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Your appointment

Updated mask wearing guidance Monday, 5 September 2022

Due to current low infection rates of COVID-19 in our community and hospitals, we have updated our guidance so that staff, patients and visitors do not now need to wear masks in clinical and non-clinical areas at UHS. 

There are exceptions to this which can be found in the full news story on the link below.

Those who wish to continue wearing masks in any part of our hospitals will be supported in doing so and masks remain available at entrances.

This change is a reflection of the current levels of infection, but the guidance remains under regular review.

Please see the latest news story for further information.

Changes to appointments during COVID-19 

We have been writing to all patients with booked appointments to inform them that we may need to cancel them in order to prioritise urgent cases on clinical need as we manage demand.

Where possible we aim to transfer these appointments using our virtual outpatient clinics or conducting them via telephone. During this period, you may be seen by other members of your clinical team. 

If you have an appointment and have not heard from us, you should attend as planned. If you are self-isolating, please follow government guidance. 

If you can't attend, we will endeavour to telephone you at the same date and time as your planned appointment.

Attend a video clinic

Patient testing for COVID-19

To ensure we are caring for all of our patients who come into UHS we have introduced a swabbing for COVID-19 as part of the pre-assessment procedure.

Find out about patient testing for COVID-19

COVID-19 symptoms

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms do not come to our hospitals. Stay at home and follow the national guidance.  More advice is available on the government website.

We are also at risk from passing on other viruses including respiratory illnesses and norovirus. Please do not come to our hospitals to visit if you are displaying any symptoms.

Face coverings for patients and visitors

All patients, visitors, staff and anyone else coming to our sites should be aware of the importance of infection prevention and carry out regular hand hygiene.

Restrictions and access to sites

Visitors and outpatients are reminded that restrictions remain in place around UHS sites. Read more about restrictions here.

Please do not attend our emergency department at Southampton General Hospital if you have a minor injury. If you need urgent, non-emergency care, please visit Royal South Hants Urgent Treatment Centre or Lymington Urgent Treatment Centre

  • Eye unit and radiotherapy - only use these entrances if you require the eye unit or radiotherapy service. Other patients/visitors will not be permitted to enter the hospital here - these entrances will also have checkpoints for screening visitors

Your appointment

When you’re referred to us, your treatment should start within 18 weeks, unless you choose to wait longer or it is clinically in your best interests to wait longer.

We'll try to book an appointment that is convenient to you whenever we can, but this may not always be possible.

If you choose to delay your appointment or treatment, or cancel multiple times, this may affect how long you wait to be treated. Your doctor may also decide to discharge you back to your GP.

If you're waiting to hear from us about an appointment and are concerned that your appointment letter may be lost in the post, please contact our patient services centre.

For information about waiting times please visit

Outpatient appointments

If you have an outpatient appointment booked at one of our hospitals, we will write to you to confirm its date, time and location. Please check the details on your appointment letter carefully and contact us if you are unable to attend.

Outpatient appointments are held throughout our hospitals. Please contact our patient services centre if you have any questions about the location of your appointment.

Accessibility guides

We have teamed up with AccessAble to produce some accessibility guides to our hospitals. All our accessible guides are available on each of our hospital site pages here.

Cancelling your appointment

Please let us know in advance if you're unable to attend your appointment, as we may be able to offer cancelled appointments to others and avoid wasted slots. Outpatient appointments can be cancelled or rebooked using our online form, or by calling the patient services centre.

Unattended appointments

Failing to attend appointments without letting us know in advance could affect how long you will wait to be treated. If you fail to attend or cancel your appointment for a second time, your doctor may decide to discharge you back to your GP.

Telephone and text appointment reminder service

We will call you seven days before your appointment to confirm that you will be attending. This automated call will also offer you the opportunity to rebook or cancel your appointment. If you don't make a selection from one of the options that you hear, the service will keep calling daily until you respond .

If you have provided us with a mobile number you will also receive a text message reminder two days before your appointment.

If you do not wish to be contacted via this service please inform the patient services centre.


Chaperones poster image

You can request a chaperone to accompany you to any procedures, tests or examinations. If you'd like to request a chaperone, please ask your doctor or midwife. You can also request a chaperone in advance when booking your appointment or at pre-assessment.