Top tips for getting the most out of your appointment

Before your appointment

  • Write down your two or three most important questions.
  • Write down details of your symptoms, including when they started and what makes them better or worse.

During your appointment

  • Don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t understand. For example, ‘Can you say that again? I still don’t understand.’?
  • If you don’t understand any words, ask for them to be explained.
  • Write things down or ask a family member or friend to take notes.

Before you leave your appointment

  • Check that you’ve covered everything on your list you understand, for example ‘Can I just check I understood what you said?’
  • Make sure that you know what should happen next – and when. Write it down.
  • Ask who to contact if you have any more problems or questions
  • Ask about support groups and where to go for reliable information and ask for copies of letters written about you – you are entitled to see these.
  • Keep your notes from the discussion.
  •  Book any tests that you can and put the dates in your diary.

Questions that you may find useful during your appointment:

Questions about tests
What are the tests for?
How and when will I get the results?
Who do I contact if I don’t get the results?
Questions about treatment
Are there other ways to treat my condition?
What do you recommend?
Are there any side effects or risks?
How will I know if the treatment is working?
How effective is this treatment?
What will happen if I don’t have any treatment?
Is there anything I can do to help myself?
What next
What happens next?
Do I need to come back and see you?
Who do I contact if things get worse?
Do you have any written information?
Where can I go for more information?
Is there a support group or any other source of help?

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