Evaluating Outpatient Telephone and Video Consultations in Heart Failure [COVID-19]

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Evaluating Outpatient Telephone and Video Consultations in heart failure: Clinician and patient perspectives (VIDEO-HF)



  • Contact name

    Martin Cowie

  • Contact email


  • Sponsor organisation

    Imperial College London

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    1 years, 2 months, 8 days

  • Research summary

    Research Summary

    Over 900,000 people in the UK are living with heart failure. Heart failure patients are usually followed up in outpatient clinics. The Royal Brompton Hospital is a specialist heart failure service providing outpatient care. The NHS Long Term Plan previously set a target of reducing face-to-face clinic appointments by 1/3, with video and telephone consultations suggested as alternatives. The recent Covid-19 crisis has necessitated rapid transformation of outpatient services. Going forward, the default option for clinic appointments is “virtual first” to minimise the risk to patients and professionals. \nThe Royal Brompton Hospital now offers telephone and video consultations as the default option for clinic reviews. We are applying for ethical permission to recruit for and conduct semi-structured interviews of patients and staff to gain insights on the benefits and challenges of video consultations. We will recruit patients who have undergone a video consultation in the heart failure clinic, and staff who have conducted or helped administrate a video consultation. \nAside from minimising the risk of Covid-19 transmission, the expected benefits of teleclinics to patients include convenience, no journey time, more flexible appointments and the ability for relatives to join in remotely. The expected benefits to clinicians and hospital outpatient departments include increased flexibility, reduced clinic space required and the ability for other professionals to join in remotely, if needed. Evidence from the literature suggests that video consultations may change the dynamic of the consultation and we may identify areas of dissatisfaction. Clinicians will be unable to examine patients in video consultation. We may encounter process difficulties that result in additional work for non-clinical support staff. The interviews will provide valuable feedback as to how best to improve video clinic services.\n

    Summary of Results:
    Background Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, heart failure (HF) disease management programmes were predominantly delivered in-person, with telemedicine being uncommon. Covid-19 resulted in a rapid shift to “remote-by-default” clinic appointments in many organisations. We evaluated clinician and patient experiences of teleconsultations for HF.

  • REC name

    South West - Frenchay Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    12 Aug 2020

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion