The first visit
It is recommended that each patient allows a full day for their first visit and they bring a friend or relative. The friend or relative can stay with the patient for the chat that staff have with patients before starting chemotherapy.
When the patient is having their treatment, friends or relatives can wait in the waiting area, use hospital cafes or return later to collect the patient at the end of that day’s treatment.
At this visit, staff may:
• introduce the patient to the team who will look after them
• take some blood samples
• check patient’s height and weight
• discuss the treatment with the patient and answer any questions they may have
• check each patient is happy for the treatment to go ahead and whether they have signed a consent form
• look at the veins on the patient’s hands and forearms (if they are having chemotherapy into a vein). If staff have any concerns about the veins they will discuss this with the patient and possibly suggest ways to make it easier for the patient to have treatment.
• give the patient their future appointment times
• check the patient has transport to and from the hospital
• give the patient contact numbers they can call at any time
• check if the patient is taking any other medication. All patients are requested to bring all the medicines they are currently taking including over-the counter and alternative remedies.