Remote Consultations

I am now able to offer 30 min remote consultations

Please read the following; then, if you would like to enquire about a booking, please click here

 

Background

The coronavirus pandemic has placed considerable restrictions on every aspect of our lives. I curtailed my private practice in the weeks running up to the independent sector switching over to help prevent the NHS being overwhelmed with acute cases. Thankfully the surge was managed effectively and the NHS was not pushed over its capacity. The NHS continues to utilise the independent sector hospitals however, and the timescale for the termination of this arrangement is unclear at present.

 

In the meantime I have decided to offer remote consultations in an attempt to continue some form of practice and to help inform current and potentially new patients. This is probably a new experience for both of us!

 

Videoconferencing

Videoconferencing is a good platform but has significant limitations. The most important issue, in my opinion, is the security of the connection.  In today's high-tech environment there may be a theoretical potential for third parties to gain information during, what a patient and doctor consider to be, a secure consultation. It is therefore important to be mindful of this fact and not to disclose sensitive information during a video call. Anything of this nature can be discussed securely during a later, face-to-face consultation.

 

A pre-pandemic outpatient consultation would include a detailed examination with a chaperone present.  This is not feasible using videoconferencing.

 

Although advice can be given, it is important to accept that no firm decisions can be made using this facility.  I will not formally agree to undertake any procedure until I am able to meet and examine patients in a secondary outpatient setting.  I am happy to discuss options, risks and benefits etc, on the understanding that the advice given during such a consultation may change when I see patients face to face.

 

Limitations

Because of the above, a number of points need to be accepted before a videoconference can go ahead.

 

  • Without being paranoid, we should assume that others might be able to have access to our conversation and video link.  It is therefore important that anything a patient wishes to remain entirely confidential should perhaps not be discussed during the videoconference.

 

  • I do not feel comfortable asking patients to undress during a videoconference to show me areas of concern. I therefore suggest that images of the areas of your body for which you are seeking advice are taken prior to the conference and are emailed to me separately. We can then discuss them together during the appointment. (Please see below).

 

  • Before any surgery or plan of action is agreed it is imperative to have a face-to-face consultation with a formal examination. Having done so the discussed plan is likely to be confirmed, however it may be altered or even found to be unsuitable after examination. This could prove disappointing.

 

Fee Structure

I have decided to charge part of my usual consultation fee for an initial videoconference. Should you wish to follow this up with a subsequent face-to-face outpatient appointment, you would be charged the balance  of a normal consultation fee. The fees are to be collected prior to the consultations.

To enquire about a booking, please click here