Video conferencing success for Caithness patients during weather chaos

A consultation room for NHS Near Me at Caithness General Hospital.

Patients in Caithness were able to consult with clinicians during the atrocious weather brought by the Beast from the East thanks to the trial of video consulting technology.

As snow tightened its grip on the country, consultants based in Inverness were unable to travel north to attend their planned clinics.

Trials of the board’s innovative NHS Near Me service were set up last month, however, enabled patients to visit Caithness General Hospital and use the service to have their consultations as planned.

A total of 14 patients were seen at a stroke and rehabilitation clinic and an orthopaedic clinic.

NHS Highland’s project lead Clare Morrison said: “Both clinics were very successful, with positive feedback from both the patients and the consultants who were trying the video consulting technology used in NHS Near Me for the first time.

“The clinics were set up with only a few hours’ notice as the consultants had difficulties travelling to Wick the afternoon before the scheduled clinic.

“Patients were telephoned that afternoon to check they were happy to be seen using the NHS Near Me service and the clinic was then set up for the following morning.

“This proves how easy it is to use the technology.”

She added that making appointments for the NHS Near Me trial at CGH were also simple to arrange and enabled consultants and specialists across the Highlands to interact with patients as if they were in the same room.