As part of our continuing effort to improve the patient experience at The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, we act on patient feedback to continually improve the booking process for outpatient appointments.
In clinic, people are seen according to their appointment time and not according to the time they arrive at the hospital. Please aim to arrive 20 minutes before your appointment time.
If for any reason the appointment date and time is unsuitable, please change it by telephoning the number on your appointment card or letter. We will be happy to rearrange your appointment to a more convenient time, providing you cancel within a reasonable time.
However, if a patient does not attend (DNA) their hospital appointment and did not tell us beforehand, the appointment will go unused. The Walton Centre has approximately 10% of of appointment slots go unused. Please help us to help others. If you are unable to attend your appointment, please let us know as soon as possible so we can offer the appointment to another patient.
We are also using a service through DrDoctor to manage our waiting list, through which you may receive a text message. More information about this can be found here.
Appointments at The Walton Centre are made via GPs or through a Consultant at another hospital. If you are a patient and you are interested in any of our services, please discuss this with your GP.
Patients are eligible for free NHS treatment at The Walton Centre if they are:
- Ordinarily a resident in the UK, or
- Overseas visitors, but entitled to free NHS services under the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2011 (as amended in 2012).
Your referral priority
All referrals that are received into The Walton Centre are reviewed by a clinician. They will make a decision about who you need to see and when. Their decision will be based on the clinical information contained within your referral. The priority of your referral will be determined by our consultant and not the referring clinician. A referral that is marked urgent may not be treated as urgent unless The Walton Centre consultant who has reviewed your referral agrees with the urgency.
When will you hear about your appointment?
When we are in a position to offer you an appointment, you will be sent a letter asking you to contact us to agree a suitable date and time for your appointment. Patients who have been added onto our waiting list for an outpatient appointment are booked in order of clinical priority then by waiting time.
Understanding waiting times
How long you need to wait for your appointment will depend on a number of different reasons but will be mainly influenced by the condition you have been referred for and how urgent it is. You may be offered appointments from a range of different clinics or consultants or you may need to be seen by a specific consultant or in a specialist clinic.
Where you can be seen from a range of clinics or consultants, your waiting times may be slightly lower. If you need to be seen by a specific consultant or in a highly specialised clinic, then your waiting times may be longer as there will be fewer appointments available to offer. Waiting times are approximate and they can go up or down over time. We aim to ensure that all our patients are seen within 18-26 weeks from the date we receive the referral.
I feel my condition has worsened since I was initially referred to you
If you feel that your condition has worsened since you were initially referred to The Walton Centre, then you should make contact with your GP or clinician who referred you to us. Your GP or referring clinician can write an expedite letter to us outlining the changes in your condition since your initial referral. This will be sent to our consultant to review and a decision will be made about whether a sooner appointment should be arranged. An expedited letter does not guarantee a sooner appointment. Your appointment will be brought forward only where there are good clinical reasons for doing so. If you feel you condition has significantly worsened, you should consider whether you need to attend A&E.
I would like a sooner appointment if there is one available
We do receive appointment cancellations from time to time and we may be able to offer you an appointment at short notice when another patient cancels. If you are able to accept an appointment at short notice, please let us know and you can be added onto our cancellation list.
Can I be seen locally?
We do offer a range of services across North Wales and Cheshire and Merseyside and it may be possible to offer you an appointment nearer to home. However, some of our more specialist clinics and services are available only from The Walton Centre. Depending on your condition, you may need to travel to The Walton Centre for your appointment and treatment.
I would prefer a face to face/telephone/video appointment
We may be able to offer a range of appointment types such as Face to Face, Telephone or Video. What we can offer you will depend on how appropriate these formats are for your condition. Our consultant may need to examine you in person or observe you by video and as such, it might not be suitable to offer you a telephone or video appointment.
Do you need to contact the Patient Access Centre?
If you need to contact the Patient Access Centre, then please be ready to quote your hospital number or NHS number. This will greatly assist our booking team with your call. Our call lines are open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 6pm excluding weekends and bank holidays. Our call lines can be extremely busy and there may be times when our call waiting times are longer than usual. If you experience longer than usual waiting times on our phone lines then it may be best to call at a time when our lines are less busy. As a general rule, our call lines are busiest following the weekend or after a bank holiday. They are generally busier between 10am and 3pm.
Cancelling and questions about your appointment
If you are not able to keep your appointment, or require further details, please call us as soon as possible. Use the number on your appointment letter, or call 0151 556 3213 and select option two.
If you have to cancel your appointment on the day, call the outpatients department on 0151 529 5449. Please note that appointments cancelled on the day will be referred back to your clinician who will make a decision on whether your appointment should be rebooked.
Page last updated: 19 January 2023