once you or your relative are feeling better and no longer need appointments for example, if you need further help, can you contact the service directly or do you have to go back to the person who first referred you?
Other things that can help
- If possible, take someone you can trust with you to the appointment
- Make a diary of any feelings or issues that you are worried about.
- Write things down beforehand that you want to ask about or check out.
- Allow plenty of time to find the place where the appointment will be.