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Plaudits for parents’ health app

Plaudits for parents’ health app
05 March 2019

A free health app for parents of pre-school children has won a prestigious regional award.

The CATCH app, which stands for Common Approach To Children’s Health, helps parents of children aged 0 -5 to look after them when they fall ill and to seek medical advice when necessary.

And the app was recognised at the MediLink North of England Healthcare Business Awards 2019 in Leeds last month when it won the Partnership with the NHS – Primary Care Award.

CATCH was developed by Liverpool-based health technology studio Damibu Ltd in line with requirements laid down by us with NHS South Cheshire CCG and Cheshire East Council.

The partners commissioned the app after research by Cheshire East Council’s public health team found that the number of children being taken to A&E in the local authority area was well above the national average and that many of the children were being sent home with basic advice and information only.

Now, a survey of CATCH users has found that 90 per cent would recommend the app to a friend or family member while 56 per cent said the app had helped them to self-care rather than go to A&E. In addition, 89 per cent of users said CATCH had helped them feel more confident in self-caring for their child and in knowing where to find the best treatment.

CATCH provides:

  • NHS-approved health advice
  • Highly-localised information about healthcare services and support groups in Cheshire East
  • Timely notifications about key health dates such as childhood immunisations
  • An interactive map of Cheshire East healthcare services such as GP surgeries, dentists and pharmacies.

At the awards ceremony, Dr Liz Mear, chief executive of the NHS Innovation Agency, presented a glass trophy to Damibu chief executive Dave Burrows and CATCH project manager John Callaghan.

The award judges said: “CATCH stood out because it’s empowering parents to take the best possible care of their children when they fall ill. In this way, it’s helping reduce unnecessary A&E attendances and avoidable costs for the NHS.”

Dr Mear said: “Congratulations to Damibu, a North West business which has worked with NHS colleagues to develop the app and is now working with the NHS in other areas so that more families will benefit. This is a great example of partnership working by the NHS with a business to achieve improvements in care.”

Dr Lesley Bayliss, our clinical lead for children, added: “We and our partners are delighted to have won this much-coveted award. CATCH is not only helping parents take great care of their children, it’s also helping reduce avoidable hospital activity – which is good news for people needing urgent and emergency care.

“One of the app’s key strengths is that it’s highly personalised. Parents can input their child’s date of birth and it will only present health information and reminders that are relevant to their child’s age.”

In 2017, CATCH won the Cheshire East innovation award at the NHS in the North West Excellence in Supply Awards. It was also nominated for an Advances in Digital Healthcare Award.

For more information on CATCH or to download it, visit www.catchapp.co.uk.