Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust says it is the first trust in the country to offer video appointments to cardiology patients.

This means patients can avoid travelling to hospital by speaking to consultants in the comfort of their own home.

The trust is currently taking part in a three-month pilot using an app called Q Doctor to make the scheme possible.

Dr Zeeshan Khawaja, a consultant cardiologist, said: "This is a fantastic service for patients who have been discharged from our A&E, and referred for a follow-up cardiac appointment.

"Video appointments enable us as specialist healthcare professionals to engage rapidly with these patients to ensure that they get the care they need in a timely manner.

"We can provide important expert advice and arrange further tests where necessary without the need for patients to return to the hospital, having already been seen in the emergency department."

He added that hospitals did not want to lose a personal rapport with patients and are flexible with offering face-to-face appointments.

CNN International has filmed the trial at Lewisham and Greenwich for its programme Innovative Cities, which will air in March.

David Meynell, from Welling, who has multiple sclerosis, was one of the first patients to use the trial, and said it was "incredibly convenient".

He added: "I have to get a cab and it is quite expensive. Phone calls feel very impersonal but having a video appointment felt just like I was talking to my consultant in person which really put me at ease.

"I just used my smartphone and it was great getting all the advice I needed without making a trip to the hospital."

The trust said the feedback has been positive and that people without smartphones or anyone who prefers on-site appointments are free to do so.