Transformation Directorate

Using technology to offer remote consultations to patients

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have prompted a necessary change in the way that the NHS provides care for its patients. Under NHS guidance, remote consultation (via telephone, online message or video) has been rapidly introduced to replace face-to-face consultation.


Continue to provide a range of services in a safe and secure way.


Maintain service delivery through the use of digital technology.

Solution and impact

East Lancashire Therapies and Orthotics Directorate has been able to continue with its delivery of a wide variety of services to priority pathways using video consultation and text messaging software.

The AccuRx system was introduced for all services that use Egton Medical Information Systems (EMIS), and links into the patient's electronic record. Staff have been able to use the system in one form or other despite differing levels of digital literacy.

The services currently using this system include speech and language therapy (SLT), neuro-rehabilitation, stroke therapy, community therapies (occupational therapy and physiotherapy), paediatric physiotherapy, dietetics and hand therapy.

Resources for staff and patients to help support preparation for video consultations have also been developed.


Chain SMS is an EMIS and SystmOne accredited partner product. The app can be installed on the desktops to provide a direct line of communication between the staff and the patients.

Patients do not need to download an app or create an account. Staff can use their smartphone to make a call securely without sharing their mobile number, or a webcam and headset if they prefer.


  • Online video consultation accessible from a range of devices with an internet connection
  • Personalised SMS messaging
  • Messages saved and coded on patients record


  • Remote consultation via telephone, online message or video
  • Patients can provide essential information to inform on-going management

Key contact

Helen Harrison - performance and improvement lead, East Lancashire Hospitals Trust (ELHT)