A new guide to local residents in 17 languages, offering advice on how the health service works, was launched by NHS Shetland on Wednesday.
The multi-lingual guide, intended to make it easier for people to get the right service when they need it, is available online and as a DVD to help people whose first language is not English, and people with low literacy.
With a voice-over in 16 languages, including English, as well as a British Sign Language option, users are given an uncomplicated introduction to the NHS and can learn how to get help from different professionals including family doctors, dentists, opticians and pharmacists.
Scottish health minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP said: “It is important for our health service to be innovative in the way we address the needs of all patients across Scotland.
“Our aim is to put patients at the heart of the NHS and make them partners in their own care. Initiatives like this will help us achieve this.
“Good patient care depends on understanding patients’ needs, and effective communication is key to this. It is important that patients know how to get the services they need, and are encouraged to get the right care at the right time.”
The on-line videos and DVD use a mixture of filmed footage of the NHS in action and five case studies telling the stories of five different patients and their families. There is extensive use of graphics and new icons have been developed for each section of film. All of the content has been tested with the target audience to ensure that it effectively meets their information needs.