Any resident in the Highlands are encouraged to try out a new video consulting system from NHS Highland.
The sessions take place every Friday between 1pm to 4pm and are intended to allow members of the public to use the system before they have a real video appointment with a consultant.
NHS Highland say that all the user needs is 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.
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 1 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.