In her speech outlining the programme for government First Minister Nicola Sturgeon outlined her commitment to investment in digital technology. She also highlighted the fact that NHS Near Me remote consultation service is set to stay well beyond the current pandemic.
During her speech Sturgeon commented:
“Crucially, in the months ahead we will build on the rapid expansion of digital access to care that was achieved in response to COVID.
“Early on in the pandemic, we quickly upscaled the use of the ‘Near Me’ video consultation service.
“In the week before that started, just over 300 video consultations took place across our NHS. In the last week of June, the number was 17,000. Patient satisfaction with the service was also high.
“That shows how quickly progress can be made.
“So while we recognise that video consultations will not be appropriate for every patient or situation, I can confirm that we intend to move to the position where ‘Near Me’ is the default option for patient consultations.
“We also intend to develop the use of ‘Near Me’ in social care.”