Healthier Futures partnership secures funding to develop system-wide digital app

Healthier Futures partnership secures funding to develop system-wide digital app

The Healthier Futures partnership (Black Country & West Birmingham STP) has been awarded NHS funding following a successful pitch, to develop a healthcare app which will increase access to services for the local population.

The NHS has identified funding to accelerate worthwhile projects across the country, inviting bids from all systems. A very limited number of organisations were invited to pitch to their respective regional digital teams and the Healthier Futures partnership has been successful following the pitch and has been chosen as one of the few to be supported.

One of the vital components of the Healthier Futures digital and technology strategy is empowering patients, enabling them to access health and care services in a seamless way, offering alternative pathways such as via their mobile phone, tablet or PC. 

Mike Hastings, the partnership’s Director of Operations and Work Stream Lead for Information Technology and Digital, said:

“We are aware that the market for apps to access services is flooded with options and this can all become a bit confusing, knowing which are the best or at least the official apps to access NHS services. 

“We have decided, therefore, to work with partner organisations to develop a single, digital ‘front door’ to services for those wishing to access using digital technology. Our patient app will be a locally NHS-branded, easily recognisable and official app which can be accessed by all.  Irrespective of where you live in the Black Country or West Birmingham and irrespective of which GP you are registered with or which hospital you visit, the app will take you quickly and easily to the services available to you personally. 

“The app, once you are registered, will know who you are and will link you to your GP so you can order a repeat prescription or have a video consultation with a healthcare professional, also enabling you to view details of upcoming outpatient appointments and so on.”

The aim of the app is to simplify access to health services for the local population, and the Healthier Futures partnership hopes that, over time, it will become the go-to place for patients to interact digitally with health and care services in the area.

Dr Helen Hibbs MBE, Senior Responsible Officer for the Healthier Futures partnership, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to receive this funding. Our teams and partners will now begin the work to develop this app, a useful digital resource that will provide more health and care choices for local people and allow easier access to services. The app will give patients more control over their health needs and it will also help providers with the smoother running of their services.”

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