Over 163 virtual appointments were made with NHS Western Isles Services in the last fortnight.

The NHS Near Me service was already being used by NHS Western Isles, but was recently expanded to include GP practices and local opticians.

As part of the remote access to services, NHS Western Isles has also recently set up a virtual reception service to help patients access Near Me VC appointments.

The virtual reception is staffed by real members of our Patient Services team who will answer VC calls and transfer patients to the right Virtual Waiting Room for their Near Me appointment.

NHS Western Isles Patient Services Team member, Liz Macleod, stated that it is a ‘great resource’ that ‘runs very smoothly’.

She added: “It really is fantastic that patients and clinicians can still see each other and interact virtually.

“I am very grateful to be able to #stayathome but to be able to continue to provide a service to colleagues and patients at the hospital.

"Just ask your GP or other health care professional for a Near Me, Attend Anywhere or VC appointment, and we’ll do the rest."

Patient feedback has been extremely positive across the board, as the service is easy to use and enables people to continue to access healthcare services remotely from the comfort of their own homes.

In terms of the use of Near Me in the last 2 weeks there were 163 virtual appointments totalling 37 hours of consultation time across nine services:

Various GP Practices
Child and Adult Mental Health Services
Speech and Language Therapy
Nutrition and Dietetics
Diabetes Specialist Nursing
Orthopaedic Surgery

Picture shows Virtual Receptionist Liz Macleod in her living room, transferring patients to their virtual waiting room for their healthcare appointment from home.