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NHS Grampian consultations on video phone – views of Moray patients sought

By Alistair Whitfield

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NHS Grampian is asking the public for their views on how health and care services might be delivered remotely in the future.

The use of video consultations has rapidly escalated since the Covid-19 pandemic started.

Before March 83 patients each week were seen using the Near Me system. Now that number has soared to 3000.

The Scottish Government is looking at continuing to use Near Me as much as possible – and it is seeking views on that vision.

Paul Allen, NHS Grampian’s director of eHealth and facilities, said: “Near Me video consulting has enabled services to continue to be provided without potential exposure to Covid-19.

"It is important that we plan now for the future post-Covid 19 – and residents in Grampian have a part to play in that.

"I would urge people to check out the Near Me vision and give their feedback on it.”

Near Me, which was developed and tested in Scotland in 2018 and 2019.

It was initially used mainly in the Highlands, where distances can be an issue. However, it has come into its own during the lockdown and is being increasingly used in hospitals, GP and community services throughout the country.

Patients need to have a device for making a video call, such as a smartphone, tablet or computer with webcam, and a reliable internet connection.

Clare Morrison, who co-leads the national Near Me programme, said: "Throughout the country health and care providers, as well as patients, have been embracing the use of Near Me in recent months.

"This experience has made many people realise its true potential, hence our vision.

"However, as we plan ahead we want to understand what the general public think about Near Me and its future use.

"We hope our survey will allow us to do that."

A video about Near Me is available to watch here and the survey is here

Read news from Moray here

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