'My video appointment was a really good experience'

Norma Reed, who was impressed by her ophthalmology video appointment. She is wearing a blue apron and smiling at the camera.

Published on 25 March 2021

‘If this is the future, bring it on!’

That’s the verdict from patient Norma Reed after attending a video appointment with East Kent Hospitals.

Mrs Reed was able to speak to an eye specialist via video call after developing worrying symptoms of double vision. And thanks to technology provided by the secure Attend Anywhere platform, the orthoptist was able to review her condition and recommend treatment.

Mrs Reed, from Westgate-on-Sea, said: “When I first heard it would be a video appointment I must admit it did send me into a bit of a panic.

“I have a laptop but I don’t use it, so it hasn’t updated and when I switched it on it was taking forever.

“I tried a practice call on my tablet but I couldn’t get the sound to work properly, so I clicked the link on my iPhone and it was so easy.”

The system connects people to a virtual waiting room where a receptionist checks their details, before they are put through to the clinician.

It is totally secure and free for patients to use.

Mrs Reed, who is 69, said: “Everyone was very polite and patient and it was a really good experience. With video appointments there is no need to leave home, no worrying about parking, and everyone stays safe.

“If this is the future, bring it on!”

Video appointments are offered to all new routine patients in the orthoptic service, and medics then triage them to the most appropriate clinic – which may be another video call or face-to-face appointment.

Head orthoptist Hilary Webb said: “It is definitely proving to be useful and many patients prefer video appointments to telephone or face-to-face.

“It means we can monitor people whose conditions are stable, and detect those who need more urgent attention.

“One patient told me they had not seen another face in days because they were shielding, so thanks to the video consultation they were able to have some form of human interaction.”