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Virtual Consultations

A Virtual Consultation is a way of connecting clinical or social care staff with patients or clients using either a telephone or a video call.

It allows patients to attend a consultation through a smartphone, tablet or computer without having to visit a clinic, practice on hospital.

It can save travel time and costs and reduce the inconvenience of attending for face to face appoints as well as reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Health and Social Care staff (HSC) will advise if a virtual setting is suitable for the purpose of the consultation, and where possible offer either a telephone or video consultation unless an in-person consultation is required.

The information in these resources explains how virtual consultation works.

Resources for you………..

The HSCQI Virtual Consultations Group

  • has developed some generic resources to be tested by the Trusts and other stakeholders. There are versions for you to print in-house, to use online and a word version that you can ‘localise’ for your setting’s own use. Please see below.
  • has developed a Virtual Consultation Toolkit which provides useful resources from across HSCNI and beyond. Thanks to everyone who has shared their learning. Please see below.


Virtual Consultations – Patient information 

Virtual Consultations – Patient Information – (A4 folded for print)

Virtual Consultations Patient Information (web)



Virtual Consultations – Staff Information

Virtual Consultations – Staff Information – (A4 folded for print)  

Virtual Consultations Staff Information (web)


Click here to access Virtual Consultations Toolkit


Additional Resources

Please see the HSCQI People, Compassion and Connections video which provides an overview of recent learning from Covid work undertaken by HSCQI, in relation to the ‘service delivery innovation rebuild work stream’ and includes Virtual Consultations

Read the latest from Q’s ongoing project with #Qcommunity members and others, reflecting on their
experiences of implementing #VideoConsultations 

Please see Frontline insights on the rapid implementation of video consultations

Useful links

While opportunities for telehealth have been around for decades, the COVID-19 pandemic has catapulted its use to the forefront of care delivery as a method to protect both patients and health care workers and to reduce the burden on health systems.

The terms “telehealth” and “telemedicine” are often used interchangeably. Telehealth services are typically viewed more broadly than telemedicine, encompassing a wider scope of remove activities. Telemedicine can be considered a type of telehealth but refers specifically to remote clinical services such as diagnosis and treatment.

IHI has developed a list of resources to assist the health care community with implementation of telehealth services, particularly within the COVID-19 context

Useful Links

HSCQI HUB Contact   Clifford Mitchell