How to get the most out of your Online GP Video Consultation
Updated: May 13
You may be considering having an Online GP consultation, and wondering what's involved during the appointment and how you can get the most out of your GP video consultation. We offer 10-minute online consultations with a GP of your choice, and although this doesn't sound like a lot of time, it's the same time as an in-surgery appointment with a GP, without the waiting, taking your coat off and getting settled in the doctor's room. However, there are a number of things you can do to ensure that you get the most out of your appointment and work with us to make sure everything runs smoothly for you. In this article, I will break it down so you're all clear on what a GP video consultation is, how it works, and finally what you can do to make sure you get the most out of yours.
What is an online consultation and why is it the right option for me?
An online consultation is a way to meet with a local GP without needing to travel. You and your GP will be able to see and hear each other using a secure online service. If you find it difficult to get to your appointments in person, this could be an easier option for you. Some people choose video appointments so that they don't need to leave home or work, and video appointments are ideal if you have been unable to get an appointment with your GP at a time that suits you. Is this a secure and confidential option?
Yes. The platform we use is our own, secure and encrypted system, so only you and your GP can access it. Your online video consultation will be treated just like any other type of appointment. We keep your information private and we will not let anyone else hear or see the conversation without your permission. We ask that you also choose a safe and private space for your appointment, and only allow people to hear the conversation if you have chosen them to know your medical information and have expressed permission for them to be involved in the appointment beforehand. Please be aware that we cannot continue a video consultation if you are driving or operating machinery due to safety concerns. How can I book my online video consultation? Simply use our online booking system to choose your GP and the video appointment time and date that you would like. We will send you a confirmation email explaining exactly how to join the video consultation. You can use your laptop or an Apple or Android device to access your appointment. You will need a device with a microphone and camera-enabled so that your GP can see and hear you properly.
Before your GP video consultation
Check your internet connection Before your appointment, there are a few things you should double-check before it starts. It's essential that you check that you have a solid WIFI or 4/5G mobile internet connection so that the video call is clear and doesn't lag or fail. Where to take the video call Go somewhere quiet where you feel comfortable discussing your health. This could be at home, at work, or even on holiday, just so long as you won't be disturbed and feel happy to talk about your health there. Try to avoid situations where you might be disturbed or your GP will be unable to hear you properly, such as in a public place or using public transport. It might be worth keeping a pair of headphones handy just in case there is too much background noise and your GP cannot hear you properly. Have a think about where you will be when the video consultation happens. Is the room well lit, and quiet? Will you be comfortable? It's best to be organised so you do not feel flustered and stressed during your video call, and you can clearly communicate your problem to your GP. What to talk about Think about what you are going to say before your appointment. It's important to mention all your symptoms, and if you have any specific concerns about your health. Doctors are trained to listen out for "red flags" and key symptoms to diagnose an illness or advise further testing. The clearer you are on why you are there, and what you need to talk about, the easier and quicker it will be for a doctor to come to a conclusion or advise further. Let your GP know how long you have felt the way you've felt, what things make you feel better or worse if you already know that and let them know if any, what medication you have been taking. All of these things can help the GP to have the best understanding that they can of what your problem might be and how to resolve it. What do I do if I am unable to attend my appointment? If for whatever reason you are unable to attend your Online Consultation, and you are able, it is best to let the GP know as soon as possible. This is because they are then able to offer the appointment up to someone else who may not have been able to secure an appointment. However, if you find that you have forgotten to attend, or cannot attend at the last minute, do not worry. You will be able to rebook your video appointment. Will I get my money back if I am unable to attend? If you cancel your appointment more than 48 hours before you are due to attend, you should get a refund within a few days. However, if you leave it later than that or do not cancel at all and just don't attend your consultation, you will not receive a refund. This is because our system has held an appointment time back for you that potentially could have been filled by another patient. The cost also covers our GP's time in preparing for your appointment. In summary To conclude, I hope this post has helped you to know what you can do to prepare for your Online GP Consultation appointment. A little bit of preparation goes a long way and ultimately will help you to get the most out of your time with your GP. If you have any questions for us or want to find out more about the services that we offer, visit www.vailahealth.co.uk and pop us a message! We'll look forward to hearing from you. Stay safe, Hannah
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