Video consultations

We currently have two methods for video consultations, AccuRx video and Patient Access, the differences are explained below. Please tell the Care Navigator which one you would like to book, as the procedure is different for the clinician calling you. We've also given a few Top Tips for you below...

AccuRx video

When the clinician is ready to start they will send you an SMS text message with a link. The link will open your smartphone's browser and launch a web-based video chat (instructional video below).

Advantages

  • You don't need an existing online services account
  • You don't need a computer, just a smartphone
  • There's no fixed time, the clinician can send the link to start a video call at any time

Disadvantages

  • You need a smartphone
  • There's no fixed time, the clinician could send the link to start a video call at any time
  • It doesn't have any other functionality like the NHS App, Patient Access, Evergreen Life etc

Patient Access

Video consultations occur through the Patient Access app itself (on your phone or tablet), or in a web browser when logged in to your Patient Access account on the website, and needs to have an appointment booked in a clincian's surgery

Advantages

  • Those with a computer but no smartphone are still able to access video calls (for example care home residents using the home's laptop)
  • The appointment is at a booked time, so you know roughly when the clinician will call you
  • There are multiple other features and benefits to Patient Access apart from video (booking appointments, repeat medication requests, viewing results), this is just one of the features it offers. See our online access page for more information

Disadvantages

  • Patient Access needs to be set-up in advance with a linkage key obtained from reception so it can't be used if you have an urgent problem and don't already have it set up.
  • The appointment is at a booked time, so there's little flexibility for the clinician to call at a time outside a structured surgery appointment list.

The software providers have a help page with more detail about setting up and joining a video consultation.

Top tips

  • Consider sending an eConsult before your appointment - this way you can submit lots of information about your condition and symptoms ahead of the video call. This means both you and the doctor can make the most of the call time, as the doctor will have chance to review your notes before the call.
  • For obvious reasons, please don't book a video call if your problem is going to need the doctor to physically examine you. If you have a video call but the doctor needs to see you they will arrange a face to face appointment. If you're not sure whether you'll need examining, send an eConsult about it first, and we'll let you know.
  • Make sure you have a fast enough connection - a good 4G signal on mobile, or strong Wi-Fi connection to fast broadband. The call either won't connect or will drop out if the connection isn't strong enough.
  • Think about your lighting - if you have a window or light behind you making the background is too bright, the camera will try and balance the exposure by making the whole image darker - meaning you may be barely visible. Make sure the light is in front of you, lighting your face. In general a room that's brightly lit is best - sit by a window in the daytime or make sure you've turned all the lights on if it's dark outside.
  • Consider using earphones with a built in microphone - not only for privacy if other people are around, but it will greatly enhance the audio quality for both you and the doctor.