How do I get to the hospital?


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Patient and visitor information

When you arrive

Please try to arrive ten minutes before your appointment time.

If you’re arriving by car, please park in a designated public car park. You can find information about car parking at our hospitals. If you need a disabled space and they’re all full, please park in the main hospital car park. The standard parking charge will apply.

If you arrive by taxi, there are drop-off points outside the main reception areas for our hospitals.

Where should I report?

Go to the reception of the department stated on your letter. If you don’t know where that is, go to the main reception and they will tell you.

At the Freeman and RVI, there are electronic ‘wayfinder’ kiosk machines which you can use to find your way to the department you need.

Keeping infection out

You can help us keep infections in our hospitals to a minimum by making sure that you use the hand cleaning gel at the entrance of every department.


There is a range of facilities at each of our hospitals, including shops, cafes and restaurants, chapel, telephones and cash machines. 

Who will I see?

All our staff wear identity badges with their name, photo and job title, so you know who they are. Depending on the reason for your appointment, you could see:

  • A doctor, surgeon or consultant
  • Nurses
  • Therapists, such as a physiotherapist or occupational therapist
  • Radiologists to take your x-ray
  • Students (medical students may be there during your appointment. Please let a member of staff know if you’re not happy with this)

If you need any advice or information, staff at our reception areas will help as much as they can.

You can also see profiles of our doctors.

While you're waiting

We try to keep waiting times down to a minimum, but if you feel that you have waited too long, please speak to a member of staff.

If you have to leave the waiting area for any reason, please let a member of staff know.

What about any prescriptions?

If you receive a prescription for a supply of medicines this can only be dispensed at the hospital pharmacy. You will have to pay a prescription charge for each medicine unless you are exempt from charges or hold a prepayment certificate (pharmacy staff are required to ask to see proof of your exemption status). The pharmacist will tell you how much you have to pay.

There are different dispensaries in the Trust and some of these also supply medicines for inpatients as well as outpatients, you may experience some delay.

A member of the pharmacy staff will ensure that you know how to take your medicines. Please ask any questions, or if after you get home you have further questions, call the Medicines Helpline on the number at the back of this booklet.

How long will I be at the hospital?

Every effort is made to see patients at their appointment time but unfortunately this is not always possible. Please be prepared in case there are delays (for example, bring along some reading material). If you are worried about the length of time you have waited, please mention this to a nurse in the clinic.

If you need an x-ray or other tests, your appointment could take up most of the morning or afternoon, it is important that you bear this in mind when planning your visit.

Who will see me?

You will be under the care of a particular consultant or specialist. Each time you attend an outpatient clinic, you will be seen by either the consultant or a member of his/her team. All staff wear identification badges so that you know who you are talking with.

As this is a major teaching hospital we may ask if you are willing to contribute to student training; this may involve students being present during your consultation or treatments. All students are supervised by senior members of staff. You do not have to take part. If you prefer not to, please tell the medical or nursing staff. If you do not wish students to be present, then this will in no way affect your treatment.

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