NHS Forth Valley recently secured £100,000 from the Scottish Government to carry out outpatient appointments via video links. The funding, from the Technology Enabled Care Programme, will support the use of Near Me, a new service to deliver video consultations as an alternative to face-to-face appointments. The aim is to deliver 12,000 appointments using this method by December 2019.
Video consultations have many benefits including reducing travelling time and inconvenience for patients and their carers. They may also be preferable to a face-to-face consultation for certain patients including prisoners, people with anxiety disorders, disabilities which prevent people from leaving their house and people living in remote and rural locations who may find it harder to access health services. They can also help specialists provide support and advice to other health and care staff without the need to travel.
A number of services including gastroenterology, community outpatients (MSK physiotherapy, orthotics, dietetics and podiatry), adult and older people’s mental health, cardiac rehabilitation and adult speech and language therapy have already expressed an interest in using video consultations. Further specialties will also have the opportunity to participate over the next year.
If you are interested in finding out more please contact Beverley Finch, Corporate Programme Manager, email@example.com or Colin McGregor, eHealth Project Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org who will be happy to answer any questions or arrange a demonstration.