The doctor will see you now... by Skype

Psychologist Kobus Van Rensburg tries out the new Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS consultation method
Psychologist Kobus Van Rensburg tries out the new Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS consultation method

An NHS trust in Northamptonshire is among the first in the country to offer video consultations between doctors and some patients.

People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or Aspergers will be able to speak to a clinic from their home from now on using the video calling website Skype and a webcam.

Kobus Van Rensburg, a consultant clinical psychologist at Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS, who has led the scheme, said: “It gives our clients the opportunity to remain in the setting where they feel safe.

“It also means that they are able to have an appointment outside the standard team hours of 9am and 5pm as there is no need to book a clinic room for this.”

Mr van Rensburg said other benefits include reduced travel costs and the chance for his team to see more clients each working day.

Health bosses said that, in many instances, the use of video is not aimed at replacing clinic or home-based face to face contact, but allow more frequent consultations.

It also means the patient can avoid taking time off work or arranging child-care.