Where possible, outpatient appointments will now take place virtually.
A video appointment (sometimes called a virtual appointment) is the same as your normal face-to-face appointment but conducted over a video link via Attend Anywhere instead of at the hospital or community clinic.
This leaflet explains what this means for you.
If you have been offered a video appointment, please do not come to the hospital as you will not be seen.
As part of our work to improve outpatient services we are increasing the number of clinic appointments delivered by video link or phone. Patients have told us that this reduces the need to take time off work and reduces time spent travelling to the hospital and parking.
We are also doing this to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Your health professional has reviewed your condition and decided that it is safe for your hospital appointment to take place via video.
What will happen?
Your hospital appointment letter gives you the time and date of your appointment which will take place using Attend Anywhere.
You will be able to access your appointment and taken to the waiting area of Attend Anywhere.
The health professional delivering the appointment will admit you to your appointment.
It is possible that preceding appointments have over-run which means you may have to wait for a short period of time until you are seen.
What do I need to have a video appointment?
A good connection to the internet, if you can watch a video online (such as YouTube), you can make a video call.
A private, well-lit area where you will not be disturbed during the consultation.
A location that has a good Wi-Fi signal. If you are using a tablet or phone and if you can, connect to a work or public Wi-Fi network to avoid using your mobile data allowance.
One of following web browsers:
Google Chrome web browser on a desktop or laptop, or an Android tablet or smartphone
Safari web browser on an Apple iMac, MacBook, iPad, or iPhone
Web-camera, speakers and microphone which are normally already built into laptops and mobile devices.
Is it secure?
Video calls are secure; your privacy is protected.
You have your own private video room that only authorised health professionals can enter.
How much data will I use?
You don’t use any data while you are waiting for a health professional to join you.
A video call uses a similar amount of data to Skype or FaceTime.
How much does a video call cost?
The video is free except for internet usage. A video call uses a similar amount of data to Skype or FaceTime.
How should I prepare?
You need to be in a quiet, well-lit area where you can talk privately.
Have a list of your current medication and any documentation relevant to your condition or appointment to hand.
Have pen and paper ready to write down any notes.
Please test your connection in advance of your appointment (you can do this via the Kingston Hospital video call web page above).
Please do not record your appointment.
If a family member, friend or carer usually comes with you to your hospital appointments, please ask them to be with you for your video appointment.
What happens if I can’t get in the waiting room at my appointment time?
Don’t worry if you cannot access the waiting area on the day of your appointment. If your doctor or nurse cannot see you in the waiting room, they will contact you on the telephone numbers we hold for you.
Your consultation will be conducted by telephone or, if a face-to-face appointment is required this can be arranged.
Please tell the health professional straight away if you if you are experiencing any technical problems with the virtual clinic. Check your device has access to your camera and microphone. If you are still having difficulty, your consultation can continue by telephone if this is possible for you.
What happens if I miss my appointment?
The healthcare professional will then decide on the next step, which could include re booking your appointment or discharging you back to your GP. Please contact us on the phone number at the top of your appointment letter if you have any concerns about this.
Following your consultation, you will be asked to fill out online satisfaction survey. This is important to help us continue to improve the service we provide to patients at Kingston Hospital.
What happens if I need an interpreter?
We can arrange for an interpreter to be on the video call with your health professional. Please ask a family member or friend to phone the hospital department at least 3 days before your appointment and tell us what language is needed.
What should I do if I have an accessible information need?
If you have special communication need because you are deaf or hard of hearing, or have a learning difficulty for example, please ask a friend of relative to phone your hospital department to discuss this.
Top tips for getting the most out of your appointment
Before your appointment
Write down your two or three most important questions.
Write down details of your symptoms, including when they started and what makes them better or worse.
During your appointment
Don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t understand. For example, ‘Can you say that again? I still don’t understand.’
If you don’t understand any words, ask if they can be explained.
Write things down or ask a family member or friend to take notes.
Before you leave your appointment
Check that you’ve covered everything on your list you understand, for example ‘Can I just check I understood what you said?’
Make sure that you know what should happen next – and when. Write it down.
Ask who to contact if you have any more problems or questions.
Ask about support groups and where to go for reliable information and ask for copies of letters written about you – you are entitled to see these.
Keep your notes from the discussion.
Book any tests that you can and put the dates in your diary.
Questions that you may find useful during your appointment
Questions about tests
What are the tests for? How and when will I get the results? Who do I contact if I don’t get the results?
Questions about treatment
Are there other ways to treat my condition? What do you recommend? Are there any side effects or risks? How will I know if the treatment is working? How effective is this treatment? What will happen if I don’t have any treatment? Is there anything I can do to help myself?
What happens next? Do I need to come back and see you? Who do I contact if things get worse? Do you have any written information? Where can I go for more information? Is there a support group or any other source of help?
Please speak to a member of staff before or during your visit to the hospital if you require translation support to access Patient Information. Please ring the phone number on your appointment letter, if you have one.
Request More Information
Please contact the Patient Experience Team on 020 893 3850 if you need this information in a different format.
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