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NHS urges patients to try out video consultation pilot


By Gavin Musgrove

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Patients in the strath are to have the opportunity to ‘try it out’ sessions for NHS Highland’s innovative NHS Near Me video consulting system from their own homes.

Every Friday between 1pm to 4pm any resident in the region can go online and try out the service via the service's website.

The idea of the sessions is to allow the public to use the system before they actually have a real video appointment with a consultant.

NHS bosses have said the system is simplicity itself to use.

They have said users need a reliable internet connection and a device in their home - like a smartphone, laptop or tablet - that can make video calls (like Skype or Facetime).

Calls need to be made from the Chrome or Safari browser.

The Friday afternoon sessions follows a trial of the ‘Try it Out’ system in Caithness and Sutherland.

NHS Highland’s NHS Near Me lead Clare Morrison said: “…We hope that once people have tried it out in this more relaxed way, they will be more confident about using it for an actual appointment.”
NHS Highland’s NHS Near Me lead Clare Morrison said: “…We hope that once people have tried it out in this more relaxed way, they will be more confident about using it for an actual appointment.”

NHS Highland’s NHS Near Me lead, Clare Morrison, said: “The idea of the ‘Try it Out’ sessions is that any member of the public can call in via the link on the NHS Near Me website on Friday afternoons between 1pm and 4pm.

“The Near Me team will answer the call – people won’t be connected to a clinician, it is just to try out the system with the Near Me team.

“If the patient is happy to provide their name, address and DOB we will record on the NHS Highland system that they are 'Near Me checked' so their specialist will be able to see that future appointments could be held by NHS Near Me, providing it was clinically appropriate.

“The aim is to do this every Friday from now on, as it’s the time when clinics are quietest.

“We know some people are cautious about using NHS Near Me because it’s new or they are nervous about using technology.

"So we hope that once people have tried it out in this more relaxed way, they will be more confident about using it for an actual appointment.”

Clare added: “Knowing how to use the service on the website in advance will just help to take the pressure off when patients have an appointment.”

To take part in the ‘try it out’ sessions this Friday, go to the NHS Highland website at: https://nhsh.scot/nhsnearme then follow the instructions on the web page.

There are also two leaflets on the website – one which gives general information about NHS Near Me, and one which is a step-by-step guide about how to make an NHS Near Me call – and technical information about the system.


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