An NHS Trust which provides children’s services in Rotherham, Doncaster, and North Lincolnshire is about to launch a new app enabling parents and carers to pre-book a confidential chat with a health professional when they need advice around their child’s physical and emotional health needs.
Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) has worked with software developers to introduce eClinic Parents Plus, which can be downloaded free of charge to a smartphone from the App store or Google Play.
Leana Gater, from RDaSH, said: “ From Monday 14 June a parent can simply download the app and register their details, choosing from the menu their geographical area, service required and type of help or advice they are looking for. They can then book an online a ‘live chat’ appointment with a member of staff in the team. It could be a health visitor for children 0-5, a school nurse for children 5-19, or a children’s mental health worker for children aged 5-18.
“It follows on from the success of introducing the 11-19 and CAMHS eClinic instant messaging Apps that currently have been registered by a staggering 1,400 young people. During the pandemic 700 young people have booked appointments via the apps. It’s an ideal way for young people to contact a health practitioner for help and support, with confidential conversations taking place via text message.
“Parent Plus is being launched in response to both the success of these apps and interest from parents who, similarly, would like an alternate way of getting advice on issues that are concerning them. Typically, it could be anything from young mums wanting help with weaning their babies, needing advice regarding sleep, emotional health concerns or behavioural difficulties with their children. The age range is from birth to leaving school.
“The pandemic has highlighted the value of the NHS having digital technology to maintain contact when face-to-face appointments haven’t been possible and young people in particular have embraced this new way of working. We’re now extending the service to their mums, dads and carers.”