Helping People on Elective Care Waiting List
NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board looks after the NHS spending and performance across a region home to 1.7million people.
One of the biggest challenges facing the Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership is managing the growing lists of patients waiting for access to treatment and care. So as part of its Recovery in Primary Care Plan, it has been working to improve the outcomes and experience for patients with planned appointments or interventions, focusing on prevention and management of long-term conditions.
The team identified that health apps can offer convenient and effective ways for people to improve their health whilst waiting for surgery, in preparation days before surgery, then to speed recovery and improve condition management after discharge.
To uphold consistent clinical standards, the team wanted a specific set of apps for each target area. They wanted to know that ach app meets clinical, data and security standards, and decided that less complicated, low risk apps would achieve a higher recommendation rate from clinicians and adoption rate by patients.
The Board already had a working Health App Library provided by the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps (ORCHA), giving its public a source of safe health apps across a wide variety of health conditions. So, it asked the team at ORCHA how this platform could be utilized to actively put the right apps in the hands of the right people at the right time. To target those waiting for surgery or for those wanting to manage and maintain their long-term health and well-being needs.
As part of its big update at the start of 2023, knowing a Health App Library needs to be as relevant to an audience as possible, ORCHA enabled the Library to be highly configurable. One such feature is its ability to easily add a dedicated campaign landing page to the Library that drives targeted health app adoption. Designed to a health provider’s specific needs, the page feature images, copy, video and specific apps to address the needs of a specific patient cohort.
Working closely with Humber and North Yorkshire Board, ORCHA created a Waiting Well and Beyond campaign. This included:
- Reviewing the most common health conditions, and with a clinical team mapping the most effective apps to each area, based on reviewing data from the hundreds of health app assessments conducted by ORCHA in each field.
- A campaign landing page featuring 10 apps that support the most common health needs faced by those on the elective care waiting list. These include pain management, sleep, general health and fitness, drinking, smoking and mental health and wellbeing.
- Targeted communications to reach those waiting, to drive them to the landing page. This included social media posts, GP practice text messaging, mentions in outpatient letters, and QR code sheets for practitioners.
- Training to a range of clinicians to enable them to feel comfortable recommending apps from the campaign and also to understand how the ORCHA platform can support more widely with their patients.
During August and September, the programme saw 7,648 people visit the page, and approximately 27% of these people download a health app as a result (1,021 on page downloads and an equal number of off-site downloads).
Based on NICE evidence, each download helps save the NHS £93 in costs. And so over eight weeks, this campaign not only helped provide support to people when they needed it, improving their health, but also saved the NHS £189,906. If this continues over one year, the saving could be over one million pounds (£1,006,706).
Commenting on the campaign, Carrie Cranston, Strategic Digital Programme Support Manager, Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership said: “Our ICB were looking at how we could maximise our elective care recovery programme, to reduce the capacity in demand for local services across Humber and North Yorkshire.
“ORCHA have supported us in promoting the use of self-care apps within our local population and this campaign has allowed us to begin the wholesale adoption of digital health within our local communities.”