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Questions and answers

What is partial booking?

Patients who require a follow-up appointment more than five weeks in the future will be added to an electronic waiting list and will receive an appointment letter five weeks prior to their recommended follow-up time to inform them of their appointment date and time. This is called partial booking.  

Patients who require an appointment within five weeks will book their appointment directly with the clinic receptionist or specialty administration team and patients can advise them of any dates/times that are inconvenient to them.

If you are already under the care of a team at UHB and have a future follow-up appointment that is more than five weeks away, you will be informed that this has been rescheduled and the clinical team will make a decision about when you need to be seen or whether there are alternative options to deliver your care.

Why is partial booking being introduced?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trust is introducing new ways of working to help us see as many patients at the right time, in the right place and by the right method (face-to-face, telephone or video consultations) as soon as possible whilst still following national and local public health guidance.

Sometimes patients cannot attend their appointment and do not let us know. This means that the appointment could not be offered to someone else and goes unused, resulting in valuable clinical space being under-utilised. Evidence has shown that booking appointments nearer to when they are due reduces the likelihood of short notice cancellations by patients and the Trust. 

This booking process will also mean that there will be a reduction in the number of appointments cancelled by the hospital and multiple reschedules taking place.

Will I be forgotten if I am on a waiting list?

No. Partial booking waiting lists are an electronic record held on the Trust’s Patient Administration System. These lists are carefully managed by an administration team and they will ensure that all patients are booked according to clinical need.

My letter says an appointment was rescheduled onto partial booking, will I still be seen?

The clinical teams will have reviewed all patients and prioritised them in accordance to clinical need. Some patients might be seen sooner, some might be discharged back to the care of their GP or be offered patient-initiated follow up (PIFU). If you have been informed you have been added to partial booking, we will book your appointment nearer to the planned date.

When will I be seen?

The clinical review will include a decision about when you will be seen. You may find that you will be seen sooner than your original appointment date, but if not, it will be as close to the previous date as is clinically required.

If I'm not feeling well, can I be seen quickly?

If your condition worsens or causes concern while you are waiting to be seen by the hospital specialist, please contact your GP who can request advice from one of our clinicians if necessary.

If you feel that you are seriously unwell, please call 111 or, in an emergency, call 999.

You can also visit the NHS website for advice on helping you take control of your health and wellbeing.

What if I am unavailable or I want to change my appointment date/time?

Your appointment letter will contain information on how to contact the booking teams on how to rearrange your appointment. Partial booking means that there will be capacity within a few weeks for your appointment to be rescheduled.

What if I no longer need to be seen?

Then please let us know. Your appointment letter will contain information on how to contact the booking teams or how to cancel your appointment. It is important that you do this at the earliest opportunity so that the appointment can be offered to someone else.

What information does the Trust need to communicate with me effectively?

Please let us know if any of the following have changed:

  • Your GP practice
  • Your postal address
  • Your mobile or landline telephone number
  • Your email address

You can let us know by contacting the Booking Team or by informing the clinic staff the next time you attend an appointment.

Last reviewed: 31 May 2022