Daisy, a Young Healthwatch volunteer, has a positive outlook regarding online appointments.
As someone with multiple chronic illnesses, I usually have to go to the hospitals at least once of week, which the pandemic has changed significantly.
Although it feels amazing to not have to go to the hospital a lot, telephone appointments can be temperamental! I have had doctors’ appointments over the phone, as well as hospital appointments over the phone. In my experience, my doctor’s appointments have been much more efficient than they usually are, the doctor listens to me, and as they are often locums, given the pandemic, they have been a lot better than my usual GP if I’m honest! It’s been a really good experience, and in the future I would 100% prefer to have online appointments instead of face-to-face.
In terms of the hospital appointments, I have had three in new departments, with new hospitals and doctors, and one with my current neurologist, who I have seen many times before. For my current appointment, it was very efficient and was just a review appointment, so everything went smoothly. For my new appointments, things were a bit more difficult, as I need tests, so will have to go in.
For one of my conditions, it is a malfunction of the connective tissue, which means my physical health isn’t the best. For this condition, the appointment is more difficult as they usually have to check my joints, and do some testing on them, which isn’t able to be done. However, once the pandemic is over this will all be sorted.