Questions to Ask
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?
Who do I contact if I don’t get the results?
How and when will I 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?
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
- 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 reliableinformation, and
- for copies of letters written about you – you are entitled to see these.
After your appointment, don’t forget
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.