Accompanying Patients to Outpatient & Primary Care Appointments
Updated Scottish Government guidance on accompanying patients to outpatient and primary care appointments has been published. The update intends to make clear who can be accompanied to appointments.
In general, patients should attend on their own. However, if thought essential, one dedicated person can attend with a patient.
Examples of situations where this might be important include, but are not restricted to:
- when a person may have difficulty understanding what treatment or course of action a clinician is discussing
- where a person has dementia, a learning disability or autism
- where a person is receiving bad news or information that is potentially life-changing
- where a person is receiving a cancer diagnosis or discussing cancer treatment options
- when a pregnant woman attends an appointment in any setting including an obstetric ultrasound (this would be a birth partner in most instances)
- where a person is distressed or stressed
In addition, consideration should also be given as to whether a family member or supporting person can attend a consultation virtually, for example, via an electronic platform or by phone, if a relative or friend cannot attend in person.
There may also be occasions where more than one accompanying person is required e.g. translator, mobility support.
The full Scottish Government guidance is available at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-outpatient-and-primary-care-consultations---principles/