Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICS is using the NHS App as a front door to digital health services. The Notts NHS App offered the first full integration with a digital personal health and care record ‘Patients Knows Best’ (PKB). The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated promotion of the NHS app to the public but at the same time revealed health inequalities for people with long term conditions (LTCs) and from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds.
NHS restart had a focus on Patient Initiated Follow Up (PIFU) for LTCs. PKB provides digital care plans and digital annual review to support PIFU. These are being developed for the Notts NHS APP. There are likely benefits to patients:
- Easy access to key information to manage and control long term conditions at home
- Access more convenient methods of consultation with health and social care services
Connected Nottinghamshire aims to reduce health inequalities and ensure socio-economic factors do not reduce access to digital health services including PIFU. PIF supported the ICS on an engagement and evaluation project with groups likely to experience health inequality. The aim was to ensure accessible digital information for the population to support PIFU and most importantly to provide information people can understand and take action on to look after their health.
Consultation to date has involved focus groups with minority ethnic and migrant communities, older adults and carers. The results of the consultation are supporting the development of care plans and reviews, including more culturally sensitive material. Barriers to digital inclusion identified during the project are being challenged. For example, project partner Healthwave has undertaken work to support digital carers.
PIF’s work continues to focus on the review of material in development and embedding health literacy within the information production process.