Preparing for an appointment

Writing on a Notebook

Whether it’s your initial GP appointment, an annual review with the practice nurse or a consultation with a hospital specialist, it can help to prepare in advance to get the most out of your appointment.

Here are some top tips to consider before, during and after your appointment - Click here

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many consultations are now by telephone or video, but this doesn’t change what these appointments are about - getting things right for you!


It’s really important before any consultation to consider what is important to you. For example, with your painful knee, did you want advice on pain control, support with exercises or to discuss a potential knee replacement? This will help you work out with your clinician what is the best option for you.

Some people prefer a clinician to make decisions on their behalf. However, if the clinician decides to refer you to a surgeon to discuss a knee replacement, this may be pointless if you don’t want surgery. Equally, if you asked for an x-ray of your knee and the clinician requested it, they could be over-investigating your problem, since x-rays rarely change how we manage knee pain due to osteoarthritis.

Doctor and Patient
Image by CDC

A conversation between a patient and clinician is a conversation between two experts - you on your own health and circumstances and your clinician, on the benefits and harms of different healthcare approaches.


Thinking about your priorities and sharing these with the clinician can make sure your concerns are addressed and that your plan of care is tailored to your own preferences.

Preparing for an appointment

Finding information about my health problems

Making treatment decisions

Helping to improve care for patients