Video consultations will enable appointments to continue during pandemic

Video consultations are being offered to some patients at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust starting from this week.

Attend Anywhere is a secure NHS video service which allows patients to be seen in a virtual clinic. They’ll be able to see their clinician remotely through a video feed on their devices, including phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers.

It will enable both patients and clinicians to continue with appointments during the Covid-19 pandemic, preventing unnecessary travel and reducing the risk of transmission of the virus.

The first two specialities to start using Attend Anywhere are Cardiology and Respiratory with others set to go live in coming weeks.

Jackie France, General Manager, Patient Access said: “This is a big step forward for the Trust which will help us to support our patients both during the pandemic and beyond. Not only does it enable us to keep appointments going now, but in the future it will provide patients with greater flexibility around their appointments, saving them time and money on travel.”

The Trust was aiming to move towards using video technology later in the year, but Attend Anywhere is now being rolled out nationally as part of the NHS response to the pandemic. The programme has been funded by NHS England and NHS Improvement for the next 12 months.

Over the past few weeks the Trust has been reducing face-to-face appointments where possible. The rollout of video consultation will enable both clinicians and patients in the ‘shielding’ category, or those that are self-isolating, to continue with their appointments.

Jackie added: “It is vital we can keep some of our regular appointments going. Our priority right now is fighting Covid-19 but we also need to remember there are patients with ongoing health conditions that need our support too.”

Depending on the speciality patients may be offered a phone consultation rather than a video call and some patients will continue to be seen in person due to the nature of their appointment.

Patients who are offered a video consultation will be provided with all of the relevant information they require ahead of their appointment and will be able to access the video consultation via the Trust website at www.nlg.nhs.uk/patients/video-consultations

There is no need for patients to download any special software and the system is very user friendly. The system is secure, any data is transferred securely and no data is stored after the call ends.

Patients will be contacted directly to be offered a video consultation. It is for pre-arranged appointments only.