Our outpatient services are driven by consultation with the patient: we put patients at the heart of their care, devising a treatment package that meets their needs, whether clinical, social, psychological or emotional. We are keen to design services around the convenience of patients, and are early adopters of the latest technologies and other resources available to meet those localised and particular requirements.
Outpatient treatment will begin with a consultation as described on the root page of this section: within a maximum of two weeks, and sometimes as little as 24 hours, after your diagnosis, you will see a healthcare professional and begin to build a management plan with them. HIV is a complex condition, and requires multi-layered treatment; as a big centre with a lot of resources, we will be able to help you at every stage.
We screen patients for complications, and where appropriate devise an ARV [antiretroviral] therapy appropriate to the individual and their HIV. We operate a close and constant assessment, management and monitoring system for patients on ARV treatment, to ensure that a given regimen remains effective and properly administered.
Our multidisciplinary team [MDT] is wide-ranging and involves a wide number of professionals and specialists, including one consultant virologist, two HIV consultants and a specialist HIV pharmacist. Under the direction of a highly qualified consultant, who will be named and known to you, and with full access to specialist HIV pharmacy services, the team will devise and manage your plan to ensure it suits both the patient and all relevant clinical guidance. We constantly review our patients’ progress, most especially those with detectable viral loads and multi-drug resistance.
Supporting you to achieve treatment adherence is important to us, but self-management is just as crucial to your continued health. We can help equip you to take ownership of your condition, providing sexual health and reproductive services to help you talk to your partners about your diagnosis, screen you for STIs, and offer contraception and pre-contraception care. We maintain excellent relationships with our colleagues in TB and hepatitis care, too, in order to ensure a seamless service.
Finally, we undertake referral and liaison functions with your GP and other primary care practitioners. In full consultation with you, and fully respecting your right to
confidentiality, we are eager to secure a holistic approach to your care. For instance, it’s important that you are not prescribed elsewhere drugs which may react badly to your ARV regime. Your non-HIV care will be affected by your HIV diagnosis; it’s important that we find ways to ensure
other specialities can therefore make informed decisions when you are not within the HIV care setting.
Crucially, we are constantly improving our service on the basis of the statistics we gather, including the CD4 counts of our patients when they commence treatment, retention in ARV therapy, and the prevalence of comorbidities and associated conditions. We undertake regular patient surveys to get a sense of how you feel about your treatment, too.
Most importantly, we want to respect you and your dignity: we have dedicated waiting areas for our HIV patients, respect your confidentiality and lifestyles, and provide a safe, secure environment for your treatment. Your welfare is important to us, and you will have 24/7 access to treatment and advice: our outpatients are never left to manage their condition alone.