Information for Outpatients
General information for patients attending outpatient appointments during the coronavirus pandemic is available here. Please ensure you have read this information before attending the hospital for your appointment.
Advice for patients attending the Ophthalmology Department during coronavirus is available here.
Advice for paediatric appointments during coronavirus is available here.
We are doing many more patient consultations via the
telephone now so you don’t have to attend hospital appointments in person
unless absolutely necessary. Please be aware our call is likely to display on
your phone as a withheld number so please pick up if you are expecting to hear
from us. If you have a voicemail service on your phone please consider leaving
a personal greeting so we know we are calling the right person – we cannot
leave a voicemail message for you if we are not sure we have got through to the
How can we keep in touch with you?
We are currently looking at the best way to communicate with our patients as we are constantly trying to improve our service and the way in which we keep in touch with you.
Recently we have developed our text reminder service – we now text patients’ mobile phones to remind them of their outpatient appointments. This has substantially reduced the number of patients not turning up for their appointments which has saved £1,000s for the hospital.
Did you know that as a patient you can choose to receive correspondence from Dorset County Hospital by e-mail rather than post? Changing to e-mail will enable you to receive correspondence quicker and in a convenient format. This will also help us to reduce the amount of paper we use and become more sustainable.
As part of this exciting project and our aspiration to be a paper-light Trust, some of our patients are being contacted by our Outpatient Services Team about emailed correspondence. In addition to this, the team are working on a new and improved e-mail correspondence consent process to make it easier for patients to opt-in to this service. We hope to be able to share more details about this with you in the near future.
Alternatively you can email OutpatientServices@dchft.nhs.uk
To enable us to do this we need your help to provide up to date information:
Do we have your daytime telephone number?
Have you moved recently? Have we got your up to date address?
Do we have your mobile phone number?
Can you provide us with your e-mail address?
Please ask our reception staff if you can review your details when you attend your next appointment, or alternatively e-mail us: OutpatientServices@dchft.nhs.uk
Please check the location of your appointment on the letter you have received. Your appointment will be at one of the following locations:
Dorset County Hospital
Dorchester DT1 2JY
Weymouth Community Hospital
Weymouth DT4 7TB
Portland Community Hospital
Portland DT5 1AX
Bridport Community Hospital
Bridport DT6 5DR
Blandford Community Hospital
Blandford Forum DT11 7DD
Yeatman Community Hospital
Sherborne DT9 3JU
The nearest entrance to your appointment location will be marked on your appointment letter.
Please be aware that car parking is limited at Dorset County Hospital. Parking is pay and display. Parking for blue badge permit holders is free of charge and located close to all hospital entrances. We would like to ask all patients to consider other methods of transport, such as bus or train to get to their appointment.
Please be aware that the hospital transport service is only available to patients that have a medical need for the transport. Eligibility criteria can be obtained via your GP.
Preparing for Your Appointment
The enclosed letter gives the date and time of your appointment.
Please read all of the information enclosed with the letter carefully. Please complete the Patient Information Form and hand in to one of the reception team on arrival at your appointment. The Patient Information Form allows us to ensure that all of the details we have on the system for you are correct and helps us to improve confidentiality in the Outpatient Department.
Please follow any specific instructions for your appointment. Make a list of important questions that you want to ask the doctor and ensure that you fully understand everything from your appointment before you leave.
Please be aware that if you fail to keep your appointment without notifying the Outpatient Department or change your appointment more than twice we may discharge your care back to your GP. Please also note that if you change your appointment the day before you are due to attend this may affect your 18 week pathway. More information on this can be found in our Patient Access Policy.
Patients who fail to attend their appointment cost the NHS millions of pounds every year. If you need to change your appointment please contact the number at the top of your appointment letter.
The Trust endeavours to treat patients within maximum wait times (treatment could be either an operation, medication or advice).
Please refer to the NHS Constitution for further information on the NHS Choices website: www.nhs.uk
After Your Appointment
If the doctor asks you to make another appointment, please return to the reception desk before you leave where we will arrange your next appointment for you.
We are now sending appointment reminders via text messaging so please ensure we have your mobile phone number. If you would prefer not to receive a text message please call the number at the top of your appointment letter to opt out.
Patients with Additional Needs
If you have any additional needs which you or a carer, relative or friend would like to discuss with us before your visit please call the number at the top of your letter.
Copying Letters to Patients
You are entitled to receive a copy of any letter that is sent to your GP from your hospital consultant. Please ask your consultant at your appointment who will request that a copy is sent to your usual address.
Your Personal Information
Please be assured that all of your information is treated confidentially and only shared on a 'need to know basis'. Under the Data Protection Act you are entitled to see information held on your health record. For details please call 01305 255442 or email: Health.RecordsAdministrator@dchft.nhs.uk
There is a pharmacy on site at Dorset County Hospital where you can collect medicines that may be prescribed to you at your appointment. The pharmacy can be found on the ground floor of South Wing, using entrance 2.
We have a responsibility to protect our staff from violence, threatening behaviour and verbal abuse. Staff have the same rights as patients to be treated with respect and dignity at all times and are asked to record incidences of violence and aggression.
This hospital actively contributes to research. You may therefore be approached to discuss the opportunity to participate in a study.
A no smoking policy is strictly enforced at all our hospital sites.
If you are a smoker due to come into hospital please speak to your GP about getting support or contact the Dorset SmokeStop service on 0800 007 6653 or www.dorsetsmokestop.com
You can only use your mobile telephone in 'safe' areas of our hospitals such as main corridors and foyers.
However, in the interest of patient safety and privacy, we would ask that you only use your mobile telephones where absolutely necessary. 'Bluetooth' must not be used anywhere inside hospitals as it can interfere with medical equipment.
Refreshments are available at Dorset County Hospital from Damers Restaurant, located on the first floor in North Wing, at the Friends of Dorset County Hospital shop on the ground floor in North Wing and at the Terrace Café located on the first floor in South Wing.
Please call the phone number on your appointment letter or our outpatient services team on 01305 255779 or email OutpatientServices@dchft.nhs.uk