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Consultant appointments without leaving your home

If you are a patient waiting to see a consultant, specialist nurse or therapist, at Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB you can now access your appointment via a secure video link without having to leave your home.

The Health Board has introduced Attend Anywhere, an online system that enables patients to meet with their consultant by video or voice call avoiding the need to go to the hospital and allowing access to specialist care from the comfort of their own home.

Patients currently waiting for an appointment will be contacted by a member of CTM staff who will be able to offer them the choice of a video-call, telephone appointment or clinic attendance where necessary.

Should you chose to use the video-call appointment you will be given instructions how to log into the system from home. You can log in through any device that you use to access the internet including smart phones, laptops, iPads, tablets and desk top computers.

Once logged in you enter the clinic online waiting area. Your doctor or nurse is notified when you arrive in the virtual waiting room and will connect with you for a live video consultation.

Consultant gastroenterologist, Dr Gary Constable who is already seeing his patients in his video clinic through Attend Anywhere has said, “Video consultations enable us to see our patients without the hassle of a hospital visit. We cannot underestimate the value of the subtle clues provided through facial expressions and behaviour or indeed the value of a reassuring smile.”

“Patients who have experienced video call appointments have seen the benefits of not having to travel to the hospital, organise childcare or take a day off work for their appointment. The video-call appointment can be attended anywhere you can access the internet.”

“As we continue to deal with COVID-19, keeping our patients and staff safe is essential and avoiding unnecessary hospital attendances is an important step in achieving this. The increasing use of this technology heralds a new model of delivering healthcare in a much more convenient and efficient way, now and well into the future.”

One patient who has used the service said: “The whole process was so easy, just a very simple ‘click’ on the link which was provided to me to access the website where it was confirmed that I was connected.  The consultation with Dr Constable was just as if I was sitting in his consulting room. There was none of the stress of trying to find a parking space, I just sat quite relaxed in my own lounge. I was very impressed.”

Many specialty services are able to offer appointments via video-call using Attend Anywhere including, gastroenterology, cardiology, respiratory medicine, movement disorders and dietetics. Others including mental health, physiotherapy, rheumatology and dermatology will be online soon.

Attend Anywhere is part of the NHS Wales video consultation service within the national outpatient strategy for Wales. As well as supporting patients through the current global pandemic it has the potential to transform outpatient services throughout the NHS.