BARNSLEY Hospital has turned virtual in a bid to consult with patients from their own homes.

Due to the current Covid-19 outbreak, Barnsley Hospital is offering telephone and video consultations in order to minimise face-to-face contact between patients and clinicians, in a bid to reduce risks of an outbreak at the hospital.

A virtual appointment is when your healthcare professional will connect with you by a video call or telephone instead of you attending an appointment at the hospital.

A spokesperson for Barnsley Hospital said: “When booking your consultation you will be asked if you would prefer a telephone or video consultation.

“The video option is really simple to use and doesn’t require any software to be installed.

“You could be connected to your consultant in a few taps of your mobile phone.

“All we need is your mobile phone number so that we can text you a link for you to join the consultation.

“This will be sent to you when your consultant is ready to see you. If you prefer to just to have a telephone consultation just let us know.

“Video calls do help people feel as though they have face to face contact, but we recognise it’s not a suitable option for all patients.

“Your virtual appointment is a real appointment and should be treated as such, if you can’t make the date or time, please contact your department.

“Our teams are happy to rearrange but if you don’t contact us and/or don’t answer the video call then you will receive a letter from the hospital saying you did not attend the appointment.”

For the appointments, patients will need a computer, tablet or smart phone with a built-in camera and microphone, a quiet room and a good internet connection.