►Step 1: How to access a specialist
►Step 2: How long will I have to wait to see a specialist?
►Step 3: To make an appointment
►Step 4: Initial consultation
►Step 5: Tests/Investigations:
►Step 6: Follow up appointment:
►Step 7: If you require operative treatment:
►Step 8: Day Surgery Procedures:
►Step 9: Post-operative appointment:
If you have never seen a specialist before in a hospital or at their consulting rooms, you may not know what to expect. It is usual for your GP to refer you to a specialist of their choice if you do not already have a specialist in mind whom your GP is happy to refer you. You may also refer yourself directly to the specialist if you want to see a particular specialist who may have already been recommended to you, especially if you are funding your own treatment. The specialist will then inform your GP regarding your treatment and progress, unless you specifically request that this does not happen. If you are insured, your insurer will require notification that you have a GP referral letter at the time they issue your pre-authorisation information to you.
Out patient appointment’s waiting times are usually within two weeks, however dependent upon availability, you may be seen within one week. For an emergency or acute symptoms you should ring the specialist’s secretary and ask for an urgent appointment.
You should in the first instance contact the appointments number for the hospital or consulting rooms to book an appointment with a particular specialist. The hospital may send you an appointment letter confirming the details of your consultation. As a general rule, apart from in exceptional circumstances, a minimum of 24 hours notice is required to cancel or change your appointment. If you do not arrive for your scheduled appointment without prior notification, you may be liable to charges.
For Dr/Mrs S Purkayastha, please refer to the contacts sheet on this website for information regarding her clinic locations and access.
During your initial consultation you will meet the specialist and they will review your medical history and discuss your problem/s with you. A decision will be made as to your treatment and any special investigations that may be required. The investigations will usually be arranged for you.
Following your initial consultation, you will have your requisite tests/investigations carried out. The hospital may again send you a letter with further information regarding the procedure/s including date, time, where to report, what you should bring with you.
At this appointment, the specialist will generally go through any test results with you and carry out a review of your present medical situation regarding any treatment you may have already had. Depending upon the results of the tests carried out or any treatment you have had prior to this appointment, you will have further discussions with the specialist regarding future treatment. The treatment may be conservative for example you will be prescribed some medication or your ailments will be taken care of. Sometimes it will be appropriate for surgical intervention. If you do not require surgery, then two consultations are usually sufficient to be treated.
If the need should arise that you require operative treatment, the specialist will discuss with you in detail the procedure/s that will be carried out to ensure that you fully understand all aspects. They will also discuss with you the various options available to you for your specific problem. You will be given an information leaflet so that when you return home, you will be able to read the information and consider your treatment again and any options you may have been given. A date will be confirmed with you and you will receive a confirmation letter from the hospital with full details about your hospital admission. You will be required to attend the hospital for a pre-admission assessment to have an MRSA swab prior to your hospital admission date. It may also be necessary for special blood tests to be carried out and in some cases a chest X-ray or ECG will be required. The date and consent for the treatment is usually taken by the specialist in the clinic or on the day of the operation.
There are a few procedures which can be carried out in the out patient’s procedure suite. These procedures are for example; colposcopy, loop diathermy excision, hysteroscopy, removal of small lumps etc. Some cases are carried out as a day case where you are admitted in the hospital for a few hours. The operation is performed under a short general anaesthetic or sedation. You will wake up almost immediately after the procedure. Thereby you will stay in the hospital for three to four hours and then you are allowed to go home the same day. This is called a ‘day surgery procedure’. In some cases you may be admitted to the hospital for a few nights. These are usually for major procedures like hysterectomy, myomectomy, removal of large ovarian cyst etc. Again the procedure will be explained to you by the specialist, your consent will be taken and all of the necessary tests will be carried out. You will be informed of the exact number of nights you will be required to stay in the hospital to that you are able to make the necessary arrangements at home and work, prior to your admission.
Following your treatment or operation, you will be seen by the specialist who will confirm that you can be discharged from the hospital. The medical staff will also be involved to ensure that your progress is satisfactory and will give you advice about your recovery and recuperation period.
If you have any problems or concerns following surgery, before you are due to attend your post-operative appointment, please contact the hospital or specialist’s secretary direct, dependent upon the urgency of your problem.
This will be made for you before you leave the hospital. Most of the time the specialist will decide the timings of your future appointments. For a few operations, no further appointments are necessary. If the appointment given is not suitable, you may change it as long as adequate notice is given. The specialist will be more than happy to fit you in to a clinic at a time and venue of your choice. It does not have to be the same place as your operation was carried out. For Mrs Purkayastha, it could be BUPA Cromwell Hospital, or 132 Harley Street.