Over the past few months we have been sharing news about work from the NHS.uk team to improve online access to therapy services via the NHS Choices website.
In its most recent phase, the project has focused on making improvements to the IAPT service search function. Instead of using a postcode look-up, which had historically resulted in users attempting to access a service out of area, the new IAPT service finder uses a GP look-up service. Additionally, the display of service information has been made more user friendly and provides a more informed overview of IAPT and better support through to self referral mechanisms.
Even in these early stages, the impact of these improvements is already quite staggering:
- 69% people are either clicking on their local IAPT website, referring themselves online, or phoning or emailing their local service compared with 7% of people using the old finder
- People using the new finder are 4 times more likely to click on ‘refer yourself’
- Site visits are up 71% (15.4k)
Such early positive outcomes are fantastic and it is hoped that the project will be further funded to continue refining the process. Mayden’s support for this project is also continuing and we will be undertaking our own updates to online referral forms to support services in analysing similar metrics and provide even more comprehensive data collection, particularly in regards to digital assessments. We continue to remain advocates for the use of online referral forms linked directly to electronic patient record systems because of the benefits reported to us by services and staff. We hope that these and other ongoing improvements will provide even better access and experience for those individuals seeking support from IAPT.
If you do not currently use online self referrals, but would like to find out more please feel free to contact us or raise an iaptus support log.