Telephone appointments

Attending an appointment via telephone

What you will need:

A mobile phone or landline - It's best if you have a hands-free device. If you have a smartphone find a way to prop it up so you can move about.

Find a quiet space where you won't be disturbed during your appointment.

Things to prepare for the appointment: 

  • A pen and paper to note things down during your appointment
  • A prescription card, a list of any medications or your medication in its packaging
  • A list of questions or issues to help you get the most from your appointment.
  • A support person. You're welcome to have a family member/whānau or friend with you during the call. Just remember to tell the clinician who is with you when you start your appointment.

What to expect from a telephone appointment

  • You may be asked to confirm your identity
  • If another person is with you, introduce them to the clinician
  • When you are ready you can talk to your clinician about your health
  • You may receive important information like changes to your medication
  • You can ask the clinician to repeat information to confirm you both have it correctly
  • If something goes wrong with the call, we will call you back
  • After the clinician has finished talking with you, they’ll arrange things like letters, tests and other appointments if needed
  • We will say "goodbye" before we go


After the clinician has finished talking to you, they will arrange various things like letters, blood test forms and other appointments if required.

Before completing your appointment together, discuss with your clinician about whether your next appointment should be face-to-face or via telephone or video.

Take note of the clinician's advice. Just because you felt the appointment went fine by phone doesn't mean the clinician was confident that everything clinically necessary was achieved.

If they are uneasy about another telehealth appointment, ask why.

It is likely that you will become more familiar and confident with the technology over time. So, if it seems strange or difficult for the first appointment, it may get easier for your following appointments.