Most GP surgeries, hospitals, mental health services and community care services now offer video consultations.
This is where you speak to a doctor or healthcare professional using the video camera in your smartphone, tablet or computer.
This can save you time as you will not need to travel for a face-to-face appointment. It will help to stop infections spreading such as coronavirus (COVID-19).
If a GP, doctor or healthcare professional recommends you have a video call, you will get a text, email or letter with a date and time for the appointment.
Some face-to-face appointments might still be needed during this period.
But if you have coronavirus symptoms do not attend your face-to-face appointment.
Read our pages about coronavirus to find out what to do if you or someone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus.
What you need for a video consultation
To have a video consultation you need:
- a smartphone, tablet or computer that allows video calling – remember to make sure your microphone and camera are switched on
- an internet connection
- a well-lit quiet and private space so the GP can see you clearly
What happens during a video consultation
A video call is very similar to a face-to-face appointment. You will get the same care.
The GP, doctor or healthcare professional will ask you questions about your health to work out the best treatment for you. You can also ask any questions you may have.
It might help to write down what they say, so you keep a record. Any notes will be added to your record after the call.
If you are prescribed any medicine, the doctor or healthcare professional will give you advice on how to take it. They may talk to you about the best way of getting your prescription.
They can refer you if needed or give you any advice just as they would during a face-to-face appointment.
If your video call does not work or you do not have signal, they will try a phone call instead.
If this is not possible, you will be able to rebook your appointment.
British Sign Language support
You can use a free British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter video service to help with things like medical appointments, calling your GP surgery or speaking to a pharmacist.
Page last reviewed: 21 April 2020
Next review due: 21 April 2023