What is Help at Hand?

Help at Hand came from the collaboration between AKA and a large multi site GP practice – St Austell Healthcare. St Austell Healthcare understood the need for Social Prescribing and the benefits that it could deliver to both the patient and the practice. However there was no tool to effectively manage the information around patient needs and to record all the services available to the local population, this is where Help at Hand was born.

Help at Hand enables any organisation to manage the patient data, to manage the data on local services and most importantly to manage the links between them. Let Help at Hand manage the data about your local services that you want your patients or customers to be aware of.

Help at Hand is designed to be an affordable and scalable solution that can be used by a single GP practice, PCN or commissioning group.

Why Help at Hand?

As a joint development between AKA and one of the earliest adopters of social; prescribing, this software has been built with and designed for Social Prescribing staff, built with social prescribing staff not for them.

"The Help at Hand app provides a solution to a very specific problem. It gives health centres a really useful way to communicate with their patients and connect with their community. It diverts the patient instantly to the people they need to talk to, reducing the pressure on surgeries. It also gives them data on which services are being used, helping them to work out where to focus resources."

— Andrew Kellard, creator of Help at Hand

Who we are

Thirty years of design and software experience have gone into creating Help at Hand, the app that is transforming the way healthcare providers deliver social prescribing.

Help at Hand is a patient app for the NHS, launched in 2020 by Andrew Kellard, Managing Director of AKA.

From developing an innovative system for global medical evacuation to launching the world’s first implantable defibrillator, Andrew has been at the cutting-edge of medical advances for three decades. Working with some of the world’s leading medical and travel security firms, Andrew has a wealth of expertise in design and software solutions for the healthcare sector.

Now, that knowledge has been applied to create Help at Hand.

Our vision for Help at Hand

Each year, an estimated 120 million unnecessary GP appointments cost the NHS more than four billion pounds.

Our vision for Help at Hand is to ease the burden on GP surgeries, helping them support health and wellbeing across the UK. Developed with the NHS, the app gives the healthcare sector a brand new way of social prescribing.

Using our experience of solving problems for a diverse range of businesses, we are also speaking to other sectors about how the app could help them. Help at Hand is attracting attention from organisations that need a quick and efficient way to signpost people to a range of services.

Working with St Austell Healthcare

We are delighted to be collaborating with St Austell Healthcare on the development of Help at Hand. St Austell Healthcare runs five GP surgeries in mid Cornwall and is an innovator in social prescribing.

St Austell Healthcare was the first NHS healthcare provider to adopt Help at Hand, which it offers to its 36,000 registered patients.

The team has worked closely with us to develop the app and ensure it meets the needs of GP surgeries and their patients.

"It has been fantastic to work with AKA to develop the Help at Hand app. Having an online directory of local services that can signpost people to the correct support is so vital, especially in the current climate. The app is comprehensive and user-friendly and patient feedback is excellent."

— Hayley Burgoyne, Head of Social Prescribing at St Austell Healthcare

Supporting the NHS through the Covid crisis

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK in March 2020, we accelerated the development of Help at Hand. Working with development partner St Austell Healthcare, we offered the app to GP surgeries across the UK. This meant they could easily reach their most vulnerable and isolated patients more easily while they were unable to visit the surgery in person.

During the crisis, Help at Hand provided users with the latest Coronavirus information from Government, local authorities and charities. Individuals used the app to access vital national and local support, from mental health services to details of food deliveries.

Social prescribing at your fingertips

GP surgeries provide wellbeing advice as well as clinical treatment. The NHS directs many of its patients to support services in the community. These range from weight loss clinics to mental health support networks. This holistic approach to promoting mental and physical health is known as social prescribing.

The Help at Hand patient app is an efficient solution for GPs, social prescribers, link workers and other healthcare professionals. Your teams add details on local and national services, so the app hosts all of the most up-to-date information in one place. Your patients can then access the support they need: anytime, anywhere.

Find out how the app works.

Collaborating with healthcare innovators and researchers

Collaboration with healthcare providers is central to our clinically-led approach to developing tools to assist frontline staff in providing support, ensuring our service adds value for healthcare providers in providing effective patient management for increased staff efficiency.

We believe providing patients the means to identifying their own needs, to develop their own action plan, and finally the path to non-medical social interventions within their community is the sustainable future of holistic healthcare. This is achieved through a hands-on, sleeves-rolled-up philosophy to designing tools driven by healthcare providers experiences and real-world requirements.

Our long-term collaborative partnership with St Austell Healthcare, one of the UK’s most proactive social prescribing departments has facilitated the development of a prescient suite of software built whilst embedded in the live care environment.

We are proud to be part of a number of leading health and wellbeing academic partnerships:

Smartline A collaborative project involving the University of Exeter
Epic - European Union Regional Development Fund A partnership led by the University of Plymouth
UnLtd Thrive Accelerator