ROUTINE appointments for a number of clinics at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals are now being carried out via video conferencing.
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust has sped up the implementation of the Attend Anywhere technology due to the coronavirus pandemic. Attend Anywhere is a web-based platform which enables patients to keep their booked appointments without having to travel. All you need is a web camera, speakers and microphone already built into laptops, tablets and mobile devices.
Initially two clinics were offering the online service; paediatrics (children’s) and stroke. Now a total of nine routine clinics are operating the service including; Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), ophthalmology (eyes), maxillo-facial, joint health, spinal rehabilitation and dermatology with more scheduled to come on-line in the next few weeks.
Patients are able to choose between video, phone, or face-to face appointments where available and during the first week of the children’s clinic, nine out of ten chose to carry out a video conference.
If you have existing appointment with the clinics you will be able to choose to attend via video, be transferred into an online private waiting room and then be connected directly to your clinician.
Although video appointments have been offered for some time by some departments, including paediatrics, this is the first time the Trust has offered the service through a consistent service which is linked to its appointment systems.
While in the virtual waiting room you will hear music, but will not be able to see or hear other patients, and they will not see you. When the consultation is ready to begin, your image will shrink and move to the corner of the screen and you will see your clinician.
The video call is free (except your internet usage charge) and can be carried out on Android and Apple devices, including computers using Google Chrome (Edge or Internet Explorer are not yet supported).
Associate Professor Dr May Ng, Consultant Paediatrician and Paediatric Endocrinologist, for Southport and Ormskirk, Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to roll-out video appointments to more departments.
“I have held clinics via video conferencing for some time and there are clear benefits for people who lead very busy lives and might find it difficult to come into hospital with their children.
“Clearly, we are in very different times at the moment so restricting travel to only essential journeys is what we all must do. So it is great that we are able to offer routine appointments like this via video conferencing.
“I would, however, urge parents, carers or anyone who feels unwell or suffers an injury to still attend hospital, or their GP Surgery if they need to.
“We are still open for business for urgent and emergency issues and maintain an extremely high level of cleanliness and safety for patients. But keeping routine appointments by video conference, without the need for travel is an excellent step forward.”
To find out more about online appointments go to: https://www.southportandormskirk.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/appointments/video-consultation