Introduction During the Covid-19 pandemic, our hospice services had to rapidly move to consulting using video-conferencing technology. A service evaluation captured our patients‘ experiences of video consultations provided by a range of hospice professionals.
Methods An online or postal survey was sent to a convenience sample of patients, who had participated in video consultations between March and June 2020, focussing on their experience and overall satisfaction with the service.
Results We received 26 responses from patients (23) and family members/carers (3), 12 of whom were over the age of 70. Patients had consulted with our doctors (2), nurses (14), physiotherapists (5), occupational therapist (1), social worker (1), complementary therapist (4) and Wellbeing team (17). 25 respondents stated that they used the internet daily, 22 had access to a smartphone, and 23 used videoconferencing for reasons other than healthcare. However, 22 had never used this technology for healthcare prior to the pandemic. 32% included a family member in their consultation and this was viewed as beneficial. 88.4% experienced being able to talk in the same way as if they were face-to-face. All respondents reported overall satisfaction with consulting via video, although 41.7% still stated a preference for face-to-face consultations where possible. 91.7% said they would be happy to use video to consult with hospice professionals in the future, and 87.5% stated that they would recommend this service video to others.
Conclusions Patients and carers reported video consultations to be an acceptable way to receive support from a range of hospice professionals. The majority had access to, and familiarity with their own technology. Video consultations should be offered as an alternative to face-to-face consultations with the potential to improve access for more patients and carers to a range of hospice services in the future.
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