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Video appointments

Video appointments let you talk to a clinician using your smartphone, tablet or computer.

This can save you time and money as you will not need to travel to one of our hospitals. It can also help if you:

  • find it difficult to travel to hospital
  • feel more comfortable talking about your health in your own home

We’ve changed the system we use for video appointments

We’ve changed the system we use to do video appointments from eClinic to Microsoft Teams.

Any links to join video appointments sent before 5 October 2023 will not work. You will receive a new link 24 hours before your appointment, and a reminder 1 hour before.

We encourage you to sign up to MyChart, our app and online portal for patients. You can use MyChart to see your future appointment details and joining links.

Who can use video appointments

Your doctor or nurse will usually offer you a video appointment when:

  • a physical examination or test is not needed
  • it’s easier or beneficial for you to stay at home
  • it might be useful to see your home environment or at-home medical devices

You can still choose to come to the hospital. You can also return to having face-to-face appointments after a video appointment if you wish.

Preparing for a video appointment

Getting set up

You can use a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone for your video call. Just make sure it has:

  • a webcam
  • a microphone
  • speakers or headphones
  • and a reasonable internet connection.

It’s a good idea to test everything’s working a few days before your appointment. You could ask a family member or friend to help you with this. If you’re still worried about having a video call, contact the service that your appointment is with.

Telling us about your needs

Please tell us if you need any support for your video call, such as accessibility requirements. If you would like a family member, friend or carer to attend, please let the service know. They can send the link to additional people so they can join the video appointment.

You can also share the link with trusted people you’d like to attend yourself, but please note you’ll receive the link 24 hours before your appointment.

Your environment

Wherever you have your video call, make sure it’s quiet, private, and well-lit.

If you’re using a smartphone or tablet, it’s a good idea to prop it up on a table or use a stand, so your hands are free.

How video appointments work

  1. We’ll send you a text message to confirm your appointment has been booked. Please note that this will not include a link to join the call.
  2. We’ll send you a link to join your video appointment by text message 24 hours before your appointment, and again 1 hour before it’s due to start.
  3. A couple of minutes before your appointment is due to start, click on the link we sent you. This will open up Microsoft Teams. You do not need an account and you do not need to enter any information.
  4. You might need to wait for your clinician to join the call and greet you. Please be patient, as sometimes they might run late.
  5. At the end of your appointment, your clinician will end the call. We’ll send you any information you need afterwards, or arrange a follow-up appointment if you need one.

If the connection drops out

If the call disconnects, try re-joining the call by clicking on the link again. The clinician will also try to reconnect. If this cannot be done by video, they’ll try to call the phone number we have on your record and continue the appointment by telephone.

Please make sure the contact details we have for you are up to date.

Internet and data usage

The video call is free (except for your internet usage). A video call uses a similar amount of data to Skype or FaceTime.

Your data and privacy

How your data is used

No part of your online video appointment is recorded or permanently digitally stored.

The medical outcomes of the appointment are recorded and stored as part of your patient records held by the hospital. This happens in the same way as for face-to-face or phone appointments.

Security and privacy

Video calls are secure. Your privacy is protected. You have your own private video room that only you and authorised clinicians can enter.

Video consultations are securely encrypted. It’s your responsibility to have anti-spyware and anti-virus protection on the computer or phone you use for your video appointment.

If you are using a smartphone, this may be only as secure as any other phone call on that mobile network.