Traditional models of outpatient care are not always accessible to patients or aligned to their needs, resulting in missed appointments, poor health outcomes and greater use of emergency care. Replacing face-to-face hospital appointments with remote video outpatient consultations offers the opportunity for a more flexible and responsive approach.

Having explored the positive impact of video consultations on attendance rates, patient satisfaction and efficiency savings for around 10 years, the Barts Health NHS Trust team decided to use their expertise to facilitate wider roll-out with a network of local and national sites that could learn from each other’s experiences.

To achieve this, they set up a ‘virtual consultation unit’ to support sites with resources, policy making, technical options and training. Uptake of virtual consultations increased in a range of clinical specialties within Barts Health, and across diverse patient populations at three partner sites – Oxford University Hospital, Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust, and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Following an evaluation of technology platforms for video consultation, the ‘Attend Anywhere’ software was implemented, and extensive generic training resources and guidance documents for clinicians and patients were produced. Patient feedback on virtual consultations was positive overall, although the reliability of technology was identified as an area for improvement.

This work effectively supported the rapid scale-up of video consultations across the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic, clearly demonstrating opportunities for wide-ranging transformation of outpatient pathways. A follow-on study focusing on the implications of COVID-19 for the sustainability of video consulting is underway and will investigate the resilience of this service model in the immediate and longer term.

Contact information

For more information about this project, please contact Jo Morris, Programme Manager, Barts Health NHS Trust.

About this programme


Scaling Up Improvement


This programme offers £500,000 funding to supports teams to take successful interventions or...

You might also like...


The International Forum on Quality and Safety in Health care 2022


The Health Foundation have a number of speaking sessions at the International Forum on Quality and...


Reforming management and leadership in the NHS: Does the Messenger review go far enough?


The Messenger review is a promising start for health and social care leadership reform, although the...

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

The NHS nurse workforce is ageing. Since 2011, there has been a 200% increase of NHS nurses aged 65 and over. We e…

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more