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Your appointment

Changes to appointments during COVID-19 outbreak

We are currently in the process of 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 a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, do not come to our hospitals. Stay at home and follow the national advice.

More advice is available on the government website.

As we go into winter we are more 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

In line with government guidance visitors and outpatients must wear a face covering or face mask, unless exemptions apply, when they attend the University Hospital Southampton sites. 

Please remember masks alone will not protect against COVID19.

It is important to maintain two metre social distancing measures and 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.

All patients and visitors will be asked about health and coronavirus symptoms before being permitted access into the hospitals and temperature checks may be taken.

Patients attending an appointment will also be asked to provide the appointment letter before being allowed to access the site.

Patients should not arrive early for appointments. If arriving by car, any accompanying persons that aren’t required for mobility purposes should wait in the car.

Checkpoints will be manned by staff and in operation at relevant entrances. Visitors should maintain social distancing while waiting in a queue for screening before entry into the Trust.

  • Southampton General Hospital - the primary entrance is via the main entrance at the front of the hospital
  • Princess Anne Hospital - the primary entrance is via the main pedestrian entrance and ambulance entrance. Please note: further information on visitor guidance for PAH can be found on the Princess Anne Hospital web page here.
  • Emergency department - the main entrance will remain open as usual for patients requiring emergency care

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.