Tips for getting the most out of your appointment:
- Feel free to bring someone with you, for moral support or simply to help to prompt you
- Consider writing things down before you come. For example:
– what you want to get out of the appointment
– any important symptoms
– any questions that you have
- Agree an agenda for the consultation with the doctor, early on. Please let the doctor know if you have more than one problem that you’d like to discuss, or if you have repeat prescriptions to renew, etc. The appointment time is limited, and the doctor may need to prioritise, and advise you to return if all the issues cannot safely be covered in the allotted time. Thinking of subsequent patients this will really help us to keep to time!
- Tell the doctor what is on your mind, in terms of:
– your ideas about what’s wrong
– your worries or concerns
– your expectations: what you would like to see done?
- Do tell the doctor if you can’t hear, or understand, what is being said
- Ask the doctor to write things down, for example:
– instructions for reception about your next appointment
– changes to your medication
– any important decisions, or choices you may have to go away to discuss or think about
- Do get involved in your ‘management plan’ – it’s your body!
Shared and mutually agreed decisions are best for all.
- Before you leave, make sure you know what happens next:
– if you feel worse
– follow up plans
– receiving test results
– regarding repeat prescriptions