ChatHealth : secure text messaging service that puts secondary school pupils in touch with a school
What? ChatHealth is a secure text messaging service that puts secondary school pupils in touch with a school nurse. Developed by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, it supports greater efficiencies, with individual nurses able to provide services to many more young people. Why? Traditional ways of accessing healthcare can be stigmatised and are inconsistently available across schools. Evidence shows young people feel more comfortable and confident relating sensitive issues via mobile technology rather than a face to-face discussion with a healthcare professional. ChatHealth achieves this via a discreet text-message. Teams implementing ChatHealth report increasing contacts from many more new service users across a broader range of issues. This is particularly important for hard to reach young people such as adolescent males, who are twice as likely to seek support via text message as opposed to face-to-face. The service is cost effective and uses technology young people are familiar with, providing confidential and timely access to healthcare.
What’s the impact? With EMAHSN’s support the team at LPT have successfully rolled ChatHealth out to around 1 million teen (exceeding the project’s uptake target within 6 months).
Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust generated over £225,000 in revenue from ChatHealth during 2015-16 and created 5 full time jobs
97% of all enquiries received were effectively resolved via messaging nurses, with just 3% requiring more resource-intensive targeted care
From being available locally to 65,000 young people, ChatHealth now reaches a million young people across the UK
ChatHealth has increased the capacity of healthcare professionals to help many more young people, a single duty nurse is able to deliver up to 100 additional contacts every month. Working in more traditional ways would require the appointment of 2 additional nurses to reach this level
It has been showcased at national and international conferences and won prestigious awards including 2016 winner of the NHS recognition awards for Leading for Service Improvement and Innovation
Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust
“Making the service available to a million teens is a massive milestone for us and we couldn’t have done it without the support of the Trust and EMAHSN. ChatHealth is improving access to support and for service users who otherwise might not engage with healthcare.” Jimmy Endicott, Mobile Media Development Manager, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust
What’s next? EMAHSN is continuing to support this great innovation, providing advice on intellectual property, marketing and commercial development. With our help ChatHealth is planning to expand from working with school nursing teams to include health visiting teams, mental health and sexual health services.