Date lodged: 9 January 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what technology has recently been or is being developed to allow people to access health (a) services and (b) information.
Answered by: Shona Robison 18 January 2018
The Scottish Government and NHS Boards have been implementing a number of technological approaches to support people with accessing health services and information appropriate to their needs. During the last few years, on-line appointment booking and repeat prescriptions have been rolled out in GP surgeries across Scotland as part of the Primary Care Digital Services Programme. In December 2016, Attend Anywhere was launched to enable patient-to-clinician video consultations, providing easier access to outpatient appointments and other clinical services. NHS inform, which is part of NHS 24, provides the public with reliable, quality assured health and care information online. The website was recently refreshed with new functions including self-help guides; a services directory to help people find services in their local area (including dental services, A&E units and minor injuries units, opticians and pharmacies); an 'Info for Me' tool for gathering information so that it can be saved, printed or shared with others; and a web-chat feature that connects people with the NHS Inform health information team in real-time. The website also displays trending and seasonal topics in response to commonly asked questions and supports national health and care campaigns throughout the year. Meanwhile, the national development of an online Health and Social Care Citizen Portal, which aims to provide every individual in Scotland with a single access point to online, personalised health services and information by 2020, is also continuing.