Our award-winning Health Help Now app and website were created in response to a plea from CCGs in Kent and Medway to find an innovative way to tackle the problem of inappropriate attendance at A&E. They wanted to help people make the right decisions about where to go for health care and advice – not just signposting but creating sustainable behavioural change. At the same time, they wanted to keep patients at the centre, supporting them to manage their own health.
We worked with patients to understand how to help them navigate local services better. Our research showed that up to 25 per cent of people attending A&E could use another service instead, and lack of knowledge or understanding of local services is a key driver for this. We created ground breaking digital platforms to help people find the right local services to meet urgent but non-emergency health needs.
The website and web app prompt users to answer questions about their problem, and give up to date information on the most appropriate local services (including out of hours options) based on the responses given. Research also highlighted that we needed to help people find out about the service differently.
We promoted the website across the local area, including schools, businesses, voluntary organisations, MPs and councils, universities and colleges, as well as healthcare providers. We placed articles on local NHS and press websites, advertised outdoors and launched a social media campaign to encourage users to share Health Help Now with family and friends. At roadshows in community locations, more than 1,600 people saw a demo of the web app.
Saved £730,000 in unnecessary attendances across three campaigns in Kent
- Analysis has shown a drop in minor injuries attendances where Health Help Now has been promoted.
- In 2014/15, active promotion in north Kent saw a fall of 10 per cent at Medway Maritime and 28 per cent at Darent Valley Hospitals, saving around £230,000.
- A digital promotion campaign in east Kent in 2015/16 saw minor injuries attendances dropping by 17 per cent (9,000 attendances) equating to savings of around £500,000.
Best Website in the AHCM Communicating Healthcare Awards 2014
Silver award in the CIPR regional PRide awards, for Best Use of Digital
Shortlisted for the CIPR Excellence Best Use of Digital award, the Best Consumer Website DigiAward by CorpComms magazine and ‘The best use of social media to deliver a health campaign award from E-Health Insider