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Remote Consulting with NHS Orkney

By Nick Morrison

Remote Consulting first started being used in 2018/2019 in the Highlands and was introduced in order to improve access to service for patients.

Environmental benefits were also apparent and in mind with reduced travel for the patients. For some Orcadians and Shetlanders an appointment to a Mainland specialist hospital means two ferry trips or flights and overnight accommodation.

There is now a program/app called “Near Me” which is being used successfully by at least one Orkney practice. This provides a video link between the Doctor and Patient. It is now seen as a good way of avoiding personal contact in these Covid 19 times.

It is not ideal in all circumstances as it relies on good internet links.

Remote Consulting is certainly nothing to be worried about. The two remote consultations I have had,  (Aberdeen Hospital and Skerryvore ) were by land line phone (mobile phone signal is poor in our part of Orphir) and were entirely satisfactory.

The “Near Me” app would however, have been an improvement on the process. If you cannot use the “Near Me”  app {you need a phone/tablet with microphone and Internet capability or a PC with both and a workable Internet link} then a little pre work on your part will assist the Doctor when they call.

If you have a wound, photograph it. Almost all Tablets and many phones have a camera and internet capability. So even if you have poor comms where you stay you can always take your phone/tablet to where there is a good signal. Likewise if you have a swollen limb, again photograph it and in the case of limbs measure the circumference of the swelling and of the unswollen limb from a fixed point. The Doctor will give you an E-mail address when they phone.

Lap top and mobile phone B Bell

photo credit : Bell

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