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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Use of video support set to be expanded

 

Voluntary sector organisations are being offered the chance to utilise Near Me video technology

Voluntary sector organisations are being given the chance to expand their use of technology to boost their support services.

Digital improvements in health and care have accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now the Scottish Government has extended its contract with Near Me which will allow all third sector organisations to benefit by using the platform. 

Near Me is web-based and is powered by a video consulting platform called Attend Anywhere which has been procured for national use across Scotland by the Scottish Government.

Developed and tested in 2018 and 2019, the Near Me video consulting service was initially used mainly in rural and island communities in the north of Scotland, where distances can be an issue.

To date, there has been significant use by Alzheimer Scotland, Crossreach, Cruse Bereavement Care and Penumbra. But the new arrangements mean any organisation can apply including those outwith health and care.

Hazel Archer who heads up the Near Me programme for Technology Enabled Care said: “We have been working to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to meet the growing demand for Near Me video appointments since the pandemic. It is an appropriate, effective, and secure means of conducting remote consultations. Alongside the NHS and care sector we have started to work with the public sector and now feel it could also be an invaluable tool for many third sector organisations.”

As well as the lower risk of infection associated with use of video appointments, other benefits include improved access to services, convenience, reduced need to travel and take time off work and less environmental impact. Another significant benefit that people have reported is that family members or other professionals can join a call.

Archer added: "Anyone can apply for a licence, and we will also provide practical help and advice to enable start up. Currently we are carrying out 22,000 appointment per week for health and care. The benefits described translate across many if not all services.  We want to build on this and extend the use of Near Me and other digital solutions across the third sector."

For more information and to apply for a licence contact nss.nearme@nhs.scot or you can phone Maimie Thompson on 07522 516043.

 

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