What to expect in clinic

When you first arrive

When you arrive, please go to the reception desk where a member of our team will be able to help you.

If you booked an appointment

Please arrive 10 minutes before your appointment time. If you have a booking reference number, please bring it with you. This number was text messaged to your mobile phone on booking the appointment. If appropriate, you will be directed to one of our kiosks in order to register yourself for your appointment.

Please note that if you arrive more than 10 minutes late for your appointment, you may not be seen.

If you didn't book and are coming for a walk-in appointment

If you do drop in, please go to the reception desk where the receptionist will be able to check that we have an available slot for you.

Please note that walk-in appointments are only available at designated clinics. To find a clinic which offers walk-in appointments, please use our service locator.

Service locator

Registration

Our receptionist will ask you to complete registration details and will then direct you to a waiting area.

You may notice that some patients arriving after you are called in before you. This is because we run different clinics.

Interpreter

We can arrange for an interpreter to be available for people whose first language is not English.

If possible, please let us know in advance if you require an interpreter.

Waiting time at the clinic

We will try and keep waiting times to a minimum, but sometimes appointments do overrun.

If you’re coming to an Umbrella clinic for a full sexual health check-up, please allow two hours for your visit.

Please note that walk-in appointments are offered on a “first come, first served” basis, so if you do drop in without booking an appointment you may have to wait longer to be seen.

Please note that walk-in appointments are only available at designated clinics. To find a clinic which offers walk-in appointments, please use our service locator.

Service locator

In the clinic room

When called to the clinic room, you will be seen by a doctor or a nurse. A chaperone may also be present and may take specimens.

There may also be a medical student or other trainees present in the room. If you feel uncomfortable with this, please tell the doctor or nurse.

You’ll be asked some further questions about your current problem, your general health and sexual history, including your sexual orientation.

If you are being tested for a sexually transmitted infection (STI)

Patients without any symptoms may be seen for a quick test. Allocation to this clinic depends on your replies to the registration questions during online booking or at the registration kiosk. These patients need to wait for their turn to be seen.

If you have symptoms, the doctor or nurse will need to examine you and test you for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This may include a blood test.

Receiving test results

Depending on the tests, some of the results may be ready on the day of your visit. If we find an infection during your visit, you’ll be given treatment straight away.

Most results take up to one week to be ready. Some test results may take a bit longer. Your result will be automatically sent to your mobile as a text message. This is the fastest method to be informed of your test result.

Some patients don’t want us to text their test results to their mobiles. If you choose not to have your results texted to you, we’ll send your results by post or telephone (whichever they have chosen) only if a result is positive (“abnormal”). Receiving results this way may take longer than by text.

If you have no reliable way for us to contact you, or you want to receive results whatever they are, we’ll make an appointment for you to come back. Please make sure you keep your appointment. This is the slowest way of receiving your test results.

If you tested positive for an infection

If your test was positive for any infection, you can return to the clinic for free treatment. In order to reduce the chance of complications, it's important your infection is treated as soon as possible.

Our trained health advisors and nurses will provide you with information on the infection and its complications if left untreated.

Any sexual partner(s) you’ve had in the past three months will also need to be tested and treated for the infection. Treating your partner(s) will reduce the spread of the infection and development of its complications.

Our staff will help you to inform your partners in a timely manner without compromising your confidentiality. Contact sexual partners to notify them of an STI is called contact tracing.

More on contact tracing