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FAQs about video appointments

A charged up computer, tablet, or smartphone with a built in camera and microphone. You will need a good internet connection and a quiet, well-lit place where you will not be disturbed.

You can access your video consultation on a smartphone, tablet or laptop/computer. You can use your device’s inbuilt microphone and camera, but some people find they get better call quality using an external headset and web camera. You will need to be connected to the internet through Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G or a wired connection.

It is a good idea to test your equipment before your appointment.

You can do so by completing a ‘test call’ using the web link contained in the text message you received with the appointment details.

You can try a ‘test call’ through our Test Clinic.

No. The system is accessed via a web browser and does not require any applications to be downloaded. You can use either Google Chrome (for PC/Mac/Android devices) or Safari (for iOS devices and Macs). The system will not work on Internet Explorer.

Your child should be present at their appointment and if for any reason this is not possible the appointment should be re- arranged. If our clinician contacts you and your child is not present they may end the call and you will have to reschedule the appointment when your child is present. This may be recorded as a ‘was not brought’ or patient cancellation and, in line with our access policy, you may be discharged back to your GP.

Yes. If they are in the same location as you, it is possible to have someone with you during your video consultation. You should let your clinician know if you have someone with you at the start of your appointment.

The system we use for Video Consultations is called Attend Anywhere. With this system, it is possible to invite a third or fourth person into a consultation, even if they are in a different location to you. If you would like to invite a family member, carer, friend or interpreter you can either:

  • Share your appointment link with them in advance so they can join the waiting area from another location at the time of your appointment. You will need to ask your doctor to invite them to join the consultation at the start of your appointment.
  • Give your doctor the other person’s email address or mobile phone number during your appointment and the doctor will send them an instant message, with a link enabling them to join your appointment.

If you’re struggling to join the Attend Anywhere waiting room, or otherwise aren’t in the waiting room at the time the clinician is ready to see you, don’t worry; we will contact you by telephone instead.

If the time isn’t convenient, or you are unable to speak to us at that time, just let us know in advance using the telephone number at the top of your appointment letter and we can rearrange the appointment.

A few days before your appointment, you’ll receive a text message that will look something like this:

“Your child has a video appointment with the Sheffield Children’s Hospital on [Appointment Date] at [Appointment Start Time]. To access the waiting area for this virtual appointment please click this link [Link to virtual waiting area]. For more information see

The Attend Anywhere platform can be accessed either on Google Chrome (for PC/Mac/Android devices) or Safari (For iOS devices and Macs).

The call to Attend Anywhere will not use any data whilst waiting for a clinician to join you on the call. A 20-minute video consultation uses about 230MB of data on a mobile device, and 450 MB on a PC or laptop.

If you are using 4G, this will not count towards your data usage if you are on Sky, Vodafone, O2 or Three.

The exact amount will depend on the connection speed, and how many participants there are on the call.

If you lose connection during your call, try clicking the “refresh” button and the consultation will be refreshed. You will not lose your place in the clinic. If the issue continues you may be asked to continue to an appointment on the telephone instead.

The platform has an inbuilt three-tier security system. Patients have their own private video room, that only authorised clinicians can enter, and no patient identifiable information is stored on the system. For more information, you can view the NHS Attend Anywhere privacy statement (pdf).

Only limited personal data is entered when you access the video consultation platform (Attend Anywhere). This data is deleted within an hour of your consultation ending. Your consultation will not be recorded, and images will not be not captured.

Some face-to-face appointments will be necessary over this period. The decision on whether an appointment will take place face-to-face, on video or by telephone will be taken by an expert clinician based on the young person’s individual care needs.

If you are worried about attending a face-to-face appointment, please get in touch with us using the phone number on your appointment letter. We may be able to offer you an appointment either by telephone or video instead.

If you think you have COVID-19 you should get in touch with us using the phone number on your appointment; we may still be able to go ahead with your appointment via video or telephone. If you want advice regarding COVID-19, please make sure you are following official advice on the NHS website.

It is important that you let us know if you need to cancel your appointment, so that we can use the time to care for other patients.

Quick guide to your video appointment


Starting the video call

The consultation

Ending the video call

Ask us any questions you like before you go. We'll arrange your next appointment, prescription or face to face visit.
Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
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