Scotland is rolling out Patient Opinion to all of its health boards to allow patients to share their experiences of health services online.

The Scottish government has signed a £160,000 contract with the not-for-profit patient feedback site to register all health boards by the end of the year. They will get a certain amount of reporting and training as part of the package.

Patient Opinion provides a confidential way for patients to share their healthcare experiences online.

Comments made about health board services will be sent on to the relevant health board staff who can respond to the patient or use the feedback to help change services.

The Scottish Ambulance Service participated in a pilot of Patient Opinion and used patient feedback to help shape improvements to the Patient Transport Service.

Patient Opinion chief executive Dr Paul Hodgkin said the organisation had been working in Scotland for more than two years.

The contract with the Scottish government would “take that work forward, so all health boards can use Patient Opinion and those that want to can use it more,” he added.

The contract also covered work with NHS Highland, which has integrated health and social care, to look at how Patient Opinion and Care Opinion – an online feedback service for social care – can work together.

Scotland’s health Secretary Alex Neil said the new arrangement would help the government make health services better.

“Now patients, carers and their families will be able to let health boards know, openly and publically, how a service was for them and where it can improve. And if our health professionals are doing a great job we want them to know about it.

“The best thing is, staff will receive this feedback in real-time rather than having to wait months for the results of our traditional paper surveys,” he added.

“I hope it will be a more accessible way for patients and families to give their views, and will add to the tools that NHS boards already have in place to get feedback from patients.”

The service was made available for the following health boards from this week; NHS Highland; NHS Shetland; NHS Ayrshire & Arran; Scottish Ambulance Service; Healthcare Improvement Scotland; and National Education Scotland.

The remaining health boards will be asked to adopt the service by the end of the year.