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  • Lloyd Price

Patient Engagement Platforms – Rebuilding Trust in the NHS

Patient Engagement Platforms – Rebuilding Trust in the NHS

Patient engagement platforms are gaining momentum with NHS England’s backing. They’re central to the ‘Digital Front Door’ strategy, focusing on patient-facing services, enhancing secondary care, and reducing the strain on frontline services. These platforms address the pandemic-induced disconnect between patients and the NHS.

Challenges like funding, data security, inclusivity, and diversity need attention. NHS England has committed substantial funding, and suppliers are collaborating with trusts to secure it.

These platforms have transformative potential for patient interactions and are vital to the NHS’s digital transformation. The report highlights success stories and underscores interoperability and digital equality.

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DHI Market Analysis - In the second in our series of analyses for Digital Health Intelligence subscribers, Lloyd Price examines the patient engagement platform market.


Patient engagement platforms have emerged in the last 18 months, with the full support of NHS England, as a key piece of the ‘Digital Front Door’ strategy to offer patient facing services, improve the delivery of secondary care, optimise precious resources, and reduce demand on frontline services.

Along with virtual wards and plans for the NHS App, patient engagement platforms (PEPs) are high profile digital projects with a lot of financial, operational and political capital riding on them. One could argue PEPs are the new patient portals, personal health records or patient communication tools, a minor upgrade to previous digital patient facing services. So, what is all the fuss about?

The ‘fuss’ is because patients were not able to use digital tools to ‘engage’ during the pandemic when their outpatient and hospital appointments were being cancelled or rescheduled. Arguably, millions of people have been left disengaged and confused with the NHS.

Patient engagement platforms are directly addressing the need for patients to interact with their local hospitals and NHS trusts, and effectively rebuild trust and restore confidence at a critical time.

Suppliers and NHS trusts need to address concerns that patient portals and patient engagement platforms benefit the most educated, tech savvy and higher income groups in the population while being inaccessible to many other people.

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