5 minute read

Yesterday was our first SelfCareHub Show and Tell day in Huddersfield. 14 health professional from across the country joined us at the town hall to hear about the latest progress with the Kirklees version of SelfCareHub, My Health Tools.

Kirklees Public Health worked in partnership with LookingLocal to create My Health Tools, a CBT-based online platform for people living with a long-term health condition (LTC), which offers guidance and support in helping people to self-care.

Room setup

Quick headlines of the day

  • My Health Tools platform built in Kirklees for people with LTC’s to inspire confidence and help people self-care;
  • Platform underpinned by cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) that encourages people to positively change their perception and behaviour in coping with a LTC;
  • So far there have been over 1,800 users of the My Health Tools website and 109 people have signed up to the hub
  • Pain is the most popular selected condition (43%) followed by anxiety (40%) and then breathing (17%);
  • Already being successfully used by health trainers in Kirklees to help support people with LTC’s.

Read more about SelfCareHub.

See the demo site of My Health Tools

Watch the Kirklees My Health Tools videos

If you are interested in hearing about how a platform like My Health Tools could work for your organisation please email selfcarehub@lookinglocal.gov.uk

For a more detailed view, read on…

The Show and Tell day was a chance for CCG’s and Public Health teams to talk to the people at Kirklees Council Public Health that led in the design and implementation of My Health Tools, as well as a chance to see the technology up close. The talks for the day were led by Sharron McMahon, Portfolio Manager of Self Care and Julie Hunneybell, Project Officer both from Kirklees Public Health as well as Patrick Boosey, one of the health trainers who has been using My Health Tools with his patients.

The Why

The day started with setting the scene for where the idea for My Health Tools was born. Research began 2 years ago and feedback was gathered from people with long-term conditions, clinicians, GP’s and CBT experts in order to put together a knowledge framework. It was crucial for Kirklees that during the development stage actual users of the system (people living with LTC’s) were involved in the whole design process. The main aim of the project was that a platform was developed that would inspire confidence and provided people with the skills and support that they needed to self-care.

The How

After describing why My Health Tools was necessary, Julie gave a demonstration of the technology from a user’s perspective, from making the first Confidence Assessment to identifying Challenges and using Recommendations.

Health services

Read more about how My Health Tools works here

What was highlighted by Julie first, was that My Health Tools recognises that not all long-term health symptoms are physical and there can be many different factors that need to be taken into consideration. For example, it could be debt problems that could be making a condition harder to manage.

The Confidence Assessment and Trophy Cabinet within My Health Tools were highlighted as being able to ensure continual usage of the platform. Giving users something to work towards and being able to see rewards for positive progression encouraging future activity.

During a view of the Recommendations offered to users to help them cope with their condition it was made clear the wide range of resources available including videos, plans and links to helpful sites.

The Now

  • After having a greater idea of what the platform was capable of Julie and Sharron noted some of the worthy statistics that have emerged from the platform so far, including:
  • There have been over 1,800 users of website
  • 109 people have signed into the hub
  • 43% of users selected pain as their main condition, 40% anxiety and 17% breathing
  • The most popular selected topics were - anxiety/ stress, body symptoms, anger and frustration and difficulties in sleeping
  • The most popular challenges were: “I’ll never change, I’ll always be a worrier” and “I find it hard to relax”
  • The most popular recommendations were information on: Mindfulness, Cycle of persistent pain, Talking therapies and Pacing.

After a year of being live, Kirklees Public Health plans to have more outcomes to share, as My Health Tools is currently involved in a study which will look at the reasons people would and wouldn’t use the system. As My Health Tools is quite a new way of looking at your health, this study will examine the effect this will have on the way people look at their condition and as well as their own resilience.

Real experiences

After a bite of lunch and a further one-to-one look at the technology, delegates heard from one of the Kirklees Health Trainers, Patrick Boosey, who currently uses My Health Tools with his clients.

Patrick gave several examples of how using My Health Tools is benefiting both his clients and the way he works. He mentioned one particular client that suffered from anxiety due to her Chronic Obtrusive Pulmonary Disease; both different long-term conditions but nevertheless interlinked. Patrick noted that because his client was using My Health Tools meant he could review her situation 2-4 times a week online rather than just the less frequent face-to-face visits and, therefore, pick-up on triggers of her COPD that may make her anxiety worse.

When asked by a delegate how Patrick has adapted to working with My Health Tools, he noted that when attending a health conference sometime ago he noticed that Kirklees were unique in the way that they worked. For him, it was natural to work online and the great thing about My Health Tools is that it’s one central hub of information, rather than searching various sites online. He added that you do want to have to engage with the system for it to work but so far he has found it a very successful tool.

Overall, the Show and Tell day was a great opportunity for health professionals to discuss one of the newest approaches to digital health. With the ever-changing landscape of the NHS, we all recognise that new online systems, like My Health Tools, will be one of the answers to being able to deliver quality health advice to a wider audience.

It’s fantastic for LookingLocal and Kirklees Public Health to hear feedback and reviews from all that attended, and please feel free to leave any more comments from the day on this post. If you would like any more information on SelfCareHub and My Health Tools or to hear about any future event LookingLocal will be hosting than please get in touch at selfcarehub@lookinglocal.gov.uk

Leave a Comment