Outpatient services are provided at a number of locations throughout the Trust with the main outpatient department being located on the second floor of the hospital. In addition to these there are individual outpatient areas in the Diabetes Centre, Maternity and the Childrens Resource Centre (children's outpatients only). The aim of the service is to provide an efficient, skilled, safe and convenient service to patients and clinicians in a professional, caring and responsive manner and to facilitate the needs of all clinical specialties.
At Darent Valley Hospital we aim to do everything we can to make your outpatient visit as easy as possible.
When your referrer tells us that they would like you to have an outpatient appointment with a hospital doctor we will arrange an appointment. Appointments are handled through the Appointments Office, which provides a single point of contact for patients and GPs. The Appointments Office can be contacted on 01322 428350. Once your appointment has been booked, you will be sent a letter advising you of the day, time and clinic location and any special instructions that are necessary to prepare for your appointment.
Letters reminding you of your appointment are no longer sent. However, we can send you an SMS text message reminder. Full details of the service and FAQ’s are available by clicking HERE. if you can no longer make your appointment please let us know so that we can use the appointment for another patient.
How can I register for this reminder service?
You can either complete our online request form or print off the paper version and bring it to your next appointment.
What to do if you need to cancel or change your appointment
If you need to change or cancel your appointment, please telephone the number on your appointment letter as soon as possible so your appointment can be allocated to another patient.
All appointments will be re-appointed in line with the Trust’s Patient Access Policy. Most appointments can be changed or cancelled by calling the Outpatients Appointments Department on 01322 428350, Monday to Friday, 08:30 to 17.00, however please refer to your appointment letter for contact details. You can also change or cancel your appointment by completing our ONLINE FORM.
If you are unsure of when your next appointment is please call 01322 428350, Monday to Friday from 08:30 to 17:00.
If your appointment was booked via Choose and Book then you must contact Choose and Book to rearrange it, either via their website: www.nhs.uk/healthspace or by calling 0845 608 8888.
At Darent Valley Hosptial we have installed a self service touch screen check in and management system which is located in the main outpatient and fracture clinic departments. The system has been introduced to help reduce queuing, direct patients around the departments as well as keep them up to date with clinic running times. The system is not replacing receptionists as there will always be somebody there to assist you, should you experience difficulties.
All screens have a friendly look and feel to give patients the confidence to start the process and each touch of the screen gives immediate feedback to reassure the user. Please ensure that you check your details and update any information to enable us to contact you when necessary.
Once you have completed the automated self check in, you will be given a print out a ticket informing you which waiting area to visit and a unique four digit number. Please take a seat in your allocated waiting area and watch the TV screens to await your number being displayed. For full details click HERE.
If you require transport, please ring 01322 428174 9am-1pm or 2pm-5pm, Monday to Friday. Please be aware that eligibility criteria's are in use for anyone who requires transport - for details please visit the patient transport pages.
Whilst everything is done to make sure you are seen at the time you are given for your appointment, delays do sometimes occur. You should be informed if there is a delay. After your appointment, you may need to have blood tests or x-rays (this can often be as part of the appointment, not necessarily afterwards.) This means that you may have to spend longer at the hospital.
When you see your doctor
Ask the doctor to explain anything that you do not understand, and discuss anything that is worrying you. You are entitled to have clearly explained to you any proposed treatment, including any risks involved in that treatment and any alternatives, before you decide whether to agree to it.
At your appointment, you may be seen by the consultant in charge of your care, or another doctor who works on the consultant’s team. If you are asked to make another appointment, please book this with the clinic receptionist before you leave.
The hospital has some doctors and nurses who are completing their training. We hope that you will agree to be seen by these students but you do have the right to refuse and this will not affect your treatment in any way.
If the doctor prescribes new or different medication, they will normally write and inform your GP who will then prescribe for you in the normal way. If the hospital doctor thinks it is important for you to start the new medicine or change of medicine urgently he will give you a prescription to take to a high street pharmacy to be dispensed, or for some medicines you will be given a prescription to take to the hospital pharmacy.
The standard NHS prescription fee will be charged in all cases unless you are exempt from charges. If you are, you will need to provide proof of your exemption.