About the Clinical Portal

What is it?

Clinical portal is an electronic window that will allow clinicians to view defined information about individual patients in a ‘virtual’ electronic patient record drawn from information held in different clinical systems. Easier access to this information will support improved care delivery and decision making and patients can be reassured that clinical staff have the information they have prioritised for safe care. Health Boards such as NHS Tayside and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are already starting to adopt and implement portal technology to deliver services to users.

The clinical portal itself is not a single product.  It is delivered by joining together a complex series of products and services which work together to provide information for clinicians.  An incremental approach to delivering portal will be taken, in line with the eHealth Strategy.  This approach will allow Boards that are forging ahead to continue to develop their approach while supporting other Boards to reach at least a minimum clinical portal baseline.

Latest developments

In the autumn of 2009 a consortium of Health Boards led by NHS Lothian took forward a ‘Discovery’ project to better understand what it would take to make clinical portal available to clinicians in Scotland.  The project reported in January 2010. 

Leading on from this work, Health Boards agreed to form three regional consortia, each to take forward different aspects of the programme:

  • The South and East region Boards (NHS Lothian, Fife, Dumfries and Galloway and Borders) delivered a working prototype portal solution, to better understand issues of affordability and complexity in the NHS Scotland setting.  The prototype portal was well received by the clinicians that saw and tried it.  This consortium is now developing a business case to move to the acquisition and implementation of specialist clinical portal technology.
  • The Northern region Boards (NHS Tayside, Grampian, Highland, Shetland, Orkney and Western Isles) developed the learning of NHS Tayside work in this area and evaluated what the national GP IT contract could offer. This consortium is now considering information governance matters highlighted by its findings.
  • The Western region Boards (NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Forth Valley and Golden Jubilee) explored the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde approach to portal and considered the impact of the national PMS system on portal developments. This consortium is now developing a proof of concept solution to validate its proposed strategy

Other special Health Boards, such as NHS 24, The State Hospital and Scottish Ambulance Service have been involved in discussions with the programme and will decide which approach is best suited to their needs.

This work is intended to provide a much clearer indication of the benefits of different approaches, how much they will cost and how long they will take.


February 2nd, 2010