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Thursday 20th June 2019

Innovative Health and Symptom Checkers Recognised for Improving Service for Patients

28th January 2011

NHS Direct’s online health and symptom checkers were recognised for their innovative approach to improving services at this year’s e-Government awards.

NHS Direct was awarded the ‘Innovation in strategy on a national level’ accolade at the ceremony on Wednesday 26 January. The award demonstrates how NHS Direct’s health and symptom checkers have improved processes, effectiveness and services to patients within the transformational government agenda. NHS Direct was one of seven finalists shortlisted for the award.

NHS Direct has been developing its award-winning suite of health and symptom checkers over the last year. They are available at www.nhs.uk/nhsdirect and cover a wide range of topics including specific conditions such as diarrhoea and vomiting, colds and flu and sexual health matters, as well as more specialist advice on issues such as contraception and mental health. The checkers were used over 700,000 times in December 2010 and, for the first time, overtook the telephone service during the busy two week Christmas period.

The tools work by asking the user a series of questions. Depending on the information provided, users may be offered self-care advice so that they can manage their symptoms at home, or it may suggest that further advice is sought from another health provider. A call back from an NHS Direct nurse advisor is only a click away if a further assessment is recommended. For every 100 people who use the health and symptom checkers online, only four people need a callback.
Matthew Garrood, Associate Director of Multi Channel, NHS Direct, said:
“NHS Direct has historically been recognised as a telephone service; however our innovative approach to developing our suite of health and symptom checkers has firmly placed us as a leading provider of online health services too. This award is a great achievement and a testament to the hard work the team has put in to providing the clinical content and technical expertise to make these tools accessible and easy to use for our patients.”


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