Video consultations - quick guide for clinicans

Video consulting with your patients

Video consultations may be a useful tool to see some of your patients during the pandemic. Below is a quick guide to help you and your patient prepare for a video consultation and get the most out of it.

Barts Health staff should also see the BH Weshare pages with information about setting up at Barts Health in the current crisis;

Infromation for patients, including a downloadable patient quick guide, is available at;

Why choose it?

Panel 1

Preparing for a video consultation

During the current Covid 19 crisis outpatient appointments are being re-arranged at speed and patients may need to be contacted by phone with instructions for their video appointment.

Panel 2

Starting a video consultation

Panel 3During the Covid 19 crisis, NHSX have published new guidance to say that 'the consent of the patient or service user is implied by them accepting the invite and entering the consultation. But you should safeguard personal/confidential patient information in the same way you would with any other consultation', see‚Äč

Communicating in a video consultation

Panel 4

Closing a video consultation

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With thanks to

With thanks to

About video consultations at Barts Health

Outpatient services can be difficult for many people to attend and do not always meet the needs of patients. This often leads to high rates of non-attendance at appointments and poor patient engagement, resulting in poor health outcomes and greater use of emergency care, plus rising costs.

Research has shown that doing outpatient consultations via video rather than face to face has the potential to address some of the well-recognised problems with current outpatient care. However, implementing video consultations within routine practice in the NHS is challenging. 

We have been exploring the use of video consultations since 2011 for patients who do not need to physically come to the hospital and attend an appointment. Our team has gained significant expertise, resulting in improved attendance rates, patient experience and a reduction in carbon footprint associated with outpatient appointments (see publications below). 

We have developed these resources to help guide other organisations from our research findings and experience.

Our team was selected by the Health Foundation, an independent charity, in October 2017 to be part of a £3.5 million improvement programme. The Scaling Up Improvement programme supports seven projects in the UK to take their proven healthcare innovation and make them work at larger scale to have a positive impact on patient outcomes. 

Our project builds on the work we have done so far and examines how we can work with a range of local and national partners including local commissioners, NHS England, NHS Digital and Microsoft to scale this up locally and nationally and develop standardised national level policy for the practice. The work will be evaluated by academic leads at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Science at the University of Oxford.

The project team will create a virtual consultation unit within Barts Health which will facilitate local spread and national roll-out of virtual consultations by supporting sites who are interested in using this type of consultation. The unit will provide clinical, technical, management and administrative expertise; demonstration clinics so that teams can observe virtual consultations in real time; workshops; and an online forum and resource directory. The project team’s ultimate aim is to create a national network of sites who can learn from each other’s experiences.

Working with national-level decision-makers, the project team also aims to develop a national policy around the use of video consultations, including tariff, technology, governance and staff training. The team will also work with a technology provider to test the various options for web consultations.

Patient case study


Meet the team

  • Sir Sam Everington: Chair of Tower Hamlets CCG
  • Bob Gann: Specialist Advisor CQC,  Digital Inclusion Lead – NHS Digital, Junction Digital Consulting
  • Dr Charles Gutteridge: Chief Information Officer, Barts Health NHS Trust
  • Luke Readman, Chief Information Officer East London Health & Care Partnership
  • Prof. Trisha Greenhalgh: Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences, Nuffield Dept Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford
  • Dr Sara Shaw: Sociologist, Nuffield Department Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford
  • Dr Harpreet Sood: Associate Chief Clinical Information Officer at NHS England and NHS Doctor
  • Paul Thomas: Digital Advisor, Microsoft
  • Dr Joseph Wherton: Research Fellow, Nuffield Department Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford
  • Dr Chrysanthi Papoutsi: Research Fellow, Nuffield Department Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford
  • Dr Shanti Vijayaraghavan: Clinical Lead, Diabetologist, Barts Health NHS Trust
  • Dr Joanne Morris: Project / Research Manager, Barts Health NHS Trust
  • Alice Morrisey: Project Manager, Barts Health NHS Trust