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Digital access key to planning for the future of the NHS

Sunday, November 29, 2015
Scottish Government

Health Secretary says technology will transform health and social care

Health Secretary Shona Robison today outlined the Scottish Government’s vision for the use of technology to directly support individual health and care, during a speech to the annual Holyrood Telehealth and Telecare conference.

Ms Robison said NHS Scotland was poised to deliver a step-change in care for patients through the development of home and community-based monitoring services and the use of online services to promote ‘health literacy’. This would further enhance Scotland’s position as a global leader in the digital healthcare market.

During the speech, Ms Robison also highlighted the Scottish Government’s refreshed strategy for eHealth in Scotland for 2014 – 2017, which sets out a plan to give many more people access to health and care services through digital channels.

It builds on the achievements of the previous strategy and will be instrumental to deliver the Scottish Government’s commitment that by 2020 everyone will have digital access to the health and social care information that is important to them and their wellbeing.

Addressing delegates this morning, the Health Secretary said:

“Digital technology is now part of our everyday lives and NHS Scotland is already using technology to improve many of our health and care services.

“We believe that everyone’s health and wellbeing can be better supported through greater use of technology innovations – providing fully person-centred care that fits well within an increasingly digital lifestyle.

“This must be a priority for all health services around the world. If not, patients will start to ask – quite rightly – why access and interaction with healthcare services has not moved into the 21st century.

“As we are seeing already, technology also has the potential to promote ‘health literacy’ – giving people the confidence and skills to take charge of their conditions and live healthy lives, on their own terms. As such, digital access is key to planning for the future of the NHS in Scotland.

“We have invested £360 million in eHealth since 2011 and I’m pleased to see that substantial progress has been made across the country, including increased use of clinical portals, the national Patient Management System and implementation in all GP practices of the Key Information Summary for patients with long-term conditions.

“This recently published eHealth Strategy will continue to put NHS Scotland at the forefront of innovations in healthcare technology - helping us to deliver modern, fit-for-purpose services that put the patient at the heart of their care.”

The full article and notes to editors can be found here