Covid-19 Pandemic; consultations

Due to the current COVID 19 pandemic all private clinics have been closed as the health sector, including the NHS, is avoiding face-to-face consultation where possible for the safety of patients and staff. I am therefore offering remote consultation by telephone or video call where this is appropriate bearing in mind that for some neurological problems examination of the nervous system is necessary. Nevertheless, a telephone consultation can resolve many concerns and can assess the urgency of any problem and the importance of any examination, investigations or treatment needed.

If you wish to have a remote consultation then a GP referral is still highly desirable and can be sent to my office. I will assess the referral and any preliminary information you give me regarding the nature of your problem as to whether it is suitable for a remote consultation. If it then seems reasonable to start with a remote consultation, then a day and time for this will be mutually agreed. This should be when you are in a quiet location that allows you to talk about private matters without privacy concerns.

 

What to expect for your remote consultation.

I will ask you to confirm your identity and check that you are able to hear comfortably and are happy to continue.

Before the consultation I will have read any referral letters or other documents that you or your doctors have sent me. Just as with a face to face consultation, I will then ask questions about your symptoms that allow me to build up a picture of what might be wrong. I will also ask questions about your previous or current medical problems, any surgery you may have had, and what medications you may be taking. I will check if you have any allergies to drugs. You may wish to list, or send me, this information in advance of the consultation. I will be taking notes on the information that you give me.

We can then discuss my insights into your problem(s). This is the most important part of the consultation. I will explain your situation as I see it and I aim to do so in simple and plain language.

In some cases a final diagnosis can be made at this stage and its management can be discussed. We can also discuss whether any investigations (such as blood tests or imaging, for example an X-ray, MRI or CT scan) are needed to confirm the diagnosis or to reassure you that more sinister explanations are not involved. However, at this time all facilities are only conducting urgent investigations and that any non-urgent investigations will only be actioned once it is deemed safer to do so. We can therefore discuss how urgent any tests might be.

In other cases a final diagnosis is not possible with a remote consultation and a face to face examination may also be needed. If so, we can discuss the urgency for this and arrange for this to be done when appropriate.

Even so it may be possible to rule out some of your concerns so please do let me know if you have any particular diagnoses in mind.

 

Outcome

By the end of the consultation you should know the plan for managing your case, be that reassurance only, medication or investigations. We will discuss whether any follow up consultation is required and if so whether face to face, or by remote consultation and when this should take place. A letter will then be sent summarising the information obtained from the consultation and the management plan.

Covid
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