Due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, Barnsley Hospital, alongside many other Trusts in the country, are offering telephone and video consultations in order to minimise face to face contact between patients and clinicians, without compromising on the quality of care given. A virtual appointment is when your healthcare professional will connect with you via video call or telephone instead of you attending an appointment at the hospital. Most of our teams now offer virtual appointments and the guidance below will help you to prepare for this. Virtual appointments: Help with social distancing and shielding Can save time, money and stress – there is no need to travel to the hospital. Are safe and secure When booking your consultation you will be asked if you would prefer a telephone or video consultation. The video option is really simple to use and doesn’t require any software to be installed. You could be connected to your consultant in a few taps of your mobile phone. All we need is your mobile phone number so that we can text you a link for you to join the consultation. This will be sent to you when your consultant is ready to see you. If you prefer to just to have a telephone consultation just let us know. Video calls do help people feel as though they have face to face contact, but we recognise it’s not a suitable option for all patients. What equipment do I need for a video consultation? A computer, tablet or smart phone with a built-in camera and microphone (make sure your device is plugged in or has enough charge) A quiet room A good internet connection. Sit close to the Wi-Fi router if possible. We have everything you need to know about video appointments in our Video Consultation Guide. Your virtual appointment is a real appointment and should be treated as such If you can’t make the date or time, please contact your department. Our teams are happy to re arrange but if you don’t contact us and/or don’t answer the video call then you will receive a letter from the hospital saying you did not attend the appointment. If you are having difficulty using AccuRx then we can try to explain. If you are unable to join a video consultation, we can likely arrange for the consultation over the phone – please don’t just not attend the appointment.