Solent NHS Trust ran a wider digital innovation project over 18 months to offer more choice to parents and young people to interact digitally via website, Skype, apps and texting, as well as the standard healthcare pathways.
The feedback from over 290 parents and young people was that they wanted the ability to text not only for appointment reminders, but also the ability to text in confidence about clinical queries, receiving responses directly from clinical members of staff - qualified nurses who could provide fast and reliable information to them.
The wider brief involved two months of scoping; Solent looking at what other NHS organisations were doing as well as private companies throughout the UK and internationally. This research, coupled with the feedback from the parents and young people, formed the project digital workstreams.
Frank worked closely with the project team at Solent to design and build a new patient-accessed clinical text service, a new website and online/offline marketing collateral.
For the text service, we developed a secure platform to house the text messages being received, enabling staff to log in through laptops, and type responses which are then delivered back to the client as a text message. Separate inboxes for text messages were built by location and for different staff groups, e.g. school nurses or health visitors.
An initial face to face meeting took place with the project team, with a lot of interaction via digital communication, suiting both parties throughout the build process. The platform went live in Spring 2018, when the service was named as Solent Pulse. Solent NHS Trust didn’t want to receive a large number of text messages straight away, so launched via their communications team social media accounts and also via Children's Centres in Portsmouth and Southampton with posters and stickers. Solent chose Frank to create the marketing collateral, as we'd worked so closely on the build and knew how best to join it all together.
The feedback to date on both the secure platform and marketing has been exceptional.
Solent NHS Trust have recognised the potential of the platform and want to take it further, rolling out potentially to their CAMHS and Therapies units.
With an open source, non licence based product and a platform that takes 15 mins to train non-technical members of staff, Solent see significant opportunities within their organisation.