NHS 24 teams up with Scottish Centre for Telehealth to give patients web access to consultants

Carolyn Churchi

Published on 2 Oct 2009

Patient with  telehealth webcam
Patient with telehealth webcam

Patients across Scotland will be able to see a consultant over a webcam and have their symptoms assessed ­electronically as part of a move to roll out the use of new technology in the

health service.

People in rural areas of Aberdeenshire and in Orkney are already using the technology at their GP surgery or community hospital to seek advice from doctors at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

Now the Scottish Centre for Telehealth will be integrated into NHS 24 to expand the use of technology in patient care across the country, and to allow experts to treat patients’ conditions from afar.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “New technology offers some incredibly exciting possibilities for ­giving people better access to healthcare in the 21st century.

“The Scottish Centre for Telehealth has already been helping individual NHS boards devise ways of using technology to reach out to patients in our more ­isolated areas, and those with ­

mobility issues.

“But by integrating it within NHS 24, we can ensure that use of telehealth is spread right across Scotland and benefits patients in all our communities.”

Read more about article on Scottish Cantre for Telehealth

Hospital patient safety improving

surgeons washing hands
Pre-operative checklists are being implemented to cut infection rates

Simple changes to the way patients are
cared for in hospital are having a significant impact on infection
rates, according to the Scottish Government.

Hospitals are being urged to adopt stricter treatment regimes as a way of cutting
hospital deaths by 15% and “adverse incidents” by 30%.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon is highlighting the measures as part of Patient Safety Month.

She visited Stirling Royal Infirmary where infection rates are down.

Prior to adopting a stricter treatment regime, the hospital recorded at least one incident per month where a patient who required a “central line” tube for food or medication, suffered from bacterial infection.

However, NHS Forth Valley said new procedures had resulted in no cases of infection being recorded since January last year.

To read more CLICK HERE

NHS 24 showcase two new services

NHS 24
NHS 24

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon finds out more about two pilot projects at NHS 24 – a British Sign Language (BSL) Breathing Space service and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) telephony service.

The Breathing Space BSL internet service is due to launch shortly and will give BSL users access to Breathing Space counselling via secure webcam. Breathing Space offers support to people suffering from depression or feeling down. The CBT service is being piloted in five health boards and is designed to offer better access to psychological therapies across Scotland, particularly in remote and rural areas.

NHS 24’s Chairman, Allan Watson, said: “NHS 24 delivers a vital and valuable health advice and information service to the Scottish public. There have been many positive developments within NHS 24 in the last year, including the launch of the CBT and BSL pilots.

The CBT service is being piloted in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Shetland, NHS Borders, NHS Western Isles and NHS Lothian.

Scotland has around 6,000 people whose first language is British Sign Language.

For the full article CLICK HERE

E-prescription system goes live

Almost all of Scotland’s GP practices now have electronic links to community pharmacies in the first system of its kind in the UK.

The electronic Acute Medication Service (eAMS) allows prescriptions to be transmitted directly, cutting down on paperwork and reducing risk of error.

Patients are still given paper prescriptions but these contain a unique barcode.

This brings up their details when scanned by a pharmacist.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “We have a very successful prescribing system in Scotland, with around one million paper prescriptions written by GPs every week and dispensed in community pharmacies.

“But we can always do more and that’s what eAMS will achieve.”

To read the rest of the article CLICK HERE