The platform delivers video call appointments – similar to Apple’s ‘facetime’ - between healthcare providers and patients. As well as saving many patients the inconvenience of travelling, and freeing up resources (parking and rooms) and clinicians’ time, it will also help patients who have mobility or serious health issues.
Attend Anywhere is being used successfully in NHS Scotland and last month we delivered the first part of the trial. Our renal consultant Emma Vaux linked to local GP Heike Veldtman, based at Thatcham Medical Centre via video conference.
Emma was keen to trial the new technology as she explains: “I love the face-to-face nature of the conversation... it feels very different to the usual email or telephone communications with a GP. I think our relationships will improve as a result and that can only be good for patients.
“It will feel very different when we start to do the same with patients - many will be tech-savvy, but there will also be those who are not and we have to be careful a screen does not get in the way.”
Attend Anywhere is a purpose built tool designed for healthcare. It will support the NHS Long Term Plan’s ambition of using digital technology to provide convenient ways for patients to access advice and care.
How will this work for patients?
Follow-up patients will be identified by clinicians at their physical face-to-face appointments and offered the choice of taking part in video conferencing. If they want to take part, they are sent an appointment letter with information and guidance on what to do.
Patients will enter a virtual waiting area via a button on the Trust website and wait in their own private video room. Clinicians are notified when a patient arrives, and will join the patient's video room from their computer, tablet or mobile device.
The next stage of the project will develop video appointments between clinicians and patients. Many specialties including physiotherapy, Berkshire Cancer Centre and Dingley community paediatrics have signed up to take part in the year-long pilot.
Our IT team is busy ensuring that the capability and IT resources are in place before go-live.