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Outpatient department

The outpatient department may be your first contact with West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. We aim to provide a friendly and professional service.

Services provided

We have a skilled team of 30 members of staff supporting the 25 different specialities that take place in our department. These specialities range from breast care to urology, general medicine to oral and maxillofacial. Our patients cover a wide age range from young children attending dermatology, ear, nose and throat and plastic surgery clinics, to elderly people in our local community.

Contact the team

Reception A: 01284 713273

Reception B: 01284 713536

Sisters office: 01284 713265

Audiology: 01284 713507

To cancel an outpatient appointment: 01284 713713.

Opening times 

Monday to Friday 8.30am - 5.30pm.

Saturday 8.00am - 12.00pm.

Patient information

Where will my clinic be held?

Clinics are held in consulting rooms all over the Trust site not just in outpatients. The pain clinic (outpatients E), diabetic centre (outpatients F), Macmillan Unit (outpatients G) and the new breast department, are sometimes used for all different specialities. Please do not be concerned about where your clinic is held. Information on where the clinics are held can be found on the information board by the main reception area at the front of the hospital or our team of volunteers will be pleased to help you.

What will happen on arrival at clinic?

Our main outpatients area has two reception desks, reception A and reception B. Please report to the receptionist on duty who will greet you on arrival and will check all your details including your date of birth and ethnicity. Ensuring your details are correct is a national requirement, thank you for your patience when we do so. Alternatively you can use one of the self check-in kiosks which will check all your demographics and display clinical information such as where to sit or delays in the clinic. If any details have changed or are not right then please see the receptionist on duty who will update the system. Please note that in certain clinics you will not be able to use these kiosks as we may need to send you for tests in other departments before your appointment.

What happens at clinic?

When you come to the Trust for your appointment you will be under the care of the lead consultant, but this does not guarantee you will be seen by them as each consultant may have one of their team helping in clinic. Please note, in some circumstances medical students will be present to observe and help with their training development. If you do not wish to have a student present during your consultation please inform the receptionist who will pass on your request to the nurse running the clinic.

What if I have been waiting for my appointment?

We try our best to keep the waiting times as short as possible but there are occasions where unavoidable delays may occur. This could be because the doctor is called away or delayed on the ward. The doctor may need to spend longer than anticipated with a patient in an emergency case. Patients are late for their appointment. Patients will be seen in order of their appointment times. If you arrive early it is unlikely you will be seen before your appointment. We do not block book appointments. We will strive to keep our patients informed of any delays and if a delay has occurred we will display this on the information board. However, if you have been waiting and have not been kept informed please speak to the receptionist on duty. The main outpatients department has a patient pager scheme. One of the more frequent complaints has been delays in clinic. If a clinic is running late we can now offer patients a pager which allows you to leave the department and visit the canteen or have a walk around the hospital rather than having to wait in the waiting area. When the clinic is ready for you we simply key in the pager number which will then make the pager vibrate and flash. You can then return to the department, take a seat in the waiting area and wait for the nurse to call you into the consulting room.

What happens after clinic?

It may be necessary for you to attend another department after your appointment. This could be for further tests or just the need to attend the pre-assessment clinic. The receptionist or nurse on duty will be happy to direct you to the appropriate location.