Evaluation of Near Me

Event date: 10 February 2021

Event time: 2:00 to 3:00 pm

Evaluation of Near Me

Near Me is a video consulting service that enables people to attend health and care appointments wherever convenient. The platform was procured by the Scottish Government in 2016 for all NHS boards to use. Developed and tested in 2018 and 2019, the service was initially used mainly in the Highlands (in local hubs), where distances can be an issue. Its use was rapidly escalated across Scotland as part of the COVID-19 response. Prior to March 2020, there were around 300 video consultations using the Near Me system; by June, there were almost 17,000 every week. Given the scale of the increase, a national public engagement exercise was carried out - believed to be the first such exercise in the world. Over 5,000 responses were received between the end of June and the end of August 2020. Together with a National Equality Impact Assessment, the feedback influenced the way forward. The summary report is available on the Scottish Government website.

Presenter biography

Maimie Thompson (Twitter: @MaimieThompson) recently oversaw the design and delivery of the Scottish Government national public engagement exercise into the use of Near Me online video appointments. Previously she worked for NHS Highland between 2003 and 2018, initially supporting National Collaborative Programmes before taking up post as Head of Public Relations and Engagement. In this role, she led some of Scotland's most contentious health and social care public consultations on 4 major service redesigns, most recently in Caithness during 2018.

She is a co-author of a chapter about health and social care in Scotland for the International Handbook on Integrated Care (2nd edition). Before joining NHS Highland, she worked in high profile conservation projects and has a background in research (including avian ecology and higher education).  She was brought up and educated in the Highlands of Scotland where she now lives and works.

Last Updated: 18 March 2021