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Waiting for your appointment or procedure

Last updated: 01/11/2023

Waiting for your hospital appointment

We are working hard to see patients from our waiting lists as quickly and safely as possible. If you’re currently waiting for an appointment or procedure with us, please be assured that we have your referral and you have not been forgotten. Your care is regularly reviewed by our medical teams and we will be in touch as soon as we’re able to offer you a date and time for your appointment.

Find the latest NHS average waiting times for your appointment or procedure.

If your symptoms get worse while you wait for an appointment, you should contact your GP who can assess your condition, and if necessary, arrange further tests or get advice from a specialist. You can also contact NHS 111 for advice.

Alternative choice

As part of the drive to reduce elective waiting lists, UHBW is contacting patients who have been waiting over 40 weeks (some clinical exclusions apply), and do not have an appointment date within the next eight weeks, to consider their options to see if they could be seen sooner at a different hospital.

Please do not contact us or your GP about this. We will contact our eligible patients directly. If you are eligible, you will be provided with more information about the process when we contact you.

How to keep well while you wait

Focussing on your health, while waiting for your appointment or treatment, can have a positive impact on your health and wellbeing. There are simple steps you can take to improve your physical and mental health, which could reduce the chance of complications with your treatment and speed up your recovery after surgery. 

Take a look at the advice and guidelines from NHS experts about what you can do to look after your body and mind.

Exercise and staying active
Stop smoking
Eating well
Drinking less alcohol
Mental health and wellbeing support

Find general advice about living well on the NHS website.

You can also access Wellbeing toolkits for adults on our website, designed to offer information and support about receiving treatment or coming into hospital.

Preparing for surgery

If you are waiting for surgery, please watch the UHBW Prepare for Surgery film and the Royal College of Anaesthetists, Preparing for Surgery: Fitter Better Sooner film. Both films provide useful advice on how to improve your health and stay well before surgery, and contains information on what to expect during your hospital stay and recovery. 

Find out more about how our prehabilitation service supports patients in preparing both physically and mentally for planned surgery.

Waiting for an appointment FAQs

Why are there delays to my appointment? +

The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has had a big impact on our hospitals, meaning that some of our patients are waiting longer than we’d like for an appointment, procedure or surgery. We are working hard to reduce our waiting lists, but we continue to face challenges from high levels of demand on our services.

How long will I have to wait for my appointment? +

All patients waiting for a routine operation or treatment are prioritised according to their clinical priority. The most urgent cases will be seen first. Due to the nature of the current situation, we can’t be certain how long people will have to wait for non-urgent operations. For routine care, many patients may have to wait longer than 12 months, particularly if they require a routine procedure.

What patient support is available while I wait? +

We have a Patient Advice and Liaison Service at Weston General Hospital and a Patient Support and Complaints team in Bristol who both provide support and advice for patients. Here’s how to get in touch,

Call the Patient Support and Complaints team for our Bristol hospitals on 0117 342 1050 or email psct@uhbw.nhs.uk.

Call the Patient Advice and Liaison Service for Weston General Hospital on 01934 647216 or email PALSWeston@uhbw.nhs.uk.

To search for organisations, support groups, community groups, events and activities that can help improve your health and wellbeing in Bristol and South Gloucestershire, visit the Well Aware website.

For support and advice while waiting for appointments at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, please call our LIAISE Family Support team on 01173 428065 or email bchinfo@uhbw.nhs.uk

What support is available for carers? +

Help, support and advice is available for carers through their hospital journey as a carer and/or patient. Here’s how to get in touch,

Contact the UHBW Carers Liaison team by emailing carersliaison@uhbw.nhs.uk.

Contact the Carers Support Centre for Bristol and South Gloucestershire on 0117 965 2200, or for more information visit their website www.carerssupportcentre.org.uk.

For North Somerset, contact Alliance Homes Carers Support team by calling 03000 120 120 and choose option 3. Find out more about the support they offer on the Alliance Homes website.

What should I do if my health condition gets worse? +

If your symptoms get worse while you wait for an appointment, you should contact your GP who can assess your condition, and if necessary, arrange further tests or get advice from a specialist. You can also contact NHS 111 for advice.

How do I rearrange or cancel my appointment/treatment? +

Please let us know if you need to change or cancel your appointment by getting in touch using the contact details at the top of your appointment letter. You can access our online outpatient’s appointment cancellation and rescheduling form on our website.

AccessAble guides to our hospitals

University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust has worked with AccessAble to create detailed access guides to facilities, wards, and departments at our hospital sites.

The guides help patients and visitors plan their journeys to and around the hospitals, covering everything from parking facilities and hearing loops, to walking distances and accessible toilets.

We know everyone's accessibility needs are different, which is why having detailed, accurate information is so important. All of the details you'll find in the guide have been checked in person, on site, by trained surveyors.

View the University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust's Accessibility Guide.