Health advice now live on digital tv

NHS 24 has launched a new digital TV channel to improve patients’ access to health information and advice from the comfort of their own home.

The channel, available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin, gives people access to health advice and information on local services. An app for iphones, ipads and android smartphones also gives access to the digital service.

The channel offers information from NHS 24, NHS inform and Care Information Scotland web services, improving access to health information for those who don’t have home internet access – often those from more deprived communities or older people who could potentially benefit most from this advice.

NHS 24 is also using this system to pilot a scheme with Dunblane Medical Practice where patients can book appointments with their GP and which in future may enable them to order repeat prescriptions.

Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald, said:

"We want to ensure that more people in Scotland can access health information and advice where and when they need it, particularly those who need it most. Many Scots, including those living in our more deprived communities and older people, do not have access to the internet at home. Now they can access this information, quickly and easily through their televisions.

"Since it went live, there have been more than 30,000 contacts a month accessing the channel from their front rooms in Scotland and that is set to increase. We are piloting booking GP appointments and looking at whether repeat prescriptions can be ordered through the channel in future. It is now possible to check on your alcohol intake through your remote and soon a full health check may be available.

"The NHS doesn't stand still. This is a fantastic example of how we are constantly updating the way that patients interact with the NHS to make sure that we deliver a top quality service."

Lynne Huckerby, NHS 24’s Head of Health Information Services said:

"Although in a digital age many people access their information through the web and their phones, around 39 per cent of the Scottish population do not have access to the internet.

"However, more than three million people in Scotland now have access to digital television and it is vital that we are able to broaden our reach to as many people across the country as possible.

"The ability to get good quality health information is a right that everyone should have and by investing in this new service, we hope that we are opening up access to even more people."

Background:

The service, which is delivered in partnership with Looking Local, went live on April 1 2011.

The channel can be accessed through Freesat and Sky (community channel 539) and Virgin Media (home button, interactive number 7) The BBC’s new Youview service is being considered for the future.

The Scottish Household Survey 2009 included figures for home internet access. It found that almost two thirds (63 per cent) of all households in Scotland reported having a broadband Internet connection. This varied from around one third of households with incomes of 10,000 pounds or less to 95 per cent of those with incomes of more than 40,000 pounds. For further information see:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2010/08/23102257

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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