Citizen engagement will be key in the development of a ‘digital front door’ to health and care services in Scotland, according to a government health technology leader.

A new streamlined approach to how people navigate their various health and care pathways, which will include a safe and secure digital app, was first outlined in Scotland’s ‘programme for government’ last year.

It is hoped the front door will enable users to update their personal information, manage who sees their data, access self-help information and guidance, attend appointments virtually, place prescription orders, view their health records, and request, book and manage appointments.

The digital front door  will also play a key technology role in aiding recovery from the pandemic by creating an enhanced service experience and reducing admin workload on services, which are key aims of the Scottish Government’s £1bn investment to make the NHS ‘stronger than ever’.

Six months after the commitment, Margaret Whoriskey, director of the Scottish Government’s Technology Enabled Care (TEC) programme, Digital Health and Care Directorate, explains some of the thinking behind the project. In her role she is the senior responsible officer for the cross sector Digital Citizen Board, chaired by former chief executive of the Care Inspectorate Peter MacLeod, which is overseeing the bulk of the new service, and says the group is keen to work alongside the public.

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