How are Oxfordshire promoting self-care?

Eight weeks ago today Abingdon GP Federation launched their health and wellbeing website COACH - County of Oxfordshire Advice on Care & Health. The website has already seen nearly 2000 sessions and user statistics show that people visiting the website are really engaging with the content.

 

Below is an outline of how the COACH website has been developed and a snapshot of current promotional activity, as well as a deeper look into the current statistics and what they could mean in terms of savings to frontline health services.

 

An Outline:

 

COACH offers patients health care and support, local information and signposting in four key areas:

  • Health Services which encourages self care with a symptom checker, the ability to look up their nearest pharmacies, dentists, GPs and opticians, or find out about other local services ­for example advice on maternity, child, young adult or elderly care.
  • Support & Advice offers advice that goes beyond health including guided information on Blue Badges, finding a home, employment, registering a death and claiming for benefits.
  • Wellbeing encourages ill health prevention with latest information around healthier living, including interactive health apps that help with a variety of things including quitting smoking and healthy eating, external factors such as housing, loneliness, bereavement and/or financial worries.
  • Health Conditions also offers tips on avoiding ill health, including details on available screening programs and immunisations, living with long-term conditions and accessing clinical information using the Health A-Z guide.

In a unique approach, COACH also includes a developing directory allowing users to find relevant local services, clubs and support groups and combine these results with the best available online health and wellbeing groups. These results come from a vast number of sites including Facebook, YouTube and MeetUp. They are then filtered to ensure that only relevant results are seen by the user. Different to other health signposting websites the directory offers users a link to real world support and advice and encourages people to seek out support within their local community.

 

Marketing and Promotion:

 

COACH isn’t just a website that you go to when you’re ill, it can be used for a variety of support needs from money issues to housing. Therefore, with so many signposted services COACH targets a large audience of users. So, how do we ensure that people are aware of and are actively using the site?

 

We believe the aim of the game is to ensure that as many local services as possible are promoting COACH; be it health professionals, local sports clubs, schools, librarians or the council. LookingLocal have been working with Abingdon GP Federation to design a selection of marketing collateral to assist with their marketing efforts:

 

Patient Brochure

PostCard




Plasma screen image for GP surgeries

Business Cards

 

Usage:

 

In the 8 weeks since the launch of the website COACH has seen nearly 2000 sessions from 1,146 unique users. Within the context of Abingdon alone that has a population of 60K it can be predicted that if only a fifth of the website visitors used COACH instead of visiting their GP, A&E or a walk-in centre, it would create an annual saving of £200,000 to frontline NHS services. 

 

Over a quarter of the traffic to the website is outside usual surgery opening times (8am-6pm), when people may have otherwise used services such as 111 or other out-of-hours services. When the service is assessed, this will be seen as an additional saving in terms of reducing frontline usage.

 

Another insightful statistic is the most popular visited pages, which included;

  • self care;
  • local pharmacy search;
  • health A-Z; and
  • avoiding ill health.

 

These statistics show us that COACH is really starting to achieve it’s aim in being a 24-hour portal of health support and advice. As well as this people are using it for the two key areas of self-care and ill health prevention; which are at the heart of both healthcare delivery and patient care as well as widely identified drivers of delivering change and efficiency savings.

 

LookingLocal is making websites like COACH available to other Public Health, CCG colleagues, Local Authorities Housing Associations across the country, tailored to be specific for organisational needs. The underlying  product is called HealthMyself and you can read more about it on our webiste. You can also take a look around the COACH website yourself. We would tailor your website exactly to your needs be it health signposting, triage away from front-line services or really promoting the local community service.

 

Please contact irene.zdziebko@lookinglocal.gov.uk for more details.