Everything you need to know.
We understand that many of you will have concerns about the outbreak of Covid19 and we want to reassure you we are doing all we can to continue to work normally. Despite the ongoing pandemic, we are aware that dermatological conditions will still occur and will still need treatment. In response to this, Stratum Dermatology Clinics are offering virtual consultations for patients who do not wish to attend the clinic in person but who still need their condition assessed.
HOW DO VIDEO CONSULTATIONS WORK?
To book a virtual appointment, you will need to follow the usual booking method. Please fill in our contact form, call us on 0800 048 9230 or email [email protected] You will receive a phone call from one of our friendly team who will book your appointment at a time to suit you. You will then receive an email which will confirm your appointment time, give you some additional information and contain the link you need to join the virtual consultation.
The virtual consultation will be held through a video conferencing platform which you can access through your computer, tablet or mobile phone. Five minutes before your scheduled appointment time, all you need to do is click on the link in your email, which will open up a browser. You will be held in a virtual waiting room until your doctor begins the consultation. Your doctor will need to verify your identity at the beginning of the consultation, so please have your Patient ID hand to help with this process. You will also be asked to show ID, preferably picture ID such as your passport or driving licence. At the end of your appointment, your consultant will talk you through the next steps.
Your virtual consultation will be completely confidential and will not be recorded by either the Doctor or by the video conferencing platform. No personal details will be stored on the platform and you don’t need to create an account to access the appointment, simply click on the link. Your consultant dermatologist will be in a private room and please ensure that you have a suitable place to join your appointment where you can talk confidentially to your consultant.
The virtual consultations can be self funded or paid for using a medical insurance policy. Stratum Dermatology Clinics and the Consultants who work here are recognised by the main healthcare insurance providers. If your patient plans on using their medical insurance policy, we ask that they provide us with their Insurance Membership Policy number and Authorisation Code prior to the appointment.
ALREADY BOOKED? HERE’S MORE INFORMATION.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You will not need to download any software or sign up to any accounts to attend your consultation. You just need internet connection and a phone, tablet or computer.
Video communications are established using 256-bit TLS encryption – you can visit Zoom Security for more information.
No, accessing your video consultation is easy. If you are using your computer, you can simply click on the link provided in your appointment confirmation email and click ‘Join from my browser’. If you are planning to use your smart phone to access the appointment, we recommend that you download the Zoom App from your usual App Store in advance of the appointment to ensure you can join quickly and easily at the time of your appointment. For further guidance, please read the Zoom Instructions for Patients.
Yes, your doctor will be the only other participant unless you have requested a chaperone. There is no risk of having another patient join your appointment while you are still talking to the doctor. All appointments have a unique ID and password which is automatically embedded into the link provided to you, making joining as simple as clicking on the link.
Prior to your appointment, please ensure you do the following:
- Share high-resolution image(s) of your condition in advance of your appointment. Please email these to the clinic email address specified in your appointment confirmation email
- Send photo ID, such as passport or driving license, to the same clinic email address specified in your appointment confirmation email. This can be a photograph taken with your smart phone or a scanned image. Please also have the same ID available to show your Consultant at the start of your appointment
- Complete the Patient Registration & Medical History Questionnaire – the link to this can be found in your appointment confirmation email and further down this page. It is important that your Doctor has a chance to review this information in advance of your appointment so please try to complete it 24 hours in advance if possible – without it your Virtual Consultation may be terminated without refund
- Ensure you you have a quiet place to join your virtual consultation where you can talk confidentially to your consultant without being disturbed and have a good connection and your phone is available (on the number you provided at booking) just in case the video does not work
Please take clear, in-focus, close up images of your condition, using your smart phone camera (or other device). For a guide on how to take photos ahead of your video appointment, please click here. Then send these via email directly to the clinic using the email address provided in your appointment confirmation. Please include your Patient ID in the subject line of the email – this can also be found on your confirmation email.
You will require a computer or device such as a smart phone or tablet with audio and video capabilities and we recommend connecting via a secure WiFi connection.
Once you click the meeting link you will be directed to a virtual waiting room where you will be asked to wait until your host starts the meeting. At the time of your appointment, the Doctor will ‘admit’ you into the appointment. Your audio and camera should automatically be enabled but if you need to enable them this is a simple process using buttons available on screen.
There are a number of features offered to support accessibility – to see what is available to you please visit https://zoom.us/accessibility
Your doctor will endeavor to start the Virtual Consultation as near to the scheduled time as possible, however, if a previous appointment is running over, then you can simply stay online in the “waiting room” until you are admitted.
If you are experiencing any issue(s) with latency, frozen screen, poor quality audio, or meeting getting disconnected, try bringing your computer or mobile device closer to the WiFi router or access point in your home or office. You can also check your Internet bandwidth in advance using an online speed test, such as nperf, Speedtest, or Comparitech.
Yes – if you wish a Chaperone to be present, please advise the doctor and we will arrange for a chaperone to join the consultation. This will either be in person if available at the same location as the doctor, or by joining the video call.
If you do need to cancel, a minimum of 24 hours’ notice of cancellation or appointment re-scheduling is required. Please call the number provided in your appointment confirmation email. If leaving a message on our answer phone, please clearly mention your name, as well as date and time of the phone call. Any appointments for consultations, which are not attended, or are cancelled/re-scheduled with less than 24 hours’ notice, will incur a full charge.
If you miss your appointment, please call 0800 048 9230 to rearrange a more convenient time for your appointment, however, please be aware that unattended appointments will incur a full charge.
We are currently only offering consultations to patients of 16 years of age and over as they are able to consent to their consultation. We would like to expand the service to under 16s and the process for doing so is under review.
Please be aware that whilst most conditions can be seen virtually there may be some conditions that require a face to face appointment further to the virtual appointment. You will be requested to send a high resolution image of your condition to the clinic ahead of the appointment to assist your Consultant with their diagnosis.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR PATIENTS.
USING YOUR PC
You do not need to download anything in advance of your appointment – you can simply click on the link provided in your confirmation email
- An option to Join from your Browser may appear automatically. If it does not, select download & run.
- The option Join from your Browser will appear.
- You will be prompted to enter your name.
- Click Join to be taken into the meeting
FOR YOUR MOBILE IOS OR ANDROID DEVICE:
- Go to your usual App Store
- Search “Zoom Cloud Meetings” & download
- You will need to accept a number of pop-ups and you can then click Join or click the original link in your email to join appointment at the scheduled time. You may be prompted to enter your Meeting ID which is provided in your appointment confirmation email.
TAKING PHOTOS AHEAD OF YOUR APPOINTMENT
For a guide on how to best take your photos ahead of your video consultation, please click here.
WHY STRATUM CLINICS?
We have always prided ourselves on providing the very best experience for our patients and in these uncertain times we remain committed to this ideal. Through The Dermatology Partnership (TDP) we are members of the IHPN (Independent Healthcare Partners Network) which is the industry body for independent/private sector partners to the NHS. We have been attending IHPN weekly briefings about Covid-19 for all the latest updates affecting our clinics and on the current precautionary requirements. These meetings are an important resource, allowing us to adhere to the most up to date government advice. Last weeks meeting was attended by over 100 private sector healthcare companies including all the private hospital groups and representatives of TDP.
Our clinical and administrative staff take their responsibility to protect your health seriously. We want to assure you we are following official advice, taking all necessary precautions and following all appropriate guidelines and procedures to minimise the spread of Covid-19.
We will continue to maintain the highest standards of hygiene and infection control and have taken additional steps to reduce the risks:
Any staff who are feeling unwell or showing symptoms will not to come to work
- Patients who feel unwell or are displaying symptoms are advised not to attend their appointment, to consider self-isolation and call NHS111 if they need advice
- All patients will be asked to use our antiseptic handwash when they arrive at reception and to check their temperature
- We have increased the frequency of cleaning door handles and other shared surfaces using a powerful antiseptic several times a day
- The building management are arranging routine deep viral cleans of the building
- We are asking all patients and staff, as far as is possible, to run to time. We aim to limit each waiting area to one person to minimise contact as much as possible
- Patients who require a repeat of their prescriptions or products can contact us by phone and we will arrange delivery
Our objective is to be able to continue offering the highest level of dermatological and surgical care, whilst minimising the risk of Covid-19 exposure to both our patients and our staff. If you have any other concerns or want to find out more about our new virtual consultation service please do not hesitate to contact us.