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Plans for GP consultations by Skype at new Countesswells practice


handouts from big partnership
19/05/2016 handouts from big partnership

Aberdeen residents could be among the first in Scotland to take part in GP consultations by Skype rather than attend surgery appointments.

Developers behind the new £1 billion community at Countesswells on the western edge of the city believe digital healthcare could be piloted at the development’s new medical practice.

Countesswells Development Limited (CDL) has installed a fibre optic network 35 times faster than the national average in preparation for digital consultations.

Countesswells project director Jim Fitzsimons said that while the development will be based on traditional community values, it is important to create a place which is fit for the future.

“With this level of digital connectivity, our community is ideally placed to trial innovations such as digital consultations with GPs,” he said.

“In today’s increasingly digital world, it’s about creating a digital community – ensuring that we have a digital network which connects residents with their public services and amenities.

“We’ve explored what the future might look like: how people will work and play and how they will access services such as healthcare, education and policing.

“And we’ve designed the community physically and virtually to meet today’s and tomorrow’s needs.”

Countesswells will be the first community in Scotland to have access to a 1Gbps internet network.

This means that a 4kb movie, which would typically take eight hours to download, will take just over ten minutes.

The new community at Countesswells will have 3,000 new homes, phased in over 15 years.

As well as a medical practice, facilities will include a new secondary school and two primary schools, business units, and retail and leisure.

Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership chief officer Sandra Ross said: “There are significant opportunities to introduce digital solutions for the delivery of many of our services.

“The partnership’s aim is to reach a point where digital services are part of everything we do, and have become not just the first point of contact for many people but also how they actively choose to engage with our services.”

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