Before you leave your appointment make sure you know the following:

What might be wrong? You could ask the following questions:

● Can I check that I’ve understood what you said? What you’re saying is…

● Can you explain it again? I still don’t understand.

● Can I have a copy of any letters written about me?

What about any further tests, such as blood tests, scans and so on?

● What are the tests for?

● How and when will I get the results?

● Who do I contact if I don’t get the results?

About what treatment, if any, is best for you

● Are there other ways to treat my condition?

● What do you recommend?

● Are there any side effects or risks?

● How long will I need treatment for?

● 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 should stop or avoid doing?

● Is there anything else I can do to help myself?

What happens next and who to contact

●What happens next? Do I 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, a support group or more help?

Top tips

Before your appointment

● Write down your two or three most important questions.

● List or bring all your medicines and pills – including vitamins and supplements.

● Write down details of your symptoms, including when they started and what makes them better or worse.

● Ask your hospital or surgery for an interpreter or communication support if needed.

● Ask a friend or family member to come with you, if you like.

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 written down and 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?’

– you know what should happen next – and when. Write it down.


– who to contact if you have any more problems or questions

– about support groups and where to go for reliable information, and

– for copies of letters written about you – you are entitled to see these.

After your appointment, don’t forget the following

● Write down what you discussed and what happens next. Keep your notes.

● Book any tests that you can and put the dates in your diary.


– ‘what’s happening if I’m not sent my appointment
details,’ and

– ‘can I have the results of any tests?’ (If you don’t get the results when you expect – ask for them.) Ask what the results mean.

Download The Questions to Ask at Doctors & Hospital Appointments Factsheet

To find out more about the ISG or become a member please get in touch in one of the following ways: 

By Phone

0800 368 9621

By Email: 

[email protected]