Video consultation scheme extended in Scotland

A video consultation scheme in Scotland that is already facilitating 40,000 consultations a month is to be extended.

The Near Me video consultation scheme is to be extended so it can be used in community settings such as libraries as well as their own home.

Already in use, the scheme is able to ease pressure on the health service and save people time and money travelling to appointments.

The video consultations can be used for outpatient and GP appointments, as well as other services.

Following the extension of the scheme, patients will be able to access 55 hubs across the country, which have areas set up for private video consultations. The hubs provide confidentiality and good connectivity, as well as help for those with low digital confidence or no access to a suitable device.

Health secretary Humza Yousaf said: “Face to face appointments will always be there for people who need them, but Near Me has many benefits to patients, including saving time and money. It is valuable in giving them options on accessing healthcare in a way that is easy and comfortable for them.

“It allows multiple family members to join consultations and saves patients having to take time off work or organise childcare.

“The platform has also reduced the need for travel, saving an estimated 57 million miles of travel since January 2020. That is so important at this time when we are looking at fuel costs and the impact on the environment.”

 

Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

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