Enquiries: 01305 251150

Updated 30 November 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted on our hospital waiting times and as a result, some patients are having to wait longer for appointments.

We have explored all our options to see how we might increase our capacity and reduce waiting times. We are committed to maximising the positive social value impact we have on our local communities, so we’ve spoken with our partners in the wider Dorset health and care system to see what public buildings are available and how we might be able to use them. South Walks House has been identified as a building that we can use for a temporary period to increase our capacity to see patients.

In order to use this building effectively, a new working model – based on the Nightingale Hospitals and COVID-19 vaccination hubs – is being adopted. This means that our outpatients clinics will look and run slightly differently to the model used in outpatient clinics based at Dorset County Hospital.

What to expect at your appointment at South Walks House

South Walks House is located in Charles Street, Dorchester, DT1 1EE. There is a pedestrian entrance in South Walks Road. You can use the What3Words app to find the main pedestrian entrance at: https://w3w.co/winning.clues.engulfing

Parking is available in the Old Market Car Park which has a number of disabled parking spaces available. Two dedicated spaces are available outside the building for patient transport drop offs and collections.

Parking in the Old Market Car Park is £1 for two hours, which should be sufficient time for patients attending appointments.

The main pedestrian entrance is accessible from South Walks Road and the disabled entrance can be accessed from the Old Market Car Park.

Please wear a face covering to your appointment and wash or gel your hands on entering the building (further COVID-19 guidance below).

Patients will be greeted by a volunteer who will direct them to the reception desk to sign in. A mark will be made on your clinic letter to identify what zone (blue, red or white) you will need to go to. A volunteer will direct you to your specified zoned area. You will then be called to enter an empty cubicle where a healthcare assistant or nurse will prepare you to see a clinician. The clinician will then enter the cubicle to start your assessment. For some patients, other clinicians such as physiotherapists or partners from services like LiveWell Dorset may be invited to come in to provide additional support and/or information. After the assessment, volunteers will show you to the exits.

On-site facilities:

  • Toilets, including disabled access
  • Lifts
  • Access ramp

Feedback from patients

"Efficiently organised, easy access and helpful volunteers."

"Fantastic venue and service, friendly and informative staff and no hassle parking."

"Location is ideal. Speed of appointment was first class, very quick having expected a long wait."

"Can only thank everyone for being so professional and polite."

"Everyone I met was friendly and helpful - I was made to feel comfortable throughout."

“I found the experience very good and easy to follow. The whole system worked very well and the staff were excellent.”

An example clinic 'pod' at South Walks House
An example clinic 'pod' at South Walks House

COVID-19 guidance

Face coverings are mandatory in the outpatient assessment centre in line with COVID-19 guidance for healthcare settings.

Please help us protect our patients and staff - wear a face covering and wash or gel your hands.

If you are not able to tolerate wearing a face covering or surgical mask, you will be required to wear a visor that we provide, unless you can demonstrate you are exempt. A visor provides some degree of reduction of spray when you talk and is a recognised alternative for those rare occasions where someone cannot tolerate a mask.

If you do not wear a face covering and decline a visor, and you are not exempt, you will not be allowed to enter the centre.

Please help us keep the centre COVID safe for all patients, staff and visitors, and be respectful to our staff if they ask you to comply with this policy. Verbal or physical aggressive behaviour towards our staff will not be tolerated.