How long before all those nhs-scot.uk website addresses lose their final two letters? As the development of Scottish Health on the Web goes on, so the gap between the NHS north and south of the border becomes ever more apparent. And that's before anyone starts to think about the Scottish parliament.
With centrally choreographed trust reconfigurations, a tortuous set of procedures for appointing chief executives apparently modelled on the Tory Party's method of selecting parliamentary candidates and a wholly different set-up in primary care, reform is now moving on apace.
SHOW offers a gateway to the whole lot: NHS staff can get through to NHSnet and GPnet, while the open-access 'Designed to Care' section offers useful information on organisation, structure and such stuff as the Scottish Office's 'competency framework for trust chief executives'.
SHOW has been reviewed here before, but the site is changing all the time, and a return visit is well worth the effort even for those with no specific interest in Scotland. The latest national initiative to find a place here is the Wheech project, which explores the cutting edge of healthcare communications technology.
On the consumer side, the Health Education Board for Scotland's new Virtual health centre claims to offer an experience 'as close to a real health centre as possible without the potted plants and the chorus of coughs and sneezes'. It sounds ghastly, but it does work very well.
The publicity blurb says there are 50,000 pages of information. And using a colour-coded 'floor plan' offering access to virtual waiting rooms, staff rooms and consulting rooms, it is easy to navigate a way through. Oh, and if you get bored waiting for the doctor, you can send a virtual postcard to your friends.
Now why didn't my GP think of that?