South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has become the first NHS Trust in the country to invest in an innovative mobile app which gives service users and their carers essential information about mental health conditions.
The Trust is currently piloting the ‘choose your medication’ app which provides information on over 20 mental health conditions including depression, dementia and anxiety and over 150 medications used to treat them as well as other treatment options available.
The app, which was written by pharmacists, also answers commonly asked questions on mental health conditions and medicines and provides easy read versions for younger people and those with a learning disability.
The app will be used by healthcare professionals in consultations with service users where web access is not readily available. It is hoped that it will offer service users and carers the opportunity to gain an increased understanding of their condition and the treatment options available.
Kate Dewhirst, deputy chief pharmacist at the Trust said, “The choose your medication website is used by Trust staff, but this relies on them being able to access a computer when on home visits, on wards or in clinics. The mobile apps have been allocated to a variety of staff including nurses, prescribers, pharmacists and social workers and will be used in settings where access to the web is unavailable.
“The app will allow staff to aid discussions with services users about their treatment options in a wider range of settings. It will also enable service users and their carers to access quality information which allows them to make informed choices about their care.
“We’ll be assessing how useful service users and carers find the apps by asking for feedback following the pilot.”
Steven Michael, Trust chief executive said, “This innovative practice helps us to further explore the use of technology within our field. It’s important that the Trust invests in the latest technology to help people through illness to recovery.
“We’ve listened to service user feedback which told us that people want to use technology to empower themselves. The choose your medication app enables service users and their carers to work alongside healthcare professionals, in a setting that’s convenient for them, to take charge of their health.”
Service users and carers can access the choose your medication website at home by visiting the Trust’s website at http://www.choiceandmedication.org/swyp/