NHS Fife has established a series of new Near Me Community Hubs to improve access to virtual appointments.
Near Me is a simple, safe and secure video appointment service, which enables patients to have health and social care appointments from home, work or wherever is convenient. The system, which was initially rolled out in March 2020, has been used widely to enable patients to have planned video appointments with clinicians across a range of specialities, as well as their local GP.
As part of an expansion of the Near Me service, Community Hubs have now been established in four sites across Fife. The new hubs will enable those who do not have access to digital devices at home, or who would prefer a more private environment to have their virtual appointment, to still be able to make use of the Near Me services. The hubs also allow many patients to access services closer to home, and reduces unnecessary travel to hospitals and health centres.
The four community hubs have been established in the following locations:-
- Fife Voluntary Action, 16 East Fergus Place, Kirkcaldy
- Fife Voluntary Action, Caledonia House, Saltire Centre, Glenrothes
- Methil Customer Service Centre, Wellesley Road, Methil
- St Andrews Community Hospital, Largo Road, St Andrews
The new Near Me Community Hubs, which were funded by Scottish Government, are available by appointment only. On arrival at the hub, a member of the reception staff will direct the patient to their own private Near Me room, which has its own PC and internet access to enable them to virtually attend their appointment.
A range of services are taking part in the first phase of the launch, including: Child and Adolescent Mental Health; Community Diabetes; Nutrition and Dietetics; Obstetrics and Gynaecology; podiatry; and psychology/mental health.
Marie Richmond, Head of Digital Strategy and Programmes said:
“Near Me has proven to be really popular since being launched back in 2020, with many people appreciating being able to have their appointment virtually, without the need to physically attend a healthcare site. For those with young children or who work outside of Fife, virtual appointments are also much easier to fit around their day.
“We are keen to make Near Me as accessible are possible, and we are aware that for some people not having access to a smart phone or tablet, or not having a somewhere quiet to have their appointment, has prevented them from being able to make best use of virtual appointments.
“With the support of Fife Voluntary Action and Fife Council, we have now been able to establish four community hubs in various parts of the Kingdom, where patients can have free access to a PC to be able to discuss their ongoing care and treatment in a quiet, private space.
“Moving forward, we also expect to expand the number of specialities who are facilitating Near Me appointments and add more community hubs in other locations in Fife to ensure as many patients as possible have access to the service.”
For more information on the Near Me virtual appointment system, visit: