Find out what to expect when you come to hospital for your appointment at the chemotherapy service.

Before your appointment

You are welcome to bring a relative, close friend or carer who can sit with you while you are having treatment. Others may attend your appointment and sit in the waiting room. Please wear comfortable clothes that allow you to easily roll up your sleeves. If you are having a scalp cooling treatment, we suggest you wear warm clothes or layers. Before your treatment appointment, you should have a light meal. You are welcome to bring something to read, music with headphones, or a tablet if you wish.

At your appointment

Please note that we are a teaching hospital, so there are occasionally medical students observing the administration of chemotherapy.

Please check in at reception at the relevant chemotherapy day unit. Waiting times tend to be 30 minutes to one hour. The duration of your appointment may vary depending upon your treatment – please discuss this with your nurse.

We invite all of our patients to a pre-treatment consultation with an experienced chemotherapy nurse to discuss side effects, information on what to do if side effects arise and to ensure patients have the adequate support needed throughout treatment. At each appointment, you will have the opportunity to ask questions, and to discuss side effects and your support needs.

Your chemotherapy dose is tailor-made for you according to your height and weight and will be prescribed by a consultant or senior registrar according to strict protocols.

After your appointment

If needed, the nurses may refer you to other teams, such as the welfare benefits service, located at both Charing Cross and Hammersmith hospitals, to offer financial advice and support. We also provide a dedicated 24-hour help line you can contact in an emergency or for advice. You may also be referred to a dietitian, complementary therapist or other relevant member of the multidisciplinary team (MDT).

Patient facilities and resources

Both Charing Cross and Hammersmith hospitals offer scalp cooling for patients who are receiving drugs that cause hair loss. this is discussed with each patient individually as to whether this may be beneficial for them. For those who do not wish to use scalp cooling or who are unable to, we have a dedicated wig service. TRENDCO provide wig services to the Trust, which can be accessed on both hospital sites. Alternatively some people prefer to visit the salon which is situated near to High Street Kensington station. Please visit Trendco’s website for more information.  

Macmillan navigators

As part of the Macmillan Cancer Support and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust partnership, we’ve introduced the Macmillan cancer navigators service.

Macmillan navigators offer a single phone contact for all cancer patients. They can help with booking appointments, accessing local support services and finding answers to any questions. Please call the Macmillan navigators team with any questions you have about your cancer care. Learn more about Macmillan navigators. 

Patient information leaflets