For the benefit of both patients and staff during the current COVID 19 pandemic we are all reserving face-to-face consultations for essential use. I am therefore offering remote consultation by telephone or video call as the first option with face to face consultation being arranged thereafter where this is appropriate. A telephone or video consultation can resolve many concerns and can assess the urgency of any problem and the importance of any examination, investigations or treatment needed.
If you wish to have a remote consultation then a GP referral is still highly desirable and can be sent to my office. I will assess the referral and any preliminary information you give me regarding the nature of your problem as to whether it is suitable for a remote consultation. If it then seems reasonable to start with a remote consultation, then a day and time for this will be mutually agreed. This should be when you are in a quiet location that allows you to talk about private matters without privacy concerns.
What to expect for your remote consultation.
I will ask you to confirm your identity and check that you are able to hear comfortably and are happy to continue.
Before the consultation I will have read any referral letters or other documents that you or your doctors have sent me. Just as with a face to face consultation, I will then ask questions about your symptoms that allow me to build up a picture of what might be wrong. I will also ask questions about your previous or current medical problems, any surgery you may have had, and what medications you may be taking. I will check if you have any allergies to drugs. You may wish to list, or send me, this information in advance of the consultation. I will be taking notes on the information that you give me.
We can then discuss my insights into your problem(s). This is the most important part of the consultation. I will explain your situation as I see it and I aim to do so in simple and plain language.
In some cases a final diagnosis can be made at this stage and its management can be discussed. We can also discuss whether any investigations (such as blood tests or imaging, for example an X-ray, MRI or CT scan) are needed to confirm the diagnosis or to reassure you that more sinister explanations are not involved.
In other cases a final diagnosis is not possible with just a remote consultation and a face to face examination may also be needed. If so, I can arranged this.
By the end of the consultation you should know the plan for managing your case, be that reassurance only, medication or investigations. We will discuss whether any follow up consultation is required and if so whether face to face, or by remote consultation and when this should take place. A letter will then be sent summarising the information obtained from the consultation and the management plan.