How to make the most out of online appointments

Many GP's and hospitals are now offering online appointments as an alternative to face to face appointments during the Coronavirus outbreak. Here are some top tips for you to help you understand what to expect from an online appointment.
male doctor standing in doctors surgery

Supporting you to make the most out of online appointments

Healthwatch England have recently worked with patients who have had an online appointment to listen to their experiences and create top tips for you if you have an upcoming online appointment. You can read more about their work and see their report on the Healthwatch England website.

Top tips for patients

  • Ask for a timeslot for when your remote consultation will take place.

  • Let your doctor or nurse know if you prefer to talk by phone, video or in-person.
  • Find somewhere quiet and confidential and, if this isn’t possible or is tricky, make this clear when you are making your appointment.
  • Start with a phone call if you’re not confident with video technology.
  • Ask for help if you need it and, if possible, do a practice run with a friend.
  • Take some time to prepare in advance, consider what you want to say and key questions you would like to ask.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse to summarise the next steps at the end of the appointment.
  • Remote consultations can be useful for routine appointments or ongoing care with a health care practitioner.
  • Not all appointments are suitable for remote consultations, if you would like to see someone in-person please say so.  


Healthwatch England have created an Easy Read guide about how to make the most out of online appointments.

Other resources

The University of Oxford have created some resources about online appointments. You can download these from the University of Oxford website.

They have also created a video explaining what to expect from an online appointment:

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