What can I expect from my appointment?
When you come to your first appointment, which is called an initial assessment, 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.
Some questions you might want to ask during your first appointment are:
- How often will I have to come here?
- Will the person I see at the first appointment be the person who I will always see?
- If medication is talked about you may want to ask what it is, how much, how long for, are there any side effects to look out for and what happens when I no longer need it?
- 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 services have any booklets or leaflets about things you can do yourself at home – sometimes called ‘self help’ options.
Other things that can help:
- 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.