WellChild receives Comic Relief funding to develop medicines management app

Posted on the 5th July 2018

WellChild, the national charity for seriously ill children has won funding and support from Comic Relief’s ‘Tech for Good’ programme to develop a new digital tool to help parents and carers manage their children’s medicine routines.

Working in partnership with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG) and Manchester-based social tech agency, Reason Digital, the project will build on the success of ‘Medicines For Children’ – a website for parents and carers providing independently endorsed information and instructional videos on medicines and their administration.

Inspired by Leanne’s video, families have been involved in helping to inform the development of the app at every step.  Giving us amazing insight into what life is like managing these routines at home which is vital to ensure we move this project forward in the right way so the right tool is developed. Over 200 parents and carers have completed our survey telling us about the ways they record and monitor their child’s medicines, the challenges faced and how they use technology to support this. A smaller group of parents continued to then complete a 24 hour ‘WhatsApp Diary’, providing us with videos, photos and real time experiences of managing their child’s medicines routine.

Matt James, Director of Communications and Marketing at WellChild said: “This is exciting news for the Medicines for Children project and the many thousands of parents and carers across the UK managing increasingly complex, 24/7 medicine routines.”

“The Medicines for Children website has already established itself as a trusted source of information for parents on how to give medicines to their children safely. However, we want to take that experience to a new level and give parents and carers an easy-to-use tool that will make managing their child’s medicine routine simpler and safer. Parents report a lack of appropriate information when prescribed new medication, elaborate paper-based systems to keep on top of medicine routines and a constant need to repeat themselves over and again to health professionals. With this tool, we hope to alleviate that – from dosage reminders and record keeping, to instant access to their child’s medicine information wherever and whenever they need it.”

“Whilst the funding from Comic Relief will be essential to make this project happen, the support and guidance we will receive from the ‘Tech for Good’ programme is the real jewel in the crown - ensuring that we create a tool that will truly impact the lives of parents and carers across the UK”.

Matt James, Director of Communications and Marketing at WellChild

Chair of the Medicines for Children Project Board, pharmacist Andy Fox, commented, “We are very pleased to receive this funding and practical support from the Comic Relief Tech for Good programme. We know from our work with WellChild that this app is needed and will really help parents and carers. The rapid development time and support means that we are looking forward to launching this app early next year”.

The 2018 Tech for Good programme will help 12 not-for-profit organisations to develop digital innovations that create social change. Chosen projects are given funding and access to dedicated technical expertise for nine months, starting in July.

The completed projects will be demonstrated at a public event in March 2019. You can find out more about the Comic Relief Tech for Good Programme here. If you are a parent, carer, young person or health care professional who would like to be involved in the development of this app, please get in touch at wellchild.org.uk/medicinesforchildren

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