South Devon and Torbay will be the country’s first Clinical Commissioning Group (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.”

For more information about HealthUnlocked