A text asking “How are you today?” has perhaps never had greater bearing than these days. With the ambition to both reassure, encourage, and guide those self-isolating with COVID-19 symptoms, the NHS Digital teamed up with Valtech and NHS Business Services Authority, NHS 111 and NHS X to deliver the Covid-19 text messaging service in just 10 days. The award-winning service is simple in its ambition but complex in its multi-agency execution, providing powerful data to help drive both operational and clinical decisions.
Technology that can save lives
The main objective was to quickly reach a large group of people who were extremely vulnerable, during a time where there was a lot of mixed messaging about who was classed as needing to shield. The SMS text messaging service provides a daily nudge to those who have self-diagnosed to remain self-isolated and reduce the spread of the infection.
It also steers those people who need urgent and emergency care to the appropriate service, while providing advice and reassurance to those who don’t – reducing the impact on front line services. Striking this balance is vital to the effective use of precious NHS resources during the pandemic.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock says:
Technology, combined with our heroic staff on the frontline, have played a huge role in battling this virus and I encourage everyone to use this new service.
Aiding the heroic staff on the frontline
The combination of an impressive delivery relating to both timing and organisational complexity and the societal impact of the solution, was the main reasoning from the Digital Impact Award judges:
“When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the NHS was left with the herculean task of responding to this century’s biggest health crisis. To ensure its vital, life-saving communications were delivered to people across the UK, NHS Digital teamed up with Valtech and NHS Business Services Authority, NHS 111 and NHS X to deliver the Covid-19 text messaging service in only 10 days.“
“Not only was the time scale impressive, but so too was the scale of delivery. The NHS text messaging service has improved the health and safety of the UK public throughout the pandemic”
Lisa Moran, Head of Digital Services, NHS Business Services Authority said: “This award acknowledges the hard work and team commitment delivered to support and protect vulnerable people during COVID-19. Working across different organisations can be challenging but empowerment, trust and teamwork ensured that the right information was delivered to the right people at the right time.”
To learn more about the service, visit: https://www.england.nhs.uk/2020/03/nhs-support-via-text-message-people-with-symptoms-of-covid-19/
For any questions, contact:
- UK Marketing Manager Kate Frackelton, email@example.com