29 May OVID at the EPDW 2019
- The much-talked-about NHS app is already being used by 4,000 patients, with another 11,000 in the wings. NHS England (NHSE) aren’t going to launch the app’s marketing campaign until later this year, and a source tells us they’re yet to pin down exactly what their messaging is going to be.
- With the NHSE’s Deputy Chief Executive Matthew Swindells calling the pressure on hospital beds the ‘greatest crisis’ we face, it’s clear politicians and policymakers will be holding NHS digital chiefs’ feet to the fire to make the national app a tangible success.
Matthew Swindells, Deputy Chief Executive, NHS England:
“We can’t have havens of digitisation and deserts of paperwork.”
“The greatest crisis of the NHS at the moment is there are 30,000 people in hospital beds that don’t need to be there. What’s the role of technology to solve that problem?”
Matt Hancock, Secretary of State, DHSC:
“The NHS has always been an engine for innovation, at the cutting edge of technologies”
“We spend £10m per year on paper and envelopes in the NHS…and half a million letters from GPs have got lost in last 5 years – a lost letter could mean the difference between life and death.”
- 90% of healthcare workforce roles will require digital literacy in the future – according to NHSE
- There are 117 references to digital in the NHS’ Long Term Plan
- 11.3m UK adults currently lack the skills, confidence or means to get online.
There’s a renewed sense of purpose for the digital agenda in 2019 – it genuinely feels like there is real momentum behind it, and a political imperative to deliver. There’s still an NHS culture of cynicism to overcome (in some quarters), but this is where messaging matters. Anyone engaging with patients or the public must go to where they are (whether that’s local Facebook groups or forums), and not always presume that posting on Twitter will reach the right people. Digital inclusion in NHS communications in particular means thinking about the average reading age for your external content, and how transferable words are when they’re said out loud. So, ‘pee not wee’ works much better for patients with visual impairments (using voiceover technology) when you talk about urine, for example!