Visiting The Royal Marsden is suspended

Coronavirus latest: Please kindly note that whilst lockdown restrictions are beginning to ease, visiting is still suspended.  The hospital remains open and we are still delivering treatment to our patients. Please see more information here about how we are keeping everyone safe.

Video consultations: Frequently Asked Questions

What is a video consultation?

A video consultation is an appointment that takes place between a patient and a clinician over video, as opposed to face-to-face or over the telephone. You will receive the same quality of care as you would in a face-to-face appointment.

Why is the Royal Marsden using video consultations?

There are lots of benefits to using video consultations, including:

  • Saving patients, their families and carers time and money by removing the need to travel to an appointment
  • Giving patients the flexibility to have their consultations in a place that is convenient to them
  • Reducing disruption to a patient’s day, by reducing the amount of time they need to attend an appointment
  • Reducing carbon emissions associated with travel
  • Reducing the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19, by avoiding face-to face contact.

Why is the NHS using video consultations as part of its COVID-19 response?

Using video consultations supports the NHS’ COVID-19 response by:

  • Preventing the transmission of the disease, by reducing the need for physical attendance at NHS sites
  • Enabling clinicians to see patients who are unable to travel, this includes patients who are in at risk groups or who need to self-isolate
  • Enabling clinicians to work from home, this includes staff in at risk groups, those who are self-isolating or those who are experiencing travel difficulties.

I have been offered a face-to-face appointment but do not want to come in because of COVID-19. What should I do?

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 your care team.

If you are worried about attending a face-to-face appointment, please contact your care team as specified on your appointment letter, who may be able to offer you an appointment either by telephone or video instead.

If you think you have COVID-19 you should cancel your appointment and 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.

Are video consultations right for me?

Video consultations are suitable for many patients who do not need a physical examination and who are able to communicate via video. Your clinician will only invite you to a video consultation if they believe it is right for you.

Your consent is vital. If at any time you feel that you would like to end the video consultation, you can advise your clinician that you would like to end the video call and arrange another appointment.

You do not have to accept the offer of a video consultation; you will be offered a telephone or face-to-face appointment as deemed appropriate by your clinician.

If you are concerned about using video technology or require support on how to attend a video consultation appointment, please contact our video consultation support team on: 

Outpatient Department (OPD) call us Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm on

  • Sutton Outpatient Department on 020 8661 3828
  • Rapid Diagnostic Assessment Centre (RDAC) on 020 8661 3828 
  • Chelsea Outpatient Department on 020 7808 2250
  • Chelsea Rapid Diagnostic Assessment Centre on 020 7808 2024

Psychological Support: 

Can a family member, carer or friend join me for my video consultation?

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.

It is possible to invite a second, 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 give your clinician the individual’s email address or mobile phone number during your appointment and the clinician will send them an instant message, with a link enabling them to join your appointment. Please advise them of the time of your appointment and ensure they are ready to receive the link to ensure there are no delays in the consultation.

What equipment do I need for a video consultation?

  • 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 an ethernet connection. 
  • It is a good idea to test your equipment before your appointment. You can do so by completing a ‘test call’ through our video consultation website or following the link you receive by text message ahead of your appointment and completing the ‘test call’. This will automatically test your connection, microphone, camera and speaker.

Will I need to download anything?

The platform 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).

What happens if I am late or unable to join my video consultation?

  • If you are late for your consultation your clinician will call you.
  • If you are late and have not received a telephone call, please join then video consultation waiting room as directed in your text message and wait to be contacted by your clinician

Platform Specific FAQs

How do I access my video consultation?

  • You will be sent a confirmation letter in the post for the date and time of your appointment.
  • If your appointment is suitable for a telephone or video consultation you will be contacted 2-7 days prior to your appointment to confirm the appointment is not longer face to face but telephone or a video consultation
  • If a video consultation has been agreed, you will then receive a text message to your mobile number detailing how to access the video consultation on the date and time of your appointment

The platform can be accessed either on:

  • Google Chrome (for PC/Mac/Android devices) or
  • Safari (for iOS devices and Macs).

How much data does a video call use?

Patients do not use any data whilst waiting for a clinician to join them on their call. A 20-minute video consultation uses about 230MB of data on a mobile device, and 450 MB on a PC or laptop. The exact amount will depend on the connection speed, and how many participants there are on the call.

What happens if I lose connection during my video consultation?

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 will be asked to join a telephone consultation instead

Is the platform secure?

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.

Is my personal data safe?

Only limited personal data is entered when a patient accesses the video consultation platform. This data is deleted within an hour of your consultation ending. Your consultation will not be recorded, and images will not be not captured.