Florence offers helping hand

Young patients in Telford are making the most of a pioneering text messaging system that’s helping them to manage their illnesses.

According to health professionals in the area, the text messaging system has been a hit with younger patients. Not only is Flo helping save time and money by cutting the amount of face-to-face contacts needed with healthcare professionals, it's also helping put the patient back in control of their own illness.

According to staff it's giving patients a real sense of empowerment by helping them to manage their own health care. Hilary Griffin, Nurse Manager at Stirchley Medical Practice, Telford, said: 'We have used Flo for patients who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. We have had 40 patients using it over the past 12 months and it’s been notable that it’s been most popular with younger patients who have been diagnosed with hypertension. We have noticed that the older population prefer to see you face to face, rather than using text messaging but we are encouraging people of all ages to use it. I send patients a message if I have noted that their readings are looking high and we can then act accordingly.'

The feedback we have had from patients is that they like the personal interaction they get - it’s like having a helping hand and someone there to remind you.

Hilary added: 'It’s also been a really good way of educating people about how to respond to their readings which, in turn is empowering the patients. It’s also helping us to intervene much earlier should we need to. The text message system offers patients a more flexible service and means rather than waiting a week and expecting them to keep paper records that can get lost or can be inaccurate, it can be recorded and monitored immediately'.
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