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Batch Messaging: How to use Batch Messaging with the NHS app
Batch Messaging: How to use Batch Messaging with the NHS app

Find out more about how you can send Batch Messages to patients who have the NHS app.

John F avatar
Written by John F
Updated over a week ago

NHS England is putting lots of effort into increasing (1) patient downloads and (2) the number of messages going to the NHS app. As a result, Accurx have teamed up with the NHS app to allow patients more choice on how to receive communication from their healthcare practitioners which will result in a lower-cost option to notify patients about information on their health.


πŸ’ͺ What are the benefits?

We conducted some User Research with patients to understand how they find using this new feature and we found:

  • 😌 Most patients found the NHS app and Accurx integration easy and straightforward to use when viewing messages sent to them.

  • πŸš€ The majority of patients we spoke to use their NHS app to manage their health regularly.

  • πŸ™ A lot of patients found it better to have all their messages and health information in one place.

  • πŸ’¨ Most patients tend to respond quicker to messages sent to them via the NHS app.

βš™οΈ How does the Batch Messaging and NHS app feature work?

All Batch Messages sent via Accurx will now go via the NHS app as the first attempt at sending the message. If the notification isn't viewed within 24 hours (3 hours for the Blood pressure 4-day and 7-day home monitoring questionnaires), or the patient doesn't have the NHS App, we'll send it via SMS instead.

That means there's no change to how you use the NHS app feature when sending Batch Messaging, and Accurx does all the heavy lifting for you! πŸ‹οΈ We check for the following conditions: πŸ‘‡

  • That patients have the NHS app installed on their phones.

  • That patients have notifications switched on.

🌟 We check this based on a report provided to us by NHS England's app team.

βœ… How can I check these messages have been sent?

If you want to check if a message has been sent to a patient, we recommend using the patient's medical record as the source of truth. All sent messages will be documented here. You may know that you can look in the Accurx inbox in the β€œSent” folder to see your batch messages.

☝️ Please note, that for the pilot, not all NHS App batch messages will appear in this inbox. The message will only appear in the inbox if the patient responds to the message (i.e. completes a Florey in NHS App) OR if the message is sent to SMS, OR if the fallback to SMS is initiated.

This means that if the message is sent to the NHS App and just read but no action is taken, it will not appear in the inbox i.e. all simple SMS messages where there is no call to action and messages where there was an action but it was not completed i.e. the patient has not clicked a link.

Also, in the desktop toolbar inbox, if the message is successfully read/ actioned within the NHS App, it will appear as β€œScheduled SMS cancelled” in the inbox view. This is because we have cancelled the fallback SMS which was queued for 24 hours if unread. We intend to improve this when we roll out more widely.

❌ It is not available for Self-Book yet.

The NHS app integration covers the following types of batch messages:

  • Standard SMS / Template messages,

  • Florey Questionnaires and Custom Florey Questionnaires.

πŸ’¬ Where do the responses go?

Responses will continue to go back to the same places as if you were sending a patient an SMS or Florey by text.

πŸ€” What happens if these requirements aren't met?

Don't worry! If we detect the patient doesn't have the NHS app installed or have notifications switched on we default to sending the message via SMS.

Additionally, if the patient doesn't read the message in the NHS app within 24 hours then we default to sending the same message to them via SMS.

❗ You will be charged the standard SMS fragment cost should we roll back to sending the patient an SMS. More info here.

It's also worth mentioning that if the patient has the NHS app downloaded and notifications switched off, they will receive the SMS and be able to view the same message in the NHS app as well.

πŸ“– What resources are available to support patients using this feature?

Patients have a wide range of resources available to them both on the Accurx Help Centre and the NHS app Support Centre. Here are some suggested articles to help them when using the NHS app feature to view messages sent to them via Accurx. πŸ‘‡

Where can patients go to get more support?

Patient can get in touch with the Accurx User Support team by going to the Help Centre and clicking on the messanger icon in the bottom right-hand corner. πŸ‘‡

If the patient is experiencing an issue specific to the NHS App they can contact the NHS app Support Team by going to the NHS website and selecting the option to contact the Help Desk.

πŸ‘Ύ Current bugs and issues

There are some issues with the current version being rolled out which may impact the patient experience: πŸ‘‡

  • πŸ“† Patients will need to enter their date of birth to access the link despite receiving the message through the NHS app.

  • πŸ” If patients want to see previous messages sent to them on the Accurx platform then they will need to use the NHS log-in again.

  • 🚨 Reminders for Floreys will by default be sent via SMS despite the initial message being sent to the patients NHS app.

If you still have any questions or concerns, feel free to chat with us using the green message bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of this page. πŸ‘‰

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