When coming to your outpatient appointment with one of our specialists, you’ll visit one of our clinics.
Your appointment letter will tell you which service you’ll be seeing and where you’ll need to go. Please make sure you arrive no more than 10 minutes before your appointment time.
Patients in the waiting room may be there to see a different clinician from you. This means they may arrive after you but be called for their appointment before you.
We’ll do our best to see you as soon as possible, but delays are sometimes unavoidable. We'll tell you if there's likely to be a wait.
At your appointment, you’ll see the consultant or a member of their team. If you have any questions or concerns, please ask during your appointment. We want to make sure you understand your medical condition and its treatment.
You can navigate to some key sections of this page, and other information you may find useful, via the quick links below.
What to bring with you
Please bring your appointment letter with you, along with any medication you’re currently taking, in its original container. This is so our team know the strength and dosage of your medicines.
You’ll be advised if you’re required to attend any further appointments or tests.
We strongly advise you not to bring any items of value (financial or sentimental) into hospital with you. We have very limited secure storage facilities and cannot be held liable for any property lost on our premises.
Please speak to a senior nurse on the ward if you require safe storage of small items.
Please be aware that the Royal Free London operates a no smoking policy in each of its hospitals.
Smoking is not permitted in our buildings and in any of our grounds. The same applies to the use of e-cigarettes (e-cigs or vapes).
For help to stop smoking, please contact our stop smoking service.
We’re a leading teaching trust, and a medical student may sometimes be present during your consultation.
Medical students will always ask your permission to be in attendance at your appointment.
If you prefer a student not to be present, please do tell us. This will not affect your care.
Respecting your wishes
We aim to respect the privacy, dignity, religion and cultural beliefs of every patient. Please let us know at clinic if you have any specific needs.
How to find us
When you arrive for your appointment, please make sure to check in at one of our self-service kiosks or reception desks. This is important as it tells the nursing staff you’ve arrived for your appointment.
Our kiosks are similar to those used at doctor's surgeries and airports. You can also use them to update your contact details.
After checking in, you’ll be directed to the appropriate waiting area where a nurse will call you for your appointment. Staff will be on hand to help guide you through the process and answer any queries you may have.
Confirming your details
The kiosk or receptionist will ask you to confirm your details. This includes your:
- telephone number
- date of birth
- doctor (GP)
- ethnic origin
- UK residency status (how long you've lived in the UK — for more information see our overseas visitors page)
The data we record about you is to ensure we have accurate information about you and can give you the best possible care. It also helps us plan our healthcare services in a way that delivers the best possible patient experience.
Referrals submitted via the e-Referral Service
Appointments made by us
To cancel or change an outpatient appointment made by the Royal Free London, you can:
- use our online form
- call our outpatient appointment centre on 020 7443 9757, Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm (excluding bank holidays). Please note, we're experiencing a high volume of calls and thank you for your patience while you wait. You can use our online form if you’d prefer not to wait.
Please note that the online form cannot be used to change or cancel your appointment for the following services:
- Cardiology/physiology tests
- Day surgery/outpatient procedures/pre-assessment appointments
- Mental health
- Royal National Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital and Eastman Dental Hospital
Please click on the links above to contact the relevant service or call the number on your appointment letter.
If you have any questions about your outpatient referral or appointment, please contact the outpatient appointment call centre: 020 7443 9757, Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm (excluding bank holidays).
You can contact the call centre if you have any queries about your care, including first appointments, follow-up appointments and test results.
If the team is unable to answer your question, they’ll forward your call to the relevant service.
When contacting the call centre, please have your NHS number or hospital number to hand.
We're experiencing a high volume of calls and apologise for any inconvenience caused. Thank you for your patience.
To cancel or change the date of your surgery, please contact the relevant hospital admissions office.
Many of our services offer video calls to patients as a more convenient way of having an appointment.
You and your healthcare professional will be able to see and hear each other using a secure online video service.
Video calling is simple and free to use when connected to WiFi, with the added value of face-to-face communication.
You can use a computer, laptop or web enabled smart phone.
More information about video appointments
For detailed information about how video appointments work and how to prepare for your appointment, please watch the short video below.
How to start your video appointment
If you have a video appointment, click the button below to start the call.
You can book a first hospital or clinic appointment online if you've been referred to a specialist through the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS).
To book, you'll need your:
- booking reference number
- password or access code
Both of these will be given to you by your GP.
You can also book an appointment in the GP surgery at the time of your referral.
During your outpatient appointment, your healthcare professional will advise you on the next steps of your treatment.
Some patients will be offered a 'patient initiated follow up' appointment (PIFU for short). This type of appointment allows you to arrange a follow-up for yourself as and when you need it.
You can arrange an appointment for yourself based on your individual symptoms and receive guidance when you need it.
This is an alternative to a routine follow-up appointment, which you may not always find helpful unless you have a specific concern you wish to discuss with your healthcare professional.
How does PIFU work?
If PIFU is suitable for you, your healthcare professional will discuss your condition with you and add your name to the PIFU appointment list.
Instead of being given routine follow-up clinic appointments, you’ll be able to contact the service directly to arrange a follow-up appointment if you feel you need it.
Your healthcare professional will then advise on the symptoms you need to watch out for and provide you with a guide card to help you decide whether you need to make an appointment because your symptoms have returned or got worse.
If you experience any problems with your condition, or complications after treatment, please use the information on the guide card to contact the service to arrange a PIFU appointment.
You’ll also be told how long you will stay on the PIFU waiting list as determined by your clinical condition.
If you don’t need to see the doctor or nurse about your condition within the specified period after your last appointment, you’ll be discharged back to your GP who will re-refer you if you need to be seen again in the future.