Derbyshire Public Health spearheads digital revolution in wellbeing services
Derbyshire County Council has joined forces with ORCHA, the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps, on an ambitious long-term project to embed the use of health apps and online tools into its services.
A key part of this is the creation of a health apps library which ensures residents have access to a wide range of high-quality, quality checked, apps to help with their health and wellbeing.
The library forms part of Derbyshire County Council’s healthy lifestyles service Live Life Better Derbyshire.
Live Life Better Derbyshire is a free service which offers stop smoking, weight management and physical activity support.
As well as providing a source of trusted apps to the 800,000 residents of Derbyshire, the council has purchased 100 ORCHA Pro Accounts for staff members.
These accounts let staff in council teams to directly recommend apps, via text and email, to their clients.
Derbyshire County Council’s Director of Public Health, Dean Wallace, said:
“Derbyshire has always been proactive when it comes to public health and we see huge benefits coming from health apps.
“While Derbyshire County Council commissions a diverse range of accessible public health services, digital health apps can provide information and support when traditional support services may not be available.
“Lockdown could prove detrimental to some people’s health. Especially people who may have problems with drinking or smoking.
“Being able to recommend an app if they are unwilling, or unable, to use our services could offer significant benefits to their health and wellbeing.
“We are taking it slowly but we want digital health to become another health and wellbeing tool, and to help normalise its use for people.”
Former NHS clinician and founding CEO of ORCHA, Liz Ashall-Payne, said:
“There are lots of apps and online tools that promise to help with your health and wellbeing however it can be difficult to know which ones to trust when you are browsing through Google Play or Apple app stores.
“The app library we have built with the Derbyshire team will open up the widest possible range of top-quality tools, each of which has been rigorously reviewed against 350 tough standards, including elements of the NICE framework.
“It’s fantastic to be working with the forward-thinking Derbyshire team and we’ll be there to support with their ambitious plans every step of the way.”