photo of smiling hospital patient.

Advice and support

Here professionals can find out more about what we do, including:

How we can help

HRIS staff can provide direct advice and assistance to organisations producing patient information. This might involve:

  • developing new patient information
  • commenting on, or editing, draft documents
  • giving advice about organising research with patients or members of the public, or
  • giving advice on the development of information in alternative formats.
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When we can help

To avoid becoming overloaded with this type of work, we have set out clear criteria to decide when to offer this kind of assistance.

We will only provide direct assistance if:

  • the information is for patients or members of the public, rather than NHS staff
  • the information is primarily about rights, responsibilities, or what patients can expect in different parts of the NHS, or in relation to particular kinds of treatment, and
  • the information is not primarily about conditions, treatment, or health promotion.
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How we prioritise requests for work

For work that meets the above criteria, we will give highest priority to:

  • requests from the Patient Support and Participation Division (our funders) at the Scottish Government Health Directorates
  • requests from other parts of the Scottish Government Health Directorates
  • requests from within the NHS in Scotland, and
  • requests for advice and assistance about patient information produced for a Scotland-wide audience, or which has the potential to be shared by the sponsoring organisation across Scotland.

But we will always consider and, where possible, meet requests for advice and assistance about patient information designed to meet a local audience.

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How much we charge

When we are doing work for the NHS in Scotland, or for the Scottish Government Health Directorates we will not make any charge for our time spent:

  • commenting on, or editing, draft documents, or
  • giving advice about organising research with patients or members of the public or on the development of information in alternative formats.

If we are asked to develop new patient information, we will not charge for our time spent on drafting the text. But there may be additional costs that will need to be met. For example:

  • any research carried out to test the information on patients, etc,
  • the design, printing and distribution of information, and
  • the production of alternative formats.

We will never go ahead with this type of work without prior written agreement.

If we undertake work for organisations outside the NHS, we will set out our charges clearly in writing.

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How to contact us 

If you need advice or assistance to develop information for patients, or if you are not sure if your request meets the criteria outlined above, please contact us.

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Page last edited: 10 February 2011