Where possible, outpatient appointments will now take place by video or phone.
A video appointment (sometimes called a virtual appointment) is the same as your usual face-to-face appointment at the hospital or community clinic but conducted over a video link instead. This is done using a secure system called Attend Anywhere.
If you have been offered a video appointment, do not come to the hospital as you will not be seen.
Why am I having a video appointment?
To improve outpatient services, we are increasing the number of clinic appointments delivered by video or phone. This limits people’s exposure to Covid, flu and other infections that could be caught in a hospital or clinic. Patients have told us that it reduces the need to take time off work and avoids the difficulties of travelling to the hospital and parking.
Your health professional has reviewed your condition and decided that it is safe for your appointment to take place via video.
A good connection to the internet. If you can watch a video online (such as on YouTube), you can make a video call.
A web-camera, speakers and microphone. These are usually already built into laptops and mobile devices.
Good Wi-Fi signal, if you are connecting using Wi-Fi.
If you are using a mobile device such as a tablet or phone, try to connect using Wi-Fi to avoid using your mobile data allowance.
Use one of following web browsers.
Is it secure?
Video calls are secure. Your privacy is protected.
You will have your own private video room that only authorised health professionals can enter.
How much data will I use if I am not connecting via Wi-Fi?
You don’t use any data while you are waiting for a health professional to join you. Once the video call begins, you will use a similar amount of data to Skype or FaceTime.
How much does a video call cost?
The video call is free except for data usage (details above).
How should I prepare?
You need to be in a quiet, well-lit area where you can talk privately with the health professional without being disturbed.
Have a list of your current medicines.
Have your appointment letters available and any other documents connected to your condition.
Have pen and paper ready in case you want to take notes.
Please test your connection in advance, and that your camera and microphone work. You can do this via the Kingston Hospital video call web page. You can access this using the link or QR code in Box 2, above.
For privacy reasons, please do not record your appointment.
A family member, friend or carer may join you at the video appointment if they need to be there to support you.
What happens if I can’t get into the waiting room at my appointment time?
Check your device has access to your camera and microphone.
Please tell the department straight away if you have any technical problems with the video call by phoning the number at the top of your appointment letter.
If you miss your appointment, including any situation where you are unable to attend the video appointment and do not contact us to explain, the healthcare professional will decide on the next step. This could include re-booking your appointment or discharging you back to your GP. Contact us on the phone number at the top of your appointment letter if you have any concerns about this.
Following your appointment, you will be asked to fill out an online satisfaction survey. This is important to help us to improve our services.
What happens if I need an interpreter?
We can arrange for an interpreter to be on the video call with your health professional. Ask a family member or friend to phone the hospital department (the number is on the appointment letter) at least 3 days before your appointment and tell us which language is needed.
What should I do if I have a special communication need?
If you have special communication needs – for example, you are deaf or have a learning difficulty – ask a friend or relative to phone your hospital department (the number is on the appointment letter). They can then discuss the best way for you to access your appointment.
Top tips for getting the most out of your appointment
Before your appointment
Write down your two or three most important questions. See the list below for some suggestions.
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 have covered everything on your list and check that you understand what was said. If you are not sure, ask for more information – 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, and how to contact them.
Ask about support groups and where to go for reliable information.
Ask for copies of letters written about you. You are entitled to see these.
Keep your notes from the discussion.
If you need tests, book them as soon as you can and put the dates into your diary.
Questions that you may find useful during your appointment
Questions about tests
What are the tests for? How will I get the results? How long will the results take to come? 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?
If you have any questions about your appointment, call the number at the top of your appointment letter.
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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