Published on: 3 November 2020

Colleagues within Derbyshire Healthcare have carried out an amazing 10,000 video consultations with patients over a six-month period since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clinicians in the Trust have responded to the challenge of often not being able to meet patients face to face by using a specially designed platform, called Attend Anywhere, which enables them to speak to and see service users in a COVID-safe way via a secure video channel.

Since the Trust started using Attend Anywhere, more than 10,000 video calls have been made to service users, who have reported a satisfaction rate with the service of more than 85%.

The 10,000 milestone was reached this month (October), after Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, a specialist provider of children’s, learning disability, substance misuse and mental health services in Derby and Derbyshire, began using the platform in April.

A survey of patients, which had more than 2,000 responses, saw more than 85% of responders positive or very positive about the sound and video quality, and more than 88% of replies showing that patients felt they were able to communicate what they wanted and that their needs were met. 

Staff working flexibly

Trust colleagues in Older People’s Mental Health Services have reported that video consultations are useful for involving family members and also work well in nursing homes, where patients with advanced dementia are able to engage with the screen.

Some Trust service users even find that video consultations are their preferred method of meeting with their clinician. Research from the Royal College of Psychiatrists suggests parents of children and young people accessing CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) prefer video consultations. The Trust’s CAMHS team found that the young people in their care also appreciated the reduction in travel time which a video consultation brings.

Trust Chief Executive Ifti Majid said: “I am delighted that Derbyshire Healthcare colleagues have risen to the challenge of adapting to new ways of working and have been able to utilise the Attend Anywhere video calling platform so productively. This is yet another example of our staff working flexibly to give the best support possible to our service users in the current pandemic.”