Near Me in Care Homes - Newsletter November '23
This newsletter if for Care Home Managers and Staff across Scotland
Near Me, video consultations can support your residents to have their health or care appointments without having to leave their homes.
In this article, Rikke Iversholt- Programme Lead for Social Care & Telecare - part of the Scottish Government Digital Health and Care Team - explains some of the benefits and how to get set up.
Tried and tested Near Me allows residents and staff to have free video calls with a wide range of health and care professionals as well as family members plus connect with social care group events.
At a time of relentless pressure across the whole social care and health sector, many colleagues are telling me that anything that can improve access, save time, and reduce the spread of infection would be welcome. In my experience, one example is the greater use of Near Me. I am therefore very keen that Care Home Managers are aware of why the use of video calling might help.
Tried and tested it allows residents and staff to have free video calls with a wide range of health and care professionals as well as family members plus connect with social care group events.
When an in-person visit is not convenient, possible, or necessary, video calling is better than a telephone consultation. Being able to see people offers lots of advantages leading to better conversations and advice. It may also avoid the need for a resident to attend A&E. Another benefit is that it is easier for multiple people (health and care professionals, relatives, and interpreters) to join a call and communicate, often necessary for care home residents.
While the use of video is not appropriate for all situations, feedback from a wide range of stakeholders (public, care home staff, and sector colleagues) is that Near Me should be offered as an option.
How to Apply for a Near Me Waiting Area
If you haven't used Near Me before you can apply for your own free Near Me Waiting Area by applying online via this website. This is quick and easy to do. If you have a waiting area but have not used it for a while it will still work.
Once you are set up to use the service, all you do when an appointment time has been agreed is send the joining link for your Near Me waiting area to whoever needs to be on the call. The link can be sent by text or email.
What about Training?
Near Me is simple to use and takes very little time to become confident in use. A short video is available Using Near Me with Callers - YouTube. But if you want a bit more support, short “live video” sessions are available. These can be booked on the National Video Conferencing Service (scot.nhs.uk).
YouTube training video for providers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plc3pV7SJRI&t=196s
What about Technical difficulties?
For technical difficulties or queries, you can also get help from their Service Desk available from Monday to Friday 08:00 – 18:00 by:
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org or
- Telephone at 01224 816666