Ex­tra cash to help GP prac­tices get on­line

The Oban Times - - News -

NHS HIGH­LAND says ad­di­tional gov­ern­ment fund­ing has been al­lo­cated to help it meet the na­tional tar­get of hav­ing 90 per cent of its GP prac­tices of­fer­ing on­line ap­point­ment book­ing and re­peat pre­scrip­tions by the end of this year.

The health au­thor­ity's com­ments come after a new re­port from the Re­form Scot­land think tank flagged it up as be­ing one of Scot­land's poorer per­form­ing health board ar­eas when it comes to the 90 per cent tar­get.

Cur­rently only 28 of NHS High­land’s 98 GP prac­tices of­fers on­line ap­point­ment book­ings and/or re­peat pre­scrib­ing.

Re­form Scot­land also re­vealed that only four Scot­tish health boards were on course to make the changes.

The Scot­tish gov­ern­ment has said it is in­vest­ing money in pri­mary care to sup­port the in­tro­duc­tion of the lat­est tech­nol­ogy.

Most GP surg­eries are pri­vate sec­tor con­trac­tors and as such are free to de­cide for them­selves whether to of­fer on­line ser­vices.

Quizzed this week on the sit­u­a­tion, NHS High­land said both it and NHS Scot­land have recog­nised ad­di­tional in­vest­ment is needed so that the 90 per cent tar­get by the end of 2017 can be achieved.

‘To help meet this tar­get, ad­di­tional fund­ing has been pro­vided by NHS Scot­land and this fund­ing has al­lowed NHS High­land to of­fer these ser­vices to an­other 42 prac­tices,’ an NHS High­land spokesper­son said.

‘The ad­di­tional 42 prac­tices have yet to go live as there is a re­quire­ment to up­grade the ver­sion of the GP clin­i­cal prac­tice sys­tem.

‘This work is be­ing co- or­di­nated at a na­tional level and when com­plete will al­low the 42 prac­tices to switch on their on­line ser­vices.’

The Scot­tish gov­ern­ment has said it is com­mit­ted to in­vest­ing an ex­tra £ 500m a year by 2021/22 to trans­form pri­mary care and that this will in­clude of­fer­ing more ser­vices on­line.

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