Patients & Visitors

Gynaecology: Clinics

D3

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Outpatient Clinics

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Who will you see?

There are a variety of specialists all with different expertise. We aim to match your need to that specialist. 

You may see more than one doctor. Who that specialist is depends on why you are attending. For example, if you are coming to the specialist contraception service you will probably see a doctor who is also trained as a GP.

The unplanned pregnancy service is run by expert nurse specialists.

Labour ward care is managed by midwives and registrars, the emergency service is run by the senior gynaecology nurses with doctors who have a broad training and knowledge about all aspect of medicine (SHOs) and they are supported by registrars (consultants in training) and senior consultants.

The cancer screening and surveillance services is run by nurse specialists.

The specialist maternal medicine clinic is run by consultant obstetricians and physicians and trained registrars.

A consultant surgeon runs the cancer service, the abnormal bleeding clinic is managed by an associate specialist.

Colposcopy services are provided by an accredited and experience specialist nurse or a consultant.

Consultants supervise the general gynaecology services.

Emergency services are run by experienced gynaecology nurses and resident house officers supervised by consultants.

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What might happen?

The focus of your appointment is a consultation with a specialist.

Sometimes it is helpful to scan the pelvis, test blood or perform X-rays before the consultation with the specialist. The results can then be available for the consultation.

We will not organise unnecessary tests because you do not want to queue for longer than necessary.

You might need biopsies or special camera tests. It is not always easy to predict who needs tests before the consultation but we always try.

Complex scans or bladder monitoring cannot be arranged for the same day because they have to be booked and the results are not available on the same day.

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Internal examinations

An internal examination will only be offered if it is necessary to help establish a diagnosis or gain clinical information to help you decide on treatment.

Modern scanning means that internal (vaginal or rectal) examinations are often not needed. However, sometimes they are essential and represent the focus of your appointment. For example, if you are coming because you want to know why would smear was abnormal, you will want the specialist to look at your cervix.

Women with abnormal bleeding will want to know what is inside their uterus (womb) and women with prolapse will want the specialist to look and offer advice about the best treatment option.

Every practitioner is aware that some women find internal examinations unpleasant. Everything is done to minimise the discomfort and you will never be under any pressure to be examined. It always remains your choice and there is always the option of an examination whilst you are under a brief anaesthetic 

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Will you have to wait?

Your time is precious and we want to keep any waiting to a minimum. We try very hard to match your appointment time to our resources.

It is impossible to predict how long a consultation will take. This may mean that a consultation may run a long time over its allotted slot and this means that the clinic overruns and a queue develops.

Another reason why the clinic might over run is that we want to see women as soon as necessary if their GP has significant concerns. This is unpredictable and means that some clinics might be very full.

In addition, unexpected emergencies can pull doctors or nurses out of the clinic and this also leads to delays. Some of the doctors in the clinic are regional specialists and may spend the morning at other hospitals or in operating theatres and they may be delayed.

We will try very hard to avoid this because it is very frustrating for you if your time is wasted.  We will keep you informed of significant delays. However, we will make sure you have all the time you need once your consultation begins. You will not be rushed.

On rare occasions, delays can last several hours. This is compounded if you need several tests.

 The appointment time cannot be a guarantee and many problems can lead to delays.

Bring a book or a friend to keep you company.

We will always try very hard to avoid a delay but this is sometimes inevitable.

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Bring a friend

It can be invaluable if a friend, family or partner comes with you.

It can be useful to have company if you have to wait and it often is useful for them to hear the consultation.

This helps you discuss issues afterwards and may generate helpful questions.

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Confidentiality

A record is always taken of the consultation and your GP will receive feedback. Pictures may be made of scans, camera tests or biopsy specimens and this may form part of your clinical record.

No other specific personal information about you or your illness can be released to anyone, however closely related, without your consent. 

Your medical records are confidential but you can see them at any time. All you have to do is write to the general manager and be prepared to cover the copying costs.

You may automatically receive copy of the letter that we send to your GP and you may want a record of the consultation.

Do not forget that one option is to bring a tape recorder.

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Medical Students

Every consultant was once a student. They must learn medicine or the next generation of doctors will not be adequately trained.

However, this does not mean that you need to have a student listening to your story. 

No one will examine you without your permission and no student will be involved without your consent. A student will never perform an internal examination unless you specifically sanction this.

Do not feel under any pressure and no one will be offended if you prefer to exclude a student.

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Waiting lists

We are very lucky because our hospital managers are extremely efficient.

We satisfy the government targets for waiting lists for serious disease. However, every hospital has waiting lists.

There are waits for advanced  CT scans, magnet scans (MRI), endoscopy, throughout the country and we are no exception.

The wait for these tests can be a variable, depending on the demand. Waiting times for elective (routine) surgery is variable but can be up to 18 weeks from the date you saw your GP.

Very urgent surgery (for example, for cancer) must take priority. We try to offer this within weeks, certainly within a month. 

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