Guest blog by Keith Willcock – eHealth Policy & Strategy Lead, Scottish Government – as part of Scottish Digital Health & Care Week 2015.
The integration of health and social care services is a key Scottish Government policy, focussed on meeting the challenges of Scotland’s ageing population by shifting resources to community-based and preventative care at home, or in a homely setting.
eHealth is the key to how information is accessed, used and shared within and across NHS Boards and with partner organisations to deliver integrated health and social care and, as such, is a prime enabler of the delivery of the 2020 Vision for Health and Social Care.
In our vision, the citizen (and/or their carer) sits at the heart of the health and social care team and, where possible, takes an active role. Digital tools can support self-management and strengthen the interaction with health and care professionals. Our eHealth Strategy details how we support this vision.
Progress so far with patient-facing health IT developments in Scotland include:
- The NHS Inform website is being significantly redesigned with a focus on health and wellbeing and self-management support across Long term Conditions;
- Comprehensive patient platforms for chronic conditions such as PatientView and MyDiabetesMyWay. These provide digital tools for patients with conditions which best lend themselves to effective self-management and co-production with clinicians;
- Primary Care Digital Service. Around a quarter of GP practices in Scotland now offer on-line services such as appointment booking. We’re promoting the wider adoption of such services by investing in a Digital Services Development Fund over the next three years.
We are developing a patient portal enabling citizens to easily access many of the digital health and care services on offer.
Please join the National Conversation to give us your view on what digital health & care services you would like to see in the future.