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Ruthie’s story: My experience of video appointments

12 May 2022

As part of our new Sustainable Travel Plan for 2022-2025, we are encouraging patients and families to choose a video option where appropriate and possible for your appointments.

Video appointments connect you with your health professional using a platform that has been specially developed for healthcare usage.

We spoke to Ruthie, a member of our Youth Forum, about what it’s like to have a video appointment at Sheffield Children’s

.video appointment ruth

What’s your experience of video appointments at Sheffield Children’s?

Ruthie: “I’ve had video appointments with a few health professionals from Sheffield Children’s over the last two years. I have Cerebral Palsy and was under the care of teams such as Neurology and Orthopaedics. As I’m now 19, I have also been supported by the Transition team in my move to adult services.”

Can you talk us through the process of a video appointment?

“I used a laptop for my appointments so my mum and I could see the screen together. It was easy to join ­- I just followed a link that I was sent by email and signed into the portal using a code and my date of birth. We would wait in the virtual waiting room and then the health professional would join us.”

Is there a big difference between seeing someone in person to on the screen for an appointment?

“I’ve found that video appointments work best for general reviews and when you only need to talk with someone, such as a Neurologist. I definitely prefer video calls than phone calls, as I like being able to see people’s faces and feel a lot more comfortable discussing personal things like pain levels. We are expressive people!

“Orthopaedic appointments are more physical so you can be a bit restricted online. For example, I found it hard to fully explain what’s happening with my disability, such as physical changes, without being able to show the clinician properly. If needed, we could then arrange a face-to-face appointment.”

Did having a video appointment save you time?

“I live in Sheffield so visiting Sheffield Children’s wasn’t too much of a problem for me. However, I had quite a few appointments with the Transition team so being able to have these online was more convenient. I’m currently a university student and they helped with things like filling in medical evidence forms so I could have an accessible room in my accommodation.”

Would you recommend video appointments for other patients?

“Yes, I think they’re a good alternative, especially if you already know and feel comfortable with the people you’re going to be talking to.”

Would a video appointment suit your situation like it does for Ruthie? Take a look at our information online and let your healthcare professional know!

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