Video consultations in secondary care

Video consultations are appointments that take place between a patient and a health care professional over video, as opposed to face to face or over the telephone.

They are often more convenient for patients, saving them time and money and reducing the stress of travelling to their appointments. This means patients are less likely to cancel or not attend their appointments. It also means less pollution which helps us reduce our carbon emissions, creating a healthier environment which benefits us all.

Video consultations also offer benefits for health care professionals, reducing travel time and stress, and enabling more flexible working, meaning more time to spend with patients.

Video consultations have played an important role in the NHS response to the COVID-19 pandemic, helping NHS trusts and foundation trusts reduce the number of physical attendances at their sites.

To accelerate access and uptake across all secondary care settings, including mental health and community services during the outbreak, NHS England and NHS Improvement procured and funded a national licence to a video consultation platform. This gave all NHS trusts and foundation trusts the option to use the platform for 12 months (until 31 March 2021). Implementation support was also provided, along with information governance support and a helpdesk for trusts.

In 2021/22 trusts and systems have locally procured solutions that best suit the needs of their local population.

We continue to support NHS providers embed, spread and sustain video and telephone consultations across their secondary care services.

Resources

These resources will support NHS providers implement and embed video consultations.

For more information, resources and queries, please contact nhsi.nationalvideoteam@nhs.net