A Personal Health Budget (PHB) is an amount of money agreed between the NHS and a patient with long-term needs that require financial support. It allows patients to purchase essential things such as medicine, equipment and care. However, planning and applying for allocations could be complicated and costly, involving a 40-page form for the applicant to fill in and multiple home visits from PHB professional.
Separately, the NHS had a commitment to go paperless by 2018 for cost and environmental reasons, and the organisation was looking for ways to make its services digital.
NHS Manchester proposed addressing both issues by providing an iPad app that allowed patients to manage their PHBs alongside health professionals, and to minimise administration costs.
TouchSoft won the contract to build My Support Plan, which uses the iPad’s onboard features to allow effective communication between patients and healthcare professionals. That includes video, audio and photographic posting, essential for accurate information transmission between patient and clinician. We took great care to work alongside actual applicants when designing the app to create a user experience that would be simple and intuitive for people with a range of abilities.
As security of information is paramount, we set up a secure cloud sync system to keep patients and professionals on the same page in complete confidence.
The project was a great success, with patients reporting significant improvements in the process of going through their support plans on the tablets. Because we had done all the groundwork and made sure the app was fully tested on actual patients and NHS staff, the launch went without a hitch and both sets of users were extremely happy with the results.