Many individuals across the UK find themselves giving care to somebody less able at some point in their lives. Whether paid care workers, or unpaid carers for friends and family — the majority of these individuals will have had limited (or no) access to medical training.
The resulting effect is an additional strain on support services like 999 and 111, and unnecessarily stressful situations for the care–givers themselves.
We partnered with the NHS NEL Commissioning Support Unit to create a mobile app that democratised best–in–class knowledge for care–givers. The app focused on digitising the award–winning Stop, Look, Care methodology, which has been previously credited with upskilling carers and reducing strain on services.
A friendly interface, co–created with care–givers
In circumstances characterised by worry and concern, it was important that the app was reassuring, friendly and trustworthy in equal measure. We ran a focus group session with key stakeholders and care–givers across Kent and Medway to co–create the app — from content, to UX, to creative.
The result was a friendly, yet authoritative look and feel. Providing information in a way that was accessible, yet engaging.
Simple, actionable patient assessments
Symptom–checking and appropriate escalation was one of the most significant factors that drove care–givers to contact support services.
We built an assessment tool that operated on a traffic light system, asking a series of questions from the most severe to the least. Based on a care–giver’s answer to these questions, they would be given a recommended course of action. This tool now empowers carers across Kent and Medway to draw expert and substantiated conclusions about their patients’ current circumstances, without the need to escalate further.
Immediate access to critical information
The app holds both advice and guides for care–givers. Advice being long–form articles that carers can take the time to digest and learn. Guides being more actionable, of–the–moment support for situations like checking urine colour, or classifying the severity of a pressure sore.
A keyword search makes all of this content immediately accessible based on the circumstances of use.
Offering the tools to escalate issues
Where necessary, it may be the case that escalating care issues to a relevant support service is the best course of action.
The app hosts a directory of services which are categorised by location, and by condition. This means that a carer concerned about their patient’s mental state will be clearly signposted to a supporting service for mental health in their local area.
The app is available to download on the App Store and Play Store, and is helping carers to offer better–informed and less stressful care to their patients.