Scottish Government
Tuesday, 21 July, 2020

The Scottish Government called for responses and opinions during the Near Me public engagement exercise. The College’s Lay Advisory Committee provided comments, including that video consulting should continue to be offered after physical distancing is over but it is not universally appropriate. It should therefore be an option rather than mandatory. In the view of Lay Advisors, video consulting does improve access to services, particularly by reducing the need to travel or take time off work and especially in remote or rural environments. However, those benefits will apply only where scheduled consultation times can be relied upon. Overall, the use of NearMe should supplement rather than replace physical examinations, particularly for new consultations. There is also  acknowledgment that appropriate observations may be carried out by a nurse or other qualified healthcare professional and not necessarily by a physician.

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