e-Participation Research

We have conducted research to investigate the progress NHS Boards in Scotland have made in using social media and e‑participation tools to support the participation and involvement of patients, carers and communities in healthcare services.


Cover of Social Media and e-Participation in NHSScotlandSocial media and e-participation in NHSScotlandPDF document (2013)

This briefing updates a previous paper (below). It summarises the prevalence of public access to the internet and the use of social media for health purposes, including peer support, giving feedback and the rise of the e-patient. It goes on to highlight NHS Boards' use of social media and patient and public portals to engage stakeholders. The paper concludes that, while there is still the need for traditional methods of patient and public engagement, there have been encouraging developments in the use of e-participation in recent years in NHSScotland. However, there is variation in how NHS Boards are making progress in this area. Boards should aim for an equitable approach, where people's opportunities to engage with the NHS using e-participation are the same wherever they live.


Cover of Participation and Online Technology reportParticipation and Online TechnologyPDF version (2011)

This briefing paper reviews the prevalence of online technology and explores how e-participation and social networking can provide the NHS in Scotland with tools to support the participation of patients and the public in healthcare services. Social networking tools at present appear to be more useful for sharing information rather than conducting two-way engagement. However, several NHS Boards are currently piloting access to social networking tools for e-participation and online consultation. It is likely that use of such technology will increase as mobile web-enabled devices become increasingly common.