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Virtual access to care

What makes a good virtual appointment for people and for clinicians?

In 2022, people who are accessing virtual clinics, their carers, and the NHS clinicians, managers and IT teams who are supporting them from Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) and King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (KCH), came together to improve the virtual appointment experience.

Here you can find materials that could help you if you are designing virtual appointments or looking for ideas.

Here is the charter we designed together:

Virtual Charter

This is described by people who joined the workshops here:

A virtual consultation should be as good as a good face to face consultation. This is what a good consultation should be like:

Virtual Consultations

This is what the people accessing virtual appointments and the clinicians providing them said were the key priorities for improvement:

Trusts Must Sort

Click here to read our full report.

Click here to read our easy read Report.

If you are thinking about what to measure in terms of the patient experience of waiting, then its worth reading the Picker Institute Principles of Person Centred care

Our 4 'Best of the Best' resources for designing Virtual Access

  1. Top Tips for Patients and Clinicians for ‘Getting the most out of the virtual health and care experience’ (Healthwatch, 2020)
  2. ‘Video consulting in the NHS’ (Nuffield Dept of Primary Health Sciences, 2021). Guidance and resources for NHS patients and clinicians to support online consultations, including quick guides for staff and patients:
  3. 'Video consultations for secondary care' (NHSE, 2021): 
  4. Everything you need to know about the practice of virtual appointments in a paediatric setting, but relevant and transferable to adult settings. ‘Principles for conducting virtual consultations with children and young people’ (RCPCH, 2021): children-young-people

This programme was commissioned by the Joint Programme for Patient, Care and Public Involvement in COVID Recovery, which is a partnership between Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) including Evelina London Children's Hospital and Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals (RBH) and King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (KCH). It is funded, over two years, by Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity and King’s College Hospital Charity to ensure the involvement of patients, carers and the public in ongoing changes and the development of services necessitated by the COVID pandemic.

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