Tighean Innse Gall – A Tablet for the Patient


About ‘A Tablet for the Patient’

Tighean Innse Gall (TIG) video

A Tablet for the Patient is a TEC Ready-funded project, which uses android tablets to show Tighean Innse Gall (TIG) customers short movie clips on care and repair adaptations. The clips demonstrate changes that can make homes more accessible and safe.

The project is delivered by TIG’s Quality Mark-awarded care and repair team, and is aimed at older and more vulnerable people in need of support to live safely in their own homes. A Tablet for the Patient was launched in April 2018 and is available as an information resource across the Western Isles.

TIG’s care and repair officers use an android tablet to show customers what the adaptations work looks like before, during and after. This helps customers to plan for any disruption that may be caused during installation. It also provides opportunities for families or carers to make suitable arrangements for the customer, if needed.

To date, TIG has produced 15 short films. Among other topics, these advise householders on:

  • installing a level access shower, which gives wheelchair users the opportunity to have a shower with or without a carer present
  • installing a hoist, which assists people who need help being lifted from their bed into a wheelchair
  • installing wheelchair ramps, which can either be permanent (concrete) or temporary (steel) and are attached to the house to enable wheelchair users to access homes without steps
  • installing a stairlift, which supports people to access higher floors in homes.

The clips can be shown to people in their own homes, hospital, care home or any other setting. They are also available to view via the TIG website, a TIG Facebook page and YouTube channel.


Taking a person-centred approach

A Tablet for the Patient gives customers, their families and carers the ability to see an adaptation or improvement being installed. TIG uses the online films to provide peace of mind for people who may not have had care and repair work carried out before.

All the films are available on tablets, so that advisers can show them to customers wherever they happen to be. If being shown the films in their own home, the customer can ask a trained member of staff what happens at different stages. If customers have a relative helping them or acting on their behalf who isn’t present at the time, these family members can watch the films on a dedicated YouTube channel.

TIG is a bi-lingual organisation and the films have been developed in both English and Scots Gaelic for older residents of the islands. The films have subtitles, also in both English and Gaelic, for those with hearing impediments.

TIG has found the films to be an excellent resource for advising people through social media. It has tweeted the films, as well as posting them on Facebook. This is particularly useful for families based overseas, who can’t be shown the films in person, on tablets, by TIG staff.

Picture of Iain Macleod showing a customer the tablet.

Iain Macleod, Care and Repair Western Isles, showing the TEC Ready film to a customer on the Isle of Lewis, demonstrating the process of converting a bathroom via A Tablet for the Patient.


Workforce development

A Tablet for the Patient makes the work of care and repair staff much easier. Previously, customers would often have questions about timescales, possible upheaval and whether they might have to leave the property. Now, these are all answered by the films.

The clips also function as an educational tool for primary and secondary care providers. Hospital and community health staff, including occupational therapists, know how to access the films to improve their understanding of the adaptations process.

The films, website and YouTube channel will be maintained and updated by TIG staff.



One of the key benefits of A Tablet for the Patient is that it doesn’t rely on internet or mobile phone connectivity in a customer’s location.

Broadband coverage on the Western Isles can often be sparse or none existent. Similar issues arise with mobile phone signals. To overcome this, project workers carry android tablets with the films embedded into them. With no need for internet access, the films can be shown anywhere.


Key milestones for the project

May 2017

  • Project funding secured
  • Meetings held with local partners: Integrated Joint Board, TEC enabled care team, Western Isles Health Board and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council)
  • Presentation to Scottish Centre for Telehealth and Telecare (SCTT) conference

June 2017

  • Scoping exercise for films with partners

July  2017

  • Purchase equipment 
  • Copywriting for films and translation services 

August – November 2017

  • Filming carried out (originally planned for completion by end September, however, weather and access to homes slowed filming)

December 2017

  • Training programme for staff

January 2018

  • Live trials

April 2018

  • Launch of A Tablet for the Patient




Budget and expenditure

The total budget for the project was £12,500, broken down as follows:

Film production


Hire of film maker, editing and production of films. Translation, recording in Gaelic and English with artist, recording studio hire and production of subtitles.


Project officer time


Use of project officer to write scripts and film copy, make all arrangements, liaise with departments, attend conference and deliver presentation.


Purchase of equipment

TIG purchased three items of equipment: two high spec tablets and one laptop with a removable screen that acts as a further tablet. There was no need to purchase a camera as the filmmaker had his own equipment.


Website design/links

TIG upgraded its website to enable the films to be embedded. TIG can now upload videos direct to the site, ensuring the project’s legacy.


Lessons learned

The conclusion of A Tablet for the Patient project team is that showing films on tablet computers to patients and customers works. TIG’s customers are dispersed throughout 15 inhabited islands, some of which can only be reached after a day’s travel, including ferry journeys and an overnight stay due to the distances involved. These physical challenges make A Tablet for the Patient a very useful tool.

The films are immediately understood and since the TIG staff member is present, they can answer any further questions about the content there and then. For family members who aren’t present or are overseas (with less capacity to phone the TIG office), they can view the films on the dedicated YouTube channel and email staff with any further queries.

The tablets don’t look like computers, which seems to help put people at ease. Customers also appreciate having the films available in Scots Gaelic.


Next steps

Simple immediate steps:

  • Link to films sent as signatures on the bottom of emails for staff
  • Training for health visitors, occupational therapists and other key NHS staff

Medium and long-term steps:

  • Create more films, covering more subject matter
  • Buy more tablets
  • Generate more social media awareness


About Tighean Innse Gall (TIG)

Tighean Innse Gall (TIG) logo


Based in Stornoway, Tighean Innse Gall (TIG) offers a range of services across the Western Isles. Activities include insulation works, repairs, adaptations and home safety for elderly and vulnerable people, energy efficiency advice and housing development, renovation and management.

TIG works in close partnership with the local authority, the NHS and the Integrated Joint Board, as well as community planning partnerships.

TIG is a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation and aims to ensure that its services can be accessed by the whole community. Many of its services are free to householders and where charges do apply, TIG keeps these affordable and value for money.

Part of the work TIG undertakes for the local authority is to deliver an adaptations budget on their behalf. This involves going into customers’ homes and installing adaptations.



For further information, please contact:

Brian Whitington, Corporate Strategy Officer, Tighean Innse Gall

Tel: 01851 706 121
Email:  brian@tighean.co.uk


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