Better Care

The health visitor in your pocket!

A ground-breaking mobile app - the first for Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust - providing parents of young children with a wide range of healthcare advice and information has been launched.

The project is the brainchild of health visiting clinical team leader Joanna Jacobs, who had the initial idea as part of her studies on a leadership and safeguarding course.

Joanna clinched £2,000 investment when she won a Dragons’ Den-style contest at a health visiting conference and secured a further £5,000 to develop the concept from her employers, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust.

“To be honest, I’m not very technical,” admits Joanna, who manages two health visiting teams.

“My original concept was to develop health visiting aide memoirs in the form of cue cards but, on further reflection, I came up with the idea of developing a health visiting app.

“I am calling it ‘a health visitor in your pocket’. Apps for mobile phones or tablets have the capacity to positively influence the health of children and families by providing readily available electronic information at the click of a button.”

Getting to grips with the new health visitor app.

The app is available free of charge to users of Birmingham Community Healthcare’s health visiting service, providing key health messages on topics including:

Joanna Jacobs shows the new app to parents and children.
  • immunisation
  • when to call the GP if child is unwell
  • breastfeeding
  • health risks from passive smoking
  • developmental reviews
  • preventing burns, scalds and other minor injuries.

BCHC research director Clive Thursfield said: “Joanna’s project is an excellent example of how we can give a member of staff with a great initial concept the commercial and technical support they need to turn their idea into reality.”

The HV app will be launched at Oaklands Park Children’s Centre, 10 Boughton Rd, Yardley, Birmingham B25 8AJ on 15 October 2015 from 10am to midday.