Digital Health

At the headline Digital Health in Scotland is defined by NHS Digital for Scotland. Their summary strategy and business plan can be found here, and the primary service supplier engagement is through the Digital Suppliers system.

International best practices include the USA’s FDA Digital Plan.

Integrated Social and Health Care

The headline theme affecting strategy and technology is the goal of integrated social and health care. As they describe for the 2017 – 2022 Strategy:

Person-centred health and social care is at the heart of our strategic agenda in Scotland. We are developing a new, integrated Digital Health and Social Care Strategy that will build on achievements to date and set out future development and priorities.

The Scottish Government defines their policy here, and ‘Digital Stories‘ are offered to explain these new programs.

As the Scottish Government describes:

“Legislation requiring integration of health and social care came into effect in April 2016 and new Integration Authorities now have responsibility for over £8 billion of funding for local services which was previously managed separately by NHS Boards and Local Authorities.”

and intend to achieve this program through the Health and Social Delivery Plan. Critical technology enablers include an Information Sharing Framework.

Local Integration Authorities

These programs and requirements are also rolled out across regionalization groups. All Partnerships are responsible for adult social care, adult primary health care and unscheduled adult hospital care. Some are also responsible for children’s care and criminal justice social work.

For example Aberdeen’s Integrate Scheme and their Strategic Plan. This Scotgov document provides the full list.

Other key organizations include:

Key Challenges

  • A Reform Scotland report highlights that GPs are failing to meet the governments targets of providing 90% of prescription services online.


Procurement RFPs include:

NHS Inform

NHS inform is Scotland’s national online health information resource and is managed by Health Information Services of NHS 24. The new refreshed website launched in November 2016.

Given the high importance of this website within the national health and care information landscape, it is realised as the single point of contact for users looking for relevant content across this area. In order to achieve this, other national and local websites will be likely be migrated to the NHS inform site in order to reduce the clutter of NHS and Scottish Government related health information sites.

It is essential therefore that NHS inform has a suitable information architecture and content strategy (including meta data modelling) that supports such significant content developments, as well as presents a findable digital asset to the user. Search Engine Optimisation therefore is another important component of this support award to be considered.

NHS 24 is seeking a supplier to work co-productively with them, utilising an agile build methodology (for relevant development components) that will help realise their ambitions for the NHS inform website.

Community Systems

Patient administration and clinical systems delivered as a managed service to support the delivery of Community services within NHS Scotland. This will include, but not limited to, implementation, development, testing, support and training services, and optional software modules. The services are to be made available pursuant to a multi-supplier framework by NSS on behalf of NHSScotland Health Boards premises from which Community primary medical care services are provided. Suppliers appointed to the framework will be required to interface and integrate to other clinical and business systems in Health & Social Care.

Meet Florence

Florence is introduced as the text messaging system transforming healthcare, the number one telehealth app:

“It uses the simplest method of communication – the humble text message – to stay in touch with patients who have conditions that need monitoring. The patients are sent regular texts asking them for information, be it blood glucose, blood pressure or weight.

They then test themselves and send in the results. All their readings are collated on a web interface, which can be viewed by clinicians, but it feels just like sending a text message to a friend.”

An alert can also be sent to their clinician that allows for ‘remote’ early intervention which can reduce the need for the patient to travel to their GP or hospital.