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An innovation to help support Hospice patients
Arthur Rank Hospice Charity’s patients are benefitting from a new community information app which will help them to access everything from exercise classes to wellbeing support groups, telephone helplines to mental health services and much more!
It is the first time a Hospice has adopted the ’Help at Hand’ app, which functions like a digital directory offering social prescribing. It can be accessed via mobile phone, device or computer and provides a safe, quick and efficient way to signpost Hospice users – patients, family and friends – to the community organisations and groups they need most.
Easy to use
The interface is simple to use, with clickable links allowing users to quickly contact organisations by telephone or email, and web addresses which open to provide further details. If someone has favourite services, these can be saved and shared.
How to access
The mobile phone app is free and can be downloaded from the App Store on Apple or Play Store on Android devices. An online version can also be reached on Arthur Rank Hospice Charity’s at arhc.org.uk/helpathand.
The organisations, charities, groups and services sign-posted from the app, have all been listed by the Charity, building on existing relationships and partnerships established by Hospice colleagues who support patients across the breadth of its services.
A practical outcome from a collaborative project with John Lewis Golden Jubilee Trust
The implementation of ‘Help at Hand’ is the final outcome of a collaborative Community Mapping Project undertaken by John Lewis Partner (employee) Sally Milligan over 20 weeks, whilst on Golden Jubilee Trust Secondment from her usual role as Leisure Benefit Co-ordinator.
Between October 2020 and February 2021, Sally identified, explored and spoke to, connected with and verified the details of hundreds of recommended community-based organisations from across Cambridgeshire. Whilst many were already known to the Charity, some did not have established or current connections to the Hospice.
It quickly became clear that there were some valuable additions which were additionally added to the app, allowing patients and the wider community to access a holistic range of services more easily.
How the app originally came about
‘Help at Hand’ was originally launched in 2020 by Andrew Kellard, Managing Director of brand design consultancy AKA, as a patient app for the NHS. His vision has always been for the app to help ease the burden on healthcare providers, supporting patients’ health and wellbeing through a brand-new way of social prescribing.
Development was accelerated when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK in March 2020. Andrew Kellard, creator of Help at Hand Community Info comments:
“The Help at Hand app provides a solution to a very specific problem. It’s a really useful way to communicate with patients, their relatives and carers, and to connect with the Support Services community. It diverts the patient instantly to the people they need to talk to, reducing the pressure everyone and getting the help available straight to the people that most need it. Having developed the App with a host of GP Surgeries it has been a delight to work on its application and integration with the community mapping project being run by the Hospice. – It is the first hospice to adopt the App and we hope others will follow Arthur Rank Hospice Charity’s trailblazing lead .”
Sally Milligan adds:
“I am so pleased that I have been able to introduce the Help at Hand app to Arthur Rank Hospice Charity. It will empower patients and their families to be well informed and give them easy access to services and community groups in their area. It’s wonderful to be able to leave a real legacy from the work I have undertaken during my secondment.”