Find out what to expect when you come to hospital for your appointment.

Before your appointment

If you were referred via the two week wait pathway, your appointment will be within two weeks of referral. Routine referrals will be seen within six weeks.

We encourage you to bring a partner, relative, close friend or carer to your appointments, as it can be difficult to recall all of the information you discuss as well as any clinical advice given. We will provide you with a chaperone, usually a healthcare assistant (HCA).

We suggest you bring any medication you are taking to your outpatient appointment. Before your inpatient surgery, you will have an outpatient appointment as well as a pre-surgery assessment where you will discuss anything you may need to do in advance of your surgery, such as fast or stop taking certain blood-thinning medications. Please contact us for advice.

During your appointment

When you arrive at the clinic, please check in at reception and confirm your contact details and GP information. Waiting times are typically around 30 minutes.

Please note that we are a teaching hospital, so medical students may be present for some appointments. If you do not wish to have them in the room please let the nurse or doctor know and the students will be asked to step outside.

You can expect your first appointment to take 30 to 40 minutes. Any follow-up appointments will be slightly shorter. At your appointment, you will be seen by either a senior doctor or a senior nurse. After the clinician has asked many questions you may have an abdominal examination, a rectal examination or both. An abdominal examination is when you lie on a couch and the clinician will examine your tummy for any abnormalities. A rectal examination involves the clinician examining your back passage to exclude any abnormalities. This is done by first feeling inside the back passage with a gloved finger and then introducing a small telescope to view the inside of the bowel. The clinician may or may not take a biopsy. This is not a painful procedure. The clinician may then decide to refer you for further investigation to provide further information to his or her examination. The clinician will explain all this to you after examination.

After your appointment

If you are both consented and listed for surgery, you will be referred to the pre-assessment clinic, which is a walk-in clinic, and the assessment will be done on the same day.  

After your initial appointment a letter will be sent to your GP outlining the findings of your appointment. You will be sent a copy of this letter. If the clinician during your appointment recommended that you have some tests – usually a colonoscopy (looking at the whole large bowel using a telescope) or sigmoidoscopy (looking at the lower end of the large bowel using a telescope) – you would have been asked to deliver the form to the endoscopy department so you can be allocated a date. You should receive a call two to seven days after this to confirm your availability for the test, followed by a letter once a date is confirmed with you. If the clinician wanted you to have a CT scan, MRI scan or endo-anal ultrasound the clinician will have booked these electronically in the clinic and the scanning department will contact you by letter informing you when the test will take place.

Patient information leaflets

Your inpatient stay Your stay in hospital

You may need to stay at one of our hospitals to have a procedure or receive treatment, either overnight as an inpatient or during the day as a day patient. Ahead of your inpatient stay, you will usually need to attend a pre-operative assessment appointment.

Find out more about how you can reschedule or cancel your inpatient stay, pre-operative assessments, what to bring with you when you come to hospital and much more.