To reduce the risk of spreading of the coronavirus, where we can, we have switched to virtual consulting. We may contact you to offer this or you can contact us to arrange a telephone or video consultation. Please ensure we have up to date contact details for you. For video consultations we use Skype, WhatsApp or Facetime.
Phone consultations are easiest to set up but if we can ‘see you’ as well, using a video call, that can add useful information and improve communication for you and the doctor. To use WhatsApp or Facetime you need a compatible smart phone. To use Skype on your iPad, smart phone or computer you need to download the Skype app through the App store and obtain a Skype name which is what we use to call you. If possible please test this out with a friend or family before your scheduled appointment to ensure the video and sound are both working. Even if you have arranged a video consultation it is helpful to have a backup phone number to call you on as sometimes the video calls don't connect.
At the time of your appointment we will call you. Please bear in mind that we sometimes run late but we manage 90% of calls within 5 minutes of the start time. Please try to be in a quiet place, where you can speak in private and where you are relaxed, can speak freely and will not be disturbed.
We will be in a safe and confidential place when we talk to you. There are of course ways that phone calls and the internet can be ‘hacked’ but we consider this risk minimal. However should you feel that there are things you want to discuss that you are worried about discussing on the phone or video call, please raise this with your doctor/practitioner.
About Video calls
Remember you need a good signal/bandwidth to have a good quality video call. If you are making a video call from an iPad or smart phone, find a surface to stabilise your device to ensure the best image quality. Sometimes headphones especially those with a microphone fitted can improve the sound and voice quality - if you are using headphones and everything is ‘muted’ try unplugging them. If you are connected but quality is poor then you might need to block the video picture to improve the audio quality and minimise the risk of the call being dropped.
Below are some hints on getting the best out of a Skype call:
To check that your sound and microphone are working properly in Skype, you can make a test call to a friendly virtual assistant Echo. She will prompt you to record a message, and then play it back for you – so you’ll know right away if your sound is working.
- Search for the Echo/Sound Test Service contact.
- Call Echo and follow her instructions.
If you heard Echo’s voice and heard your recorded message, then your sound and microphone are working just fine and you are good to go.
To check the camera is working, please follow the instructions below:
- Click the "Tools" button on the Skype menu bar and then click "Options" to bring up the program options.
- Click the "Video Settings" link under General. You should see a live picture in the Webcam section if your camera is properly connected and working. Select a different camera from the Webcam drop-down list if you have more than one camera connected to your computer.
- If your webcam is not displaying live video, make sure it is connected to your computer and powered on. If you are using an external webcam, refer to the user manual for installation and setup information. If another program is using the camera, close it; only one application can use your webcam at a time.
- Click the "Webcam Settings" button if you are now able to see live video, then use the sliders to adjust picture quality settings such as brightness and contrast.
- Always use the latest version of Skype for best results.
- For more information on setting up Skype please go to https://support.skype.com/en/skype/all/