We have partnered with DrDoctor to offer patients the option to have video consultations with their care team.
Video consultations are an easy way for you to have your appointment, without needing to travel to hospital and offer a safe and easy alternative to face-to-face appointments.
This short video introduction will help to explain how it works (please see also 'How video consultations work' below):
If you have been offered a video consultation, you will receive a text message with a secure DrDoctor link.
If you do not want a video consultation, please let us know as soon as possible, by calling the number on your appointment letter or text message; if we have enough notice, we will offer it to another patient.
How video consultations work
Step 1: We will notify you
We will notify you of your video consultation by text message or letter.
Your appointment letter and reminder text message will notify you that your appointment will be a video consultation, as well as the date and time of your appointment.
Log in to DrDoctor and view information about your appointment, or access the appointment via the NHS app.
Step 2: Check what you need
Check that you have what you will need for your video consultation:
- A smart phone, tablet or computer with a camera and speaker (these are usually built into your device)
- A good connection to the internet, we recommend using wi-fi where possible which may have a better connection and will not use your mobile data allowance.
- A quiet, well-lit room where you will not be disturbed. If you are by a bright light, like a window, sit so the light is on your face not behind you.
- A table or surface to prop your device on, so your camera stays steady during the call.
Remember the following tips for setting up your video consultation:
- Ensure you are in a quiet space, where you are unlikely to be disturbed
- Choose a place where you can't be overheard, to protect your confidentiality
- Be ready with a list of your medication, any changes to medication and dosages, and any over-the-counter remedies you are taking
- Wear your reading glasses and your hearing aid if you need them
- Have a pen and paper handy to make notes
For Apple devices (IOS and MAC) you should use the default Safari browser, for Windows and Android, devices we recommend using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
Step 3: Text message prompt
We will send you a text message prompt 1-2 hours before your appointment with a secure DrDoctor link to your video consultation.
Step 4: Click on the link
Click this link a few minutes before your appointment to go straight to your private video consultation waiting room.
We recommend that you join a few minutes before so you can test your audio and video before your clinician joins.
Step 5: Wait for your clinician to join
Please wait for your clinician to join you in the virtual consultation room.
You may need to wait a while if the clinic is running late so please stay on the call.
If your clinician is running behind, they may send you a message within the video consultation to let you know.
Step 6: If there's a problem
If there is any difficulty your clinician will phone you on your mobile number.
Frequently asked questions
A video consultation is an appointment that takes place between a patient/service user and a clinician over video, as opposed to face-to-face or over the telephone. You will receive the same quality of care as you would in a face-to-face appointment.
There are lots of benefits to using video consultations, including:
- Saving patients, their families and carers time and money by removing the need to travel to an appointment
- Giving patients the flexibility to have their consultations in a place that is convenient to them
- Reducing disruption to a patient’s day, by reducing the amount of time they need to attend an appointment
- Reducing carbon emissions associated with travel
Video consultations are suitable for many patients who do not need a physical examination and who are able to communicate via video. You will only be invited to a video consultation if the clinician in charge of your care believes it is right for you. If you require support or are concerned about using video technology, please phone number on your appointment letter.
You will only be invited to a video consultation if the clinician in charge of your care believes it is right for you. If your clinician decides during your video call that you need a physical examination, you will be offered a face-to-face appointment.
If a video consultation is your preference, you should let us know and we will do our best to accommodate this. Video consultations might not always be suitable – for example, if you need a test or physical examination. If that is the case, you will need to attend your appointment face-to-face.
Yes. If they are in the same location as you, it is possible to have someone with you during your video consultation. You should let your clinician know if you have someone with you at the start of your appointment. There is also an option to invite a family member, friend, carer or interpreter to join the call from another location if required – please let your clinician know.
If you know you are running late for your consultation, please call the number on your letter to inform us. All reasonable attempts will be made for you to be seen, but if this is not possible you will be rebooked into the next available appointment, which may mean a delay in your care.
The video call is free except for your internet usage.
You should let your clinician know straight away if you are experiencing any problems seeing or hearing them. It could be that you need to check your device has access to its camera and microphone through your device settings. If you are unable to resolve the issue, it may be possible to finish your appointment by telephone. If this isn’t possible, your clinician will reschedule your appointment.