Award-winning health app is now one year old​

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The award-winning Health Help Now web app, created to help people find the right care and treatment in Kent and Medway, is celebrating its first birthday.
 
In its first 12 months, Health Help Now – www.healthhelpnow-nhs.net – has had more than 45,000 hits by people hunting for health advice and treatment when they are not sure what to do or who to contact.

Comments from the public include:
  • Just did a test look of all the services available and it looks great. Way better than I expected it to be. Plus it is laid out very well design-wise, which is crucial. Enables you to find info quickly that you usually wouldn't know where to find, like the articles and health-related helplines and websites.

  • Very informative and useful. About time.

  • Well laid out, easy to use website.  Suggested services which I had never heard of. Great idea!

  • Easy to download to phone, simple to use and helpful to know the best place to go.

Health Help Now lists common symptoms and helps you find the best place for treatment for them in Kent and Medway. It shows the nearest services, whether they are open or closed, and provides a map of their location and directions. Advice is tailored by age group (baby, child, teenager, adult and older adult) and the web app can be used on smartphones, tablets, desktops and laptops. 

 
Its first anniversary is this Saturday (13/12/14) and, since its launch, Health Help Now has won two awards: Best Website in the Association for Healthcare Communications and Marketing (AHCM) Communicating Healthcare Awards 2014 and a silver award in the Chartered Institute for Public Relations regional PRide awards, for Best Use of Digital. It was also shortlisted for the CIPR Excellence Best Use of Digital award and Best Consumer Website DigiAward by CorpComms magazine.

Health help

GP Dr Chris Markwick, who oversaw development of the web app, said:  “It’s been a really successful year for this pioneering tool that helps people get the right treatment in the right place. There is useful information and advice for people of every age. By using Health Help Now, you should be able to find the service in Kent and Medway whatever time it is and wherever you are.
 
“It is particularly important at this time of year, when hospitals and A&Es can be very busy, that everyone does their best to get the right treatment in the right place.
 
“I am recommending it to my patients and I hope everyone who lives or works in Kent and Medway will save it so they have it ready if they need it, whether they are at home or out and about. 
 
“Health Help Now will help them, and, by keeping A&E free for those who really need it, it will also help the NHS focus life-saving care on the most seriously ill and injured patients.”
 
If you don’t have internet access, or if you need medical help fast but it isn’t a 999 emergency, dial 111.

Who uses Health Help Now

The app is aimed particularly at 18 – 34-year-olds, parents of young children, and working age people who are more likely than other age groups to attend A&E as a first port of call. By helping them find the most appropriate treatment, Health Help Now aims to reduce the number of people attending A&E when another service could help them.
 
In its first year, 33 per cent of users were aged 18 to 34, 22 per cent 35 to 44, 17 per cent 45 to 54, 14 per cent 55 to 64, and 14 per cent 65 plus. More women look at the site than men – roughly 60/40. 
 
Around one third of visits are returns, and two-thirds new. People stay on for between two and three minutes on average, and look at between five and six pages.
 
It was developed by NHS South East Commissioning Support Unit working with Kent and Medway GPs, hospital doctors, paramedics, nurses and other professionals.