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The National Decision Support Programme

Embedding decision support across Scotland’s health and social care

The national decision support programme is a key deliverable for Scotland’s Digital Health and Care Strategy.

The programme mission is to provide a ‘Once for Scotland’ source of digital tools that empower professionals and citizens to make the best decisions possible about their health and care. 

These tools enable easy access to evidence and the practical use of that evidence tailored to people’s individual needs.


National roll-out

From 2022-2025, the Scottish Government is funding a national roll-out of the decision support programme, to embed decision support as the norm in the day to day decisions that practitioners and citizens make about health and care. The key enabler of this scale up and spread is the Right Decision Service – the Once for Scotland decision support platform which delivers decision support tools for health and social care.

The opportunity for NHS Boards, Health and Social Care Partnerships and social care organisations across Scotland to:

  • Adopt and spread existing decision support tools created by the Right Decision Service
  • Work with the national team to use the Right Decision Service to build decision support tools for local priorities – e.g. around remobilisation and recovery, service transformation, strengthening community and self-management support


Five key target areas

1. Supporting social care in the community

Examples of decision support tools include:


2. Supporting urgent and unscheduled care

Examples include:

  • Paediatric unscheduled care app for NHS Grampian, supporting sepsis screening, the PEWS early warning score and condition-specific pathways
  • Patient Flow Navigation Pathway Tool for call handlers taking emergency department referrals in NHS Forth Valley
  • Mobile app to support implementation of the Acute Coronary Syndrome pathway in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde emergency care


3. Reducing waiting times

Developments include:

Working with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to explore use of machine learning and of structured algorithms to identify highest risk patients received as urgent cancer referrals.


4. Improving routine care

Examples include:

  • Eight NHS Boards are using the Right Decision Service to deliver local guidelines and pathways as web and mobile apps
  • High risk prescribing decision support alerts integrated with primary care electronic health record systems


5. Self-management and shared decision-making

There is a growing range of decision support apps for patients and citizens, including:

  • Long COVID symptom diary – enables people to record their symptoms and share with their healthcare professional
  • Dementia wellbeing app, including an interactive wellbeing diary and Getting to Know Me form to share with health and care professionals
  • Managing medicines, for people taking multiple medicines. Includes an interactive form for patients to record personal outcomes and impact of their medicines, to share with healthcare professionals for their medicines review


Right Decision Service builder tools

The Right Decision Service provides tools to:

  1. Translate guidelines, research evidence, best practice and large datasets into computerised knowledge. This includes:
    • Rules or algorithms – including calculators and scoring tools,  questions and answers that guide users to the correct recommendation
    • Visual pathways with links to supporting evidence and resources
    • Guidelines structured and formatted to highlight critical actions in decision-ready format
    • Shared decision aids for collaborative decisions by patient and professional
  2. Deliver this computerised knowledge through web and mobile apps and integrated with care record systems

Examples of decision support tools delivered so far:




  • Over 100 decision support toolkits in active use, nationally and locally
  • Average of 57,254 engaged sessions annually per app
  • Partnerships with 12 boards, Scottish Care, the ALLIANCE, RCGP, Macmillan, 3 Scottish Govt programmes
  • Many examples of improving consistency and quality of care and improving patient safety:
    • “This is the realisation of a quest for a single portal of information …….a catalyst for smoother and more efficient patient journeys.” Associate Medical Director, NHS Lanarkshire
    • “A game-changing clinical calculator tool.” Consultant, NHS Lothian
    • “A fantastic addition to improve safe prescribing.”  GP, NHS Tayside


To discuss opportunities for your service to benefit from Right Decision Service tools, contact the Programme Director for Knowledge and Decision Support – ann.wales@dhi-scotland.com


Conditions of use

The Digital Health &  Care Innovation Centre (DHI), hosted by the University of Strathclyde provides this resource to benefit health and social care practitioners across Scotland. Each individual participating organisation which contributes resources to the resource has sole responsibility for the information created or published by them. Any information appearing on this site is issued as general information and does not constitute a warranty by the DHI or any other organisation, nor should it be taken as advice. No responsibility can be accepted by the DHI or any other organisation for action or inaction as a result of information contained on this resource.

Patient and public users should take advice from health and care professionals in respect of specific situations.

The use and access of pages of this resource are subject to the terms and conditions set out below and by this disclaimer. By using or accessing this resource, you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.

Content on this resource is copyrighted to the University of Strathclyde and its agents unless otherwise stated. Users should consult the copyright statements on the resources signposted by this site.

Links to other websites and applications
The provision on this resource of a link to another website or application does not constitute any authorisation to access material held at that location. Links to sites are provided for informational purposes only and no responsibility is accepted for the quality of resources to be found on such websites. The contents and material made available on linked sites are completely out with our control and as such no liability is accepted for any damages resulting from accessing or failing to access these sites. No endorsement is expressed or implied by the presence of a link on this resource. The contents of a linked-to website may change without our knowledge and as a result, links may break or may terminate on pages which were not the original targets of a link. No responsibility or liability for the privacy of personal information is accepted for linked to websites, as these are beyond our control.

The resources contained on this resource, including all files that are authorised for public and password-protected download or access, are provided on an “as is” basis and without any warranties. No warranty is given that files downloaded or accessed from this resource are free of computer viruses. No warranties are made as to fitness for purpose, quality or completeness of information. This resource excludes any liability for any errors in or omissions in information provided on or linked to from this website.

Reliability of information
The Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre uses its best efforts to ensure the accuracy and reliability of information on this resource in accordance with the policies defined for this site . However, no guarantees are made that the information contained on this resource or associated, or linked to websites is accurate, complete and current at any given time.

Information presented on this resource or associated sites may be changed at any time. The resources made available on this resource are intended to assist health and social care professionals and citizens in Scotland and are for information only. The resource is not intended in any way to replace the advice of health and care professionals. Nothing on this resource is intended to constitute advice. Specific advice should be sought in specific situations from a properly qualified health or care professional.

Content on this website is governed by a number of policies and guidelines. Users of this resource agree to inform the  DHI using the Feedback form if they should come across any material contained which they consider to be potentially in breach of any of the published Scottish Government,  NHS Scotland or University of Strathclyde policies, or of any relevant legislation in order for the appropriate remedial action to be taken.

Availability of the resource
Although this resource has been tested and should work correctly under normal circumstances, there are many factors both within and outside of the control of this site which may prevent the resource from being available to users of  web and mobile apps. No responsibility is accepted by DHI for any losses that may arise from an inability to access resources on this app. Where a user finds a specific error in the coding of a web page, or where he/she considers a page to be in breach of accessibility or other published policies of this resource, it is a condition of use of this site that the web team be notified via the Feedback form in order that appropriate action may be taken.

Governing laws
The terms and conditions of use of this resource shall be governed by the laws of Scotland.


This app/website has been developed as part of the National Decision Support Programme led by the Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre, and funded by Scottish Government as a key objective within Scotland’s Digital Health and Care Strategy.

The app and website have been built using the App Builder toolset provided as part of DHI’s national decision support platform - the Right Decision Service.

Tactuum Ltd: Provide the technology and digital expertise to deliver this resource and the range of other Right Decision Service tools for the National Decision Support Programme.


The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) defines requirements for designers and developers to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. It defines three levels of conformance: Level A, Level AA, and Level AAA. The Right Decision Service platform is conformant with WCAG 2.1 level AA. 

We want as many people as possible to be able to use the web and  mobile applications delivered by the Right Decision Service platform. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • View the app in dark mode
  • Use all available native text scaling
  • navigate most of the application using just a switch
  • listen to most of the application using a screen reader

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

We know that some elements of the applications are not fully accessible:

  • The text size for tool titles on the main page does not increase
  • Content provided by external organisations may not meet accessibility standards
  • On the main page of a toolkit, screen readers will read out menu items from menus that are not visible on the screen.

If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact  decisionsupport@dhi-scotland.com.


Browser and operating system compatibility

  • The downloadable mobile app version of this resource is supported by Android 4.4 or later and iOS 8.0 or later devices.
  • The website is optimised for use on both desktop and mobile devices in the following browsers - IE9+, Chrome, Edge, Safari.


The icons listed below which appear on the tiles in this app are used with permission from the following sources:

  • Calculator icon on Calculator Suite tile on homepage - Pixel Perfect.
  • Urinary tract infection icon, Delirium icon on Calculator Suite landing page - Flat Icons
  • Icons for ACQ5, Centor, MUST, Gentamicin, Vancomycin, Topics, local resources, Build RDS apps, Types of decision support tools  - Freepik
  • RSE icon  - Max.icons
  • Feverpain icon  - Miftha Sofyan
  • Icon for 'Find RDS apps' - phatplus
  • Icon for 'Create RDS app' - juicy_fish
  • Icons for RDS platform and Quality assurance / UK CA marking - Eucalyp

Privacy statement

If you choose to send feedback or an enquiry using the Feedback form on this app, you will be invited to provide your name and email address. This is so that the DHI support team can respond to your comments.

This information is sent to the decisionsupport@dhi-scotland.com email address where it is stored securely. All person-identifiable information is destroyed after 12 months from date of receipt.

You can email decisionsupport@dhi-scotland.com at any time during this 12 month period to ask to view your comments, and amend if required, or to ask that the information is removed.

If you download the app to your mobile device, you are strongly encouraged to ensure that anti-virus software is installed on your device. This will protect the app against corruption of the  structure or content.