Video appointments

Outpatient appointments

Links to join video appointments

We've changed the system we use to do video appointments from Attend Anywhere to Microsoft Teams.

Any links to join video appointments sent before 5 October 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.

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

The animation begins with a mother, carrying her baby, standing on a busy train. All the seats are taken. Her baby is crying. A female narrator with a south east London accent begins talking.

Narrator: We know travelling to appointments can cost time, energy and money.

The scene switches to the same mother who is at home. She is sitting on a chair, relaxed, with her laptop on her knees. In the background, her baby is asleep in a cot. There is bright, upbeat background music playing.

Narrator: With video appointments, you can access your appointment securely, in a place that’s convenient for you.

The scene changes to a different female patient, standing next to 3 large numbers in a vertical list, showing as ‘1’, ‘2’ and ‘3’, with 1 at the top. This displays the different steps to get started.  The female patient points to each number.

Narrator: Here’s how to get started

The view changes to a smartphone, with the patient’s hands in view. A notification pops up on the smartphone, showing the patient has a text message. The patient opens the text message, which includes a link to a video appointment.

Narrator: We send your appointment details and a link to join by text the day before your appointment.

The view switches to the same female patient, who is standing next to an oversized smartphone displaying appointments on the MyChart app. There is a button for ‘Pre-appointment information’. She clicks the button, which opens a new screen with a questionnaire, showing 2 questions which read ‘Difficulty sleeping?’ And ‘Vomiting or feeling sick?’ Both questions have ‘yes’ and ‘no’ options. The female patient ticks an option for each question, and a ‘continue’ button at the bottom turns green.

Narrator: You can also see the details on our MyChart app, where you can log any information we need, saving time in your appointment.

The scene changes, and icons of a camera, a mic, speakers, headphones, and WiFi flash on the screen.

Narrator: Make sure your device has a camera, mic, speakers, or headphones and internet connection.

An older man wearing headphones is sitting at his disk. He is using a computer, and testing out his camera and microphone.

Narrator: It’s a good idea to test these out before your appointment.

The scene changes, showing an older woman holding up an oversized smartphone. The smartphone displays a page with the title ‘larger text’. The older woman selects an option for larger sizes, and slides a toggle to increase her preferred reading size. The text on the smartphone gets bigger.

Narrator: If you have any accessibility needs

The same older woman is now in a video call window. A clinician is in another video call window, wearing headphones.  They are chatting happily.

Narrator: Tell the service before your appointment, so they know what support you’ll you need.

The scene switches the same female patient from earlier, who is sitting on a sofa with her young child. The lamp is on to show it is well-lit. The female patient is holding a tablet device, and places it on top of books which are on a table in front of them. 

Narrator: Pick a private, well-lit space.

The view is zoomed in to the female patient, and the view wobbles to show her steadying her device. She puts her child on her lap and has a notepad in her other hand.

Narrator: Steady your device, and have any questions ready.

The scene changes to a smartphone, with a patient’s hand in view. A notification pops up, showing the patient has a text message.

Narrator: We’ll send another reminder text before your appointment.

The patient picks up on the smartphone, and the time is showing as 14.58. The patient opens the text, and clicks the link in the text message. 

Narrator: Use the link to join the call on Microsoft teams a couple of minutes early.

The scene changes to the mother from the beginning of the video, in a video call window. There is a clock on top of the window. In the other video call window, there is no one there. The clock hands move to show time has passed. The mother waits patiently. The clinician joins, and waves at the mother. They chat happily.

Narrator: If the clinician is late, we appreciate your patience.

The older lady is at her laptop, which has an error message showing.

Narrator:  Problems joining?

The MyChart app shows on the laptop. There is a join call button, which the old lady presses.

Narrator: Reconnect using the link or wait for our call.

The view switches, and a smiling healthcare professional, holding a clipboard, is shown in the middle of the laptop screen. The older lady smiles up at the clinician from a video call window in the corner of the laptop screen.

Narrator: We’ll make sure you don’t miss out.

In this scene, there are 4 separate windows with all the patients from the animation, who are diverse in appearance. They are in their video appointments, happily chatting to their clinicians.

Narrator: With video appointments, you’ll still receive the same good quality of care, in a way that works for you.

The end screen reads: Ask your healthcare team about video appointments.

The end screen has the NHS logo in the top right corner, and in the bottom left lists: Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, and King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

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, 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 send you a text message to confirm your appointment has been booked, and a reminder 24 hours before. Please note that these will not include a link to join the call.
  2. We send you a link to join your video appointment by text message 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.

Some personal information is stored on the computer being used. It is important to know this, particularly if you're using a public or shared computer.

Read more about how your health records data is collected and used.

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.

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