Advice for those with appointments at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals
Due to the COVID19 pandemic and changes to recent national guidance we are taking a number of precautions to reduce risk to our patients.
All outpatient clinics and inpatient theatre lists are being reviewed and there may be changes to planned appointments and operations. For outpatients it is possible that your clinic appointment may be converted to a telephone call or video conference. Some inpatient operations are being cancelled to avoid using hospital beds for routine surgery during this time.
The majority of patients having day case surgery at Ashford Hospital will continue to have their surgery as planned, except where our clinicians are needed to provide additional support to wards.
Our clinical and administrative teams are currently reviewing where changes to clinics and theatre lists will be required and will contact affected patients as soon as possible.
Urgent emails should be marked as urgent in the subject, otherwise teams will respond as soon as possible.
Text Message Survey
We know we have some patients waiting for a longer time than we would like for their appointments. We also know that sometimes you may have been treated elsewhere or feel like you no longer need your appointment.
This survey will allow us to make sure we can update our waiting lists and ensure that only those patients who want their appointments are given a date.
- Find out more about the text message survey
An update on visiting at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals
Visiting is no longer restricted to two hours, and visiting is no longer required to be booked by telephone. Please ensure that you visit during the normal ward visiting times. Please note that no more than two people should visit a patient at any given time.
For more information and exceptions, please visit our visiting times section.
Update to Infection Prevention and Control Guidance
As we enter the winter months, there is likely to be an increase in the number of respiratory viruses, including influenza and COVID, that are circulating in the community and in the number of patients being admitted to hospital with these infections.
In line with current national guidance provided by the UK Health Security Agency, there is no longer a mandatory requirement for visitors, patients and staff entering our hospitals to wear a face mask. For those who prefer to continue to wear a mask, fluid resistant surgical masks will be readily available at our main hospital entrances. Please do help yourself. If you cannot see any then please ask a member of staff on the ward/clinic that you are attending. In our clinical areas, such as wards, where our staff are caring for patients with respiratory infections, you may see staff will wear masks, along with other personal protective equipment, as necessary. They can advise you if you have any queries.
We continuously monitor the local situation, and should we see a significant increase in the number of respiratory infections in our hospitals, then we may revise our advice, as necessary.
We ask everyone to follow these basic infection prevention and control measures in our hospitals:
- Do not visit the hospital if you have the following symptoms:
- New onset cough or an ongoing cough that is not improving
- Raised temperature
- Diarrhoea and/or vomiting
- If you do have these symptoms and visiting is essential, and cannot be delayed for a few days whilst you recover, e.g. the patient is very unwell / dying, then please telephone the ward concerned and ask to speak to the nurse-in-charge. We are always keen to support visiting in these situations.
- Practice good respiratory hygiene: cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing using a tissue or the inside of your elbow. Dispose of tissues immediately following use and clean your hands.
- Clean your hands on entering and leaving our clinical areas, e.g. wards, using the hand wash basins or alcohol hand sanitiser available inside each patient multi-bed bay and single rooms.
- Visitors are not routinely required to wear disposable gloves and plastic aprons; but should be worn if you are helping the patient with their personal hygiene care.
Thank you for your continued support in keeping our patients, staff and visitors safe.
David Fluck, Medical Director and Director of Infection Prevention and Control
Ellen Bull. Interim Chief Nurse
The Infection Prevention and Control Team
Patient Initiated Follow Up (PIFU)
Many patients with long-term conditions, or following hospital treatment, are asked to meet with their clinical team regularly. However, those follow-up appointments don’t always need to be at routine intervals, but just when the patient needs them.
This is why Ashford & St Peters NHS Foundation Trust has now launched Patient Initiated Follow Up appointments (PIFU for short).
Outpatients and Imaging Appointments Update
The majority of outpatient appointments will be virtual - either via telephone or video. We are in the process of moving as many appointments as possible over to a video format using a system called Attend Anywhere. You will receive a letter, phone call or text message to confirm when and how your appointment will take place.
Face-to-face appointments will only take place where they deemed clinically essential and the majority, including imaging appointments, will take place at Ashford Hospital. Please watch this short animation to explain what will happen when you come for your appointment.
If you have any questions about your appointment please call 01784 884351 between 9am and 5pm.
Information about access to our Outpatient clinic areas, ENT, and ECG can be found on the AccessAble website.
Outpatient Text Reminders
If you have previously opted out of receiving outpatient text reminders from Ashford and St Peters hospital. Due to COVID 19 there have been some clinic changes and we may need to notify you by text if you do not need to attend the clinic.
If you wish to opt back in to receive these reminders please contact us on 01784 884351 (between 9am to 5pm).
If you do not opt in then please ensure you contact your Clinic Officer prior to attending any appointment in person to check that you still need to come to the hospital.
Before your appointment
Once your appointment has been made, you will receive a letter to confirm the date, time, location and details of any samples you need to bring. Please read your letter carefully and remember to check whether your appointment is at Ashford, St Peter’s or one of our outreach clinics at another location.
We have recently launched a new Appointment Confirmation Service, to help remind patients of their routine hospital appointments and reduce the number of missed appointments. The reminders are made using a combination of automated telephone calls and calls from call centre staff.
Contact us if you need to cancel or change your appointment
Missed appointments, or Did Not Attends (DNAs), cost the Trust financially and in wasted clinician time. If we are aware of a change, we can then allocate the slot to another patient.
So please give us as much notice as possible by calling the appointment centre on 01784 884351 between 9am to 5pm.
You can also email the team at:
You can find out more about our outpatient sites and specific department clinic numbers via the links below:
Outpatients at Ashford
Read more about clinics at Ashford including useful contact numbers.
Outpatients at St Peter's
On arrival: Please go directly to the department / reception area as indicated on your appointment letter. If you are unsure where this is, please ask at main reception.
Read more about clinics at St Peter's as well as useful contact numbers.
What to bring with you
- You appointment letter
- Any samples requested
- Any medication you are taking
- Money to pay for car parking, prescriptions and refreshments
On the day of your appointment
On arrival in the department please use the self-checking kiosks. You will be given a printout with a generic number with guidance where to go for your clinic appointment. This will be displayed on the TV screens when the Doctors is ready to call you.
There are always nurses and reception staff around to help you if you need any assistance. For more information, please see our Self Check-In page.
We try our best to ensure that our clinics run on time, but unforeseen delays can occasionally happen and our staff should keep you informed.
- Waiting times for planned care referrals (August 2023)
Your consultation and students
Our doctors work in teams under the leadership of a consultant and you will be seen a senior member of the team who is familiar with your case. You may not always see the consultant named on your letter or the same doctor every time you visit.
As a teaching hospital, there may be medical or nursing students present during your consultation. If you would rather they were not there please let a member of staff know.
After your consultation
If you need further tests or investigations the clinic nurse will explain what you need to do or where you need to go. If the doctor would like you to book a follow-up appointment you can do this at the outpatients reception.
You may receive a follow-up phone call after your appointment asking for feedback about our outpatient’s service.
Patients / visitors who wish to make recordings
It is Trust policy, with the clinician’s consent, to allow patients/visitors to photograph or film themselves whilst on Trust premises. However, under no circumstances are patients/visitors allowed to make any recording which might include another patient/visitor/member of staff without their express consent. Trust staff have the right to ask patients/visitors to refrain from making recordings if they deem it to be inappropriate in any way.
Changing Places Facilities
We have a Changing Places room in Outpatients Ashford on the first floor.
At St Peter's, the room is behind the cafe in the main outpatients reception.
This facility is open 08.30 – 18.00.
Changing Places toilets are different to standard accessible toilets (or "disabled toilets") as they have extra features and more space to meet the needs of people who use them.