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Outpatient care is changing

Published on 21/03/2023

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) has developed a new animation which explains how outpatient care at our hospitals is changing.

Created by the Trust’s Graphics team, the video details how these changes will benefit patients, putting them in control of their outpatient care.

Dr Paul Gazzani, Consultant Dermatologist and Clinical Lead for Outpatients, said: “We hope this eye-catching film explains clearly how we are trying to improve outpatients for our patients, making care more flexible, responsive and better suited to their needs.”

Watch the video: outpatients – better for you

This animation explains how University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust is improving outpatient care.

Video transcript: outpatients – better for you


The content in this video is illustrated by animations throughout. None of the animations or images used contain any vital information, which is all contained within the voiceover.


Here at UHB we are changing how we offer and deliver appointments in our clinics.

We want to give you more control about when your appointments are, how you book them and how they are carried out.

We want to avoid inviting you to hospital if you and your GP feel this isn't the best place for you. Or maybe we have arranged a routine appointment for you and you feel you don't need it at all.

We want to offer you the right care in the right place at the right time making outpatients better for you.

So, to help us arrange care around your needs, we continue to offer GPs the opportunity to seek specialist advice from our hospital doctors.

The aim is to manage your healthcare needs out of hospital if this option is best for you. Rather than automatically arranging an outpatient appointment in clinic known as a referral, your GP can request advice from a specialist to help you avoid unnecessary hospital visits and manage your healthcare needs closer to home.

You may hear this referred to as "advice and guidance" or "advice and refer".

If you and your GP decide you do need an appointment, we are working to enable you to manage your hospital appointments via the NHS app. You can already view your appointments and soon you'll be able to book, cancel and change them via the app.

You can also use our DrDoctor portal, which already gives you access to your appointments online and the ability to manage them.

We also want to make sure we are listening to your preference when it comes to face-to-face, telephone or video appointments. Sometimes we will need to see you in clinic but having a virtual appointment can save you time and money, and is often easier to fit into your busy life.

Once you've had your first appointment, we may need to arrange some follow-up appointments. Where your clinical team think it's appropriate, we can offer you patient-initiated follow up appointments, which means you remain under the care of your hospital team but don't have routine appointments at set intervals.

We will give you the contact details for your hospital team so you can arrange a follow-up appointment if you think you need one. For instance, if you have a flare up of a long term condition. This avoids unnecessary visits when your recovery is going well or when your condition is being managed. It's more responsive to your needs and puts you in control.

Finally, we are introducing a system called partial booking. Rather than booking your next appointment at a date way off in the future, possibly a year away, we will put you on a waiting list and send your appointment details in a letter or text message about five or six weeks before you're due to be seen.

This means the situation has less time to change. You often don't know your plans a year in advance, and sometimes you can't make the time and date when it comes around. We also hope this will reduce the chance of us cancelling and rearranging your appointment, which we know is frustrating for you.

In combination, we hope that all these changes will help put you in control of your appointments, and provide more responsive and flexible care, Making outpatients better for you.

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