Information and knowledge management consultancy LSC Group is to provide a knowledge management system including geographic information system for NHS 24, the nurse-led telephone advice, assessment and referral service for Scotland.

Using the new GIS system NHS 24 staff will be able to better direct staff to the most appropriate location for care and treatment.

NHS 24 provides the main gateway to out-of-hours care in Scotland, linking patients with local primary care out-of-hours services, Accident and Emergency departments and the Scottish Ambulance services.

Approximately 1,000 NHS 24 staff, together with partner organisations, will initially use the KMS system. The value of the contract was not disclosed.

The contract awarded to LSC covers the provision of a Geographic Information System (GIS) to enable easy searching for the most appropriate location of care for patients, and enabling NHS 24 staff to provide direction to patients. The GIS facility will be particularly important in the more remote and rural parts of Scotland, where geography and distance can be challenging.

In addition to the GIS system LSC will create applications and apply search technologies that will work across a range of trusted health information sources and knowledge bases used by NHS 24. The system will be based on Plumtree portal technology.

Using the solution NHS 24 staff and partner organisations will be able to up-date and create health information in a secure environment with workflow processes for content approval.

Dr Chris Stewart, NHS 24’s director of development, said: "It is critical for NHS 24 to be fully aware of all health services in each patient’s locality, including the geographical proximity and accessibility. This is especially critical for our services to those living in Remote and Rural areas."

LSC Group’s information systems director, Paul Clark, commented: "We are delighted to be awarded this high-profile contract by the Scottish NHS and it reflects the robustness and cost effectiveness of our proposed solution."