We offer video outpatient appointments to as many patients as possible so that we can continue caring for patients whilst maintaining social distancing within our hospitals.
Not every patient will be suitable for a video appointment. Your healthcare professional will make a decision, based on clinical information, about whether video appointments are suitable for you, e.g. if you need to come to hospital to have tests or be physically assessed.
Remember, please do not attend hospital if you are showing any symptoms of the coronavirus.
Benefits of video appointments
Using video calls with patients is something that has been done for many years around the world; it is seen as a safe and effective way to care for patients, who do not need to be physically assessed by their healthcare professional.
Video appointments have many benefits for patients, including removing the need to take the day off from work, travel to hospital, pay for parking and wait in a waiting area for your appointment. Instead, you are able to have your appointment from the comfort of your own home. A friend or family member in another location can join the appointment as your representative by also using the link in your appointment letter, just let your health professional know they are waiting to join you. Your healthcare professional can also share scans and results with you on-screen within the video call.
Our video appointment systems are very secure and have been tested before being used with patients. The security of the systems is supported by ‘end-to-end encryption’ which stops any data being read or secretly modified.
Fifteen minutes before your appointment time, you will receive a text message and/or email with a link to your appointment.
Your appointment time is approximate. Your healthcare professional will attempt to join you on the video call as close as possible to the appointment time. Please be patient if there is a delay.
What do I need to do?
As a patient using the service, you will need an internet-enabled device that allows video calling. This may be a smartphone, tablet, or a laptop or desktop computer with a web camera and built-in speakers and microphone.
The call will be free if you use free Wi-Fi or home internet. If your network uses mobile data for the call then please expect to similar amount of mobile data to a Skype or FaceTime call, and you won’t use any data while you wait for someone to join you.
If you do not have access to a suitable device, please call the Outpatients Booking Team on 01227 868686 and they will look to offer a telephone appointment instead.
Getting ready for your video appointment
Please make sure that the device you are using for your appointment (mobile phone, tablet or computer) is fully charged and working properly and that you have a compatible web browser installed - one of Google Chrome (free), Apple Safari (version 12.2 or higher), or Microsoft Edge. When you receive notification that your waiting room is active, shortly before your appointment, your text message invites you to test your device to detect any sound or video issues with your appointment.
Please make sure that you are in a quiet room with good lighting
Please do not sit in a location with a window (or light source) behind you, as this will make it hard for your health professional to see you properly
Please use a strong internet connection, such as Wi-Fi broadband internet or a 4G/5G connection. If you can watch a video online (e.g. on YouTube) without any problems, then your internet connection should be suitable.
What to expect shortly before your appointment
Fifteen minutes before the time of your appointment visit the link on your text or email.
If you do not receive the link, please call the telephone number listed on your appointment letter for assistance.
Click on the link in the text message/email or enter it into your web browser on your computer/phone/tablet.
Please read carefully the bullet points on screen and click next.
Your equipment will then be tested. Click through the steps to test your internet connection, speaker, microphone and video are all working correctly.
You will now wait in your own waiting room for the clinician to join the call.
When the clinician joins, click next.
Allow access to your microphone and camera so your clinician can see you and hear you.
Then click 'join call'.
You will be automatically ‘opted-in’ to using video calling for your future appointments, this will be done after an individual review by your healthcare professional of your suitability for video appointments. If you have not been offered a video appointment but would like to have one, please speak to your healthcare professional to discuss your suitability for this.
If you have been offered a video appointment and do not want to have video calls with your healthcare professional, please call the Outpatients Booking Team on 01227 868686 and they can make alternative arrangements with you.
To cancel or change your appointment, please call the Outpatients Booking Team on 01227 868686 or you can cancel or change your appointment.
Please give at least 48 hours’ notice before cancelling, so that we can offer the appointment to another patient.
If you do not attend for your video appointment, or you change or cancel your appointment more than once, we may not be able to offer you another appointment date.
Help using eClinic video appointments
Use the eClinic troubleshooting guide for help connecting to your eClinic video appointment.