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Getting the most from Consultants

There may be long periods of time between your appointments with your specialist. Also there may be a wide range of things to consider and discuss. Ensuring that you arrive on time and are well prepared for these appointments will ensure that both you and your specialist will make good use of the appointment.

1. Try to ensure you keep all your appointments. If you need to cancel an appointment, try to do it with plenty of notice and ensure an alternative appointment is made.

2. Try to arrive for your appointment on time.

3. Where possible, see the same doctor at each appointment as this will make building a relationship with them easier.

4. It is sometimes useful to make a list of questions or things you want to discuss with your doctor and take this with you to your appointment. See consultant checklist

5. Keep a symptom and/or treatment diary that records how you feel, both physically and mentally, specific symptoms, any reaction to medications and problems you may have with any treatment and take this with you to your appointment. This is a way of ensuring things don't get forgotten or times confused and will, most likely, be beneficial both to yourself and your specialist.

6. If you don’t understand something, ask your doctor or clinical nurse specialist to explain further and/or provide you with written information.

7. If additional investigations are arranged for you then find out which department will be responsible and ensure you have a contact name and/or telephone number for that department.

8. It may help to take someone else with you who can take notes or confirm what was discussed after the appointment.

9. Your clinical nurse specialist may be able to provide you with information and support between appointments; find out if they have a contact telephone number.