Parents report a lack of confidence in assessing their child’s health needs or selecting appropriate healthcare routes and cite consultation information as hard to digest and recall.
This could be due to English being a second language, low literacy levels and/or if the parent felt distressed or distracted. In England, 43% of adults don’t have the adequate literacy to make the best use of everyday health information.
The challenge was to make easy to understand health information readily available 24/7, both to support consultations, reduce unnecessary appointments and the need for out of hours support from a health or care professional.
Health Innovation East and Cambridge Community Services NHS Trust (CCS) worked with charity Best Beginnings to fund the development and design of www.JustOneNorfolk.nhs.uk to provide free 24/7 access to health and care information for all parents in Norfolk.
The multimedia educational initiative empowers Norfolk parents to support the optimum health and wellbeing of their children (0-19 years). It is available in multiple languages and contains interactive resources, peer support, quizzes and games to encourage learning. Parents and children can also access confidential support telephone lines or text chats. The Just One Norfolk website is also integrated with the Baby Buddy app by Best Beginnings.
Health Innovation East supported the organisation to get insights from a maternal support group, developed a strategic communications plan to drive engagement for the launch and secured a shortlisting for the initiative in the 2019 Health Tech Awards. The commercial team are now using their expertise to develop a business model and enable the adoption and spread of this initiative across the UK. Health Innovation East has also supported the spread of the platform to cover a broader scope of services and to widen the breadth of users, allowing a growth of resources to support all children and young people across Norfolk.
Since launch the site has achieved over 85,000 users and indicates over 12,000 active users. Videos are a highly popular format and on average, after watching one video users went on to watch two or three more.
Independent evaluation commissioned by Health Innovation East from the University of Essex established:
The resource has been utilised predominantly by non-English speakers, with Polish, Portuguese and Spanish being the most translated languages.Following a 2022 refresh, use continues to grow, with over 90,000 users in the last quarter. Videos and accessibility features continue to be well utilised by non English speakers, in particular Polish, Portuguese and Spanish. The team worked closely with Norfolk’s Ukraine response to ensure translation was available and the site was promoted as the first point of advice, signposting and information for families and hosts.
The platform provides a single point of integration for health, education and social care information for families and children but is also a reference resource for professionals, reducing duplication and expense across the system. From summer 2022, this includes a gated section where healthcare professionals can access information and training on maternity, paediatric, occupational therapy, mental health, social care, SEND and safeguarding services within the region, validated by relevant professionals to ensure that it is clinically correct and then communicated as part of system campaigns.
The website was highly commended at the Health Tech Awards, Self-Care Week Awards and the Leading Healthcare Award 2019 for Innovation of the Year.
The team is currently developing a tool for young people using the same technical platform. This has been co designed with over 200 young people from schools and youth groups such as the SEND youth forum, Youth in Mind, Youth Advisory Boards and young people’s social groups such as St John Ambulance.
1 d6 Rowlands, Protheroe, Winkley, et al. (2016), A mismatch between population health literacy and the complexity of health information: an observational study. British Journal of General Practice, 65(635): e379-e386