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South Devon and Torbay CCG to adopt new digital tool launched by NIA company

13 September 2016

South Devon and Torbay will be the country’s first CCG to implement a digital recommendation tool from NHS Innovation Accelerator company, HealthUnlocked. The new service is set to provide individuals with a social prescription based on their long term condition and location.

Social prescriptions have been in use in various forms throughout the NHS for a few years. Usually focusing on signposting to community care, this new tool will go much further, by providing people with a gateway to information and the support available in their local area from the NHS, social care, charities and voluntary sector.

Additionally, users will be signposted to free peer to peer and expert support on relevant HealthUnlocked online communities, that are shown to support people feel more confident in managing their health, use clinical services less and have more positive reactions with doctors and health professionals.

The new service is provided through a ‘HealthUnlocked Local’ widget that CCGs can embed into their websites and role out across GPs, community care and hospital provider websites, for patients and the general public to use. The technology uses artificial intelligence, meaning each person submitting their health or wellness condition will receive results relevant to them and the information they have submitted.

Paul Hurrell, Head of Innovation at South Devon and Torbay Vanguard CCG, said: “HealthUnlocked Local will play a critical role in how we will create a system in which our population has the skills, knowledge and confidence to self-manage and to become more active in relation to their physical and mental health. We believe it provides us with a unique opportunity not only to provide our population, and workforce, with easy access to tailored information, but also blends into this ‘offer’ access to physical and virtual peer support opportunities.”

HealthUnlocked is one of 17 companies selected for the 2015/16 NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA). The NIA, now in its second year, supports some of the best healthcare innovators with evidence-based innovations to help improve health outcomes and give patients access to the latest products, services and technology at lower cost. The NIA is an NHS England initiative hosted by UCLPartners in partnership with the country’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs). Outcomes to date include 17 Fellows with tried and tested innovations participating in the programme, generation of almost £17millon in funding, and 345 additional NHS providers and commissioners now using the NIA innovations.

For more information about HealthUnlocked visit