Telephone & video consultations

In many situations, the use of telephone & video technology offers benefits as an alternative to traditional face-to-face support, these remote consultations can be carried out and documented within PKB.

How do I start a telephone consultation?

Before you start a telephone consultation, you should ensure that the patient has a phone number saved in their record.

On Events & messages click 'Call patient.' Choose the patient, complete the form including any background information / reason for the consultation and then select ‘Start.’

The Call in progress screen will appear. If the patient has contact details stored, you will see the 'Start phone call' button. Clicking on this button will open Skype to begin the calls. You can document the consultation on this page. Once complete, press 'Send' - this will save the consultation and send the notes you have taken to the patient. This can be viewed in the Messages section of PKB.

How do I start a video consultation with Skype?

Before starting a video consultation, both the professional and the patient must have Skype downloaded on their respective devices, and have it open at the time of the scheduled consultation. The patient should also have a Skype ID saved in their record (see below for instructions on how to add this).

When ready to start the consultation, the professional should log in and go to the ‘Messages’ page and click 'Call patient.'

Select the patient from the drop down list, enter the subject and background notes before the call. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click ‘Start.’

Click ‘Start Skype call.’

This will launch Skype on your device. You may get some pop ups from your browser asking you to confirm you want to launch Skype - you should select yes.

Once Skype has launched, you can commence the consultation. You can use the ‘Document your consultation’ box in PKB to add any notes throughout the consultation. Once the consultation is completed, you can press ‘Send.’ This will send the notes you have taken to the patient, and can be viewed in the Messages section of PKB.

Why can I not see the option to Skype or call my patient?

If your patient does not have a phone number or Skype ID recorded in the settings of their account then the options to Skype or phone the patient will not appear.

How do I add a Skype ID to a patient?

Search for the patient, select them and then click ‘Edit Demographics.’

Enter their Skype name in the 'Skype ID' field. Once the Skype ID has been added, remember to scroll to the bottom of the page, enter your password and save the changes.

Please note that entering the email address associated with the Skype account will not work, it needs to be the Skype name.

Do I need Skype installed on my device?

Yes. If you do not have Skype installed on your device then the option to Skype will appear (if the patient has a Skype ID recorded) but will not respond when selected.

Do telephone consultations only work with Skype?

Skype is the only system that is currently integrated within PKB, however, it is still possible to use alternative services (such Skype for Business or Google hangouts) by pasting the meeting link as a message.

Where can I view past video/telephone consultations?

Once completed, video and telephone consultations will display in Messages (or Events and Messages if in the patient record).

How do I start a video consultation with my preferred video conferencing software?

If you do not want to use Skype for video consultations, you can use other video conferencing software. When choosing which software to use, it is important to choose software that is quick and easy for patients to download and access.

To start a video consultation, generate a meeting link for your chosen video conferencing software.

Search for your patient on PKB and when found click ‘Send Message.’

In the message, paste the meeting link they generated from your video conferencing software, and explain to the patient how to use the link. Press ‘Send’ to send the message to the patient.

The patient will receive an email stating they have a new message and will provide a URL which will take them to the exact message you have sent.

The patient can then log into their record, and view the message. They can click on the meeting link you have provided which will take them to the remote consultation.

How can I use Attend Anywhere?

Attend Anywhere is a video consultation tool that is being used by the NHS to help manage remote consultations. You can find a very good example of how this is being used here. It shows that patients enter a waiting room and are then seen by a doctor who starts their 1-to-1 call.

Attend Anywhere has a generic link for each organisation, for example ( with individual waiting rooms that a patient can join to be seen if they have a scheduled appointment.

There are a number of ways that PKB can support your use of Attend Anywhere:

  1. Embed the link to join the waiting room in relevant places or for relevant teams in PKB in the:
    1. Welcome message; make sure it is clear that this is only for scheduled appointments
    2. Care plan; ensure it is clear that this is only for scheduled appointments
    3. Library of resources
  2. The best way to utilise this would be to configure your Trust Integration Engine (TIE) (which can send patients their appointments into PKB) to also send the link as an addition to that appointment information ( - PV1 or NTE)
  3. These can be manually sent to a patient via the appointment screen or the events and messaging screen.

All of these options are beneficial as a reminder for patients of where to go to access these appointments.

Before and after the consultation - PKB supporting remote care throughout the care pathway

1. Pre-consultation resources - links to external resources and contained resources within PKB to support the pathway from the start, including sharing of prevention techniques.

For example, by giving everyone clear care plans and links to the changing advice in one consistent place.

2. Messaging - The ability for the information discussed as part of the consultation to be recorded digitally for the patient to access/share with carers or family members, post consultation.

3. Remote support - A range of resources to help post consultation to ensure that those who are able to stay isolated and out of healthcare settings, feel confident to continue to do so including:

  • A care plan to help track symptoms and action plan of when it is no longer necessary to self-isolate but to seek additional medical help, and where that appropriate medical help should be sought.
  • Messaging to allow patients to continue to communicate with clinical teams/digital and remotely.
  • Links to up-to-date resources (i.e. via NHS 111)
  • A record that can then be shared with other professionals if a patient does need to present to another service for a more comprehensive account of a patients’ interactions with the NHS, or tracking of their symptoms to date.

Digital interaction with the patient is not just about the one time video consultation but, all the support around it that gives patients the confidence to self-manage their condition where appropriate.

Equipped with a record to store their health journey, the ability to share this with their care network, and a reference point for support, PKB can be used alongside other video consultation tools to provide a comprehensive remote digital care package.