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Taking the first step to booking an appointment for your health or medical needs, can feel quite daunting. Especially if you do not have any experience in the area and you are unfamiliar with what to expect. Before you choose a clinic for a routine appointment, a free consultation, a procedure or treatment, there are a few things to consider.

Initially you need to establish the type of care that you need. You may have researched online or spoken to friends/family or your GP. Once you have established who you need to see it is important to research different providers. Online reviews are a great resource and easily accessible. It is crucial that you seek help from a reputable healthcare provider who follows the government guidelines and has the credentials required to offer you the care that you are seeking.

Location may also be a factor. If you require multiple appointments you may wish to look close to home/work. For some health/medical care it can be worth travelling further away to get a higher level of care and service.

If you have medical or health insurance, it may be worth contacting your insurance company to see if they cover the cost of treatment/procedure and always check the policy limits and excess.

To aid a smooth and efficient initial appointment it may be worth preparing any paperwork that you may be asked for. It can often take time to retrieve information from clinics/hospitals/GP’s etc but it will save time to have everything ready beforehand. If you are currently taking any medications, perhaps make a note of these to take with you.

Another way to best prepare for an initial appointment or free consultation is to put together a list of questions to take with you. This will help in your decision process and give you a fuller picture of what to expect. If you are provided with a treatment plan and information leaflets, you must read these carefully so that you can make an informed decision at a later date.