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With the latest outbreak of coronavirus and to maintain the highest levels of safety for our colleagues and our patients, please follow the advice below.
If you or a member of your household have recently travelled to China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Italy, Iran or Thailand in the past 14 days, please kindly let us know as we may need to change the appointment to a phone call or video conference.
If you presently have any of the symptoms of coronavirus i.e., a fever, a persistent dry cough, muscle aches and tiredness, persistent headache or breathlessness, please advise us right away and we will arrange for your appointment to take place by video conference or telephone call.
Many of you have already used the option of video conferencing at times during your care. You may already know that this method saves an enormous amount of travel time and can be a very convenient option that this extends the reach of your care. There is now also published medical research showing that telepsychiatry is an effective and valid option for use in parts of the world where no psychiatrist is within reach.
Given the increasing number of coronavirus cases worldwide, and the possibility that there will soon be restrictions placed on transport to, and access to medical facilities in the UK, we have the backup plan of continuing to consult by Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp video, FaceTime or other video messaging apps. In the event that you are placed in isolation, or that Dr McPhillips outpatient consulting rooms are placed under any restrictions, we will continue to run the practice by telephone and video conferencing for the duration of the coronavirus epidemic.
For self-paying patients, there will be not need to change anything other than to provide us with your phone number and/or email address in order to allow us to check that your video link works. Our own broadband speeds make a steady and workable connection straightforward. In areas of poor internet connection, we have found that a 4G connection is adequate for video conferencing purposes. There is also the option of a telephone call if your internet connection is not strong.
For those of you whose care is paid for by medical insurance, please check with your insurance company whether video conferencing will be approved, and whether the terms of your policy will cover video conferencing appointments, given the extraordinary circumstances we are working with.
If you have any questions regarding the above, please do not hesitate to contact me. Likewise, if you would prefer to change any forthcoming appointment to a video conference, please let me know as soon as possible.