Help to Care mobile app shortlisted for the 2020 HSJ Awards

HelpToCare, an app created in Kent has been shortlisted for the System Led Support for Carers Award at the 2020 Health Service Journal Awards, recognising its outstanding contribution to healthcare.

Commissioned by the Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) the app has been shortlisted despite tough competition from over 1000 entries.

The project team has been selected based on their ambition, visionary spirit and the demonstrable positive impact that their project has had on patient and staff experiences within the health and/or social care sector.

The judging panel consists of a diverse range of highly influential and respected figures within the healthcare community including: Sir Bruce Keogh, Chair, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s FT, Mark Axcell, Chief Executive, Black Country Healthcare FT and Caroline Beardall, Director of Workforce and OD, NHS England and NHS Improvement – South East.

The HelptoCare app was developed by NHS NEL Commissioning Support Unit, delivered by the Design and Learning Centre (Kent County Council) and the project board includes representatives from NHS local care, digital transformation, Medway Council and Kent County Council.

The app is based on the award-winning Stop Look Care booklet created by the Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group.  Kent carers identified their own psychological wellbeing and their ability to manage nursing tasks as being key challenges. The Help to Care app now provides support in both areas in direct response to this need.

HelptoCare features over 30 advice and guidance articles on a range of care-related topics which support the identification of deterioration, and encourage appropriate, timely referrals to suitable NHS, social care and voluntary sector services for both the carer and cared for.

Findings from a pilot study showed that the app enabled infections to be identified and treated early, stimulated conversation and access to mental health support services, enabled more effective personal care, and improved inhaler technique with less healthcare contacts, improving access to timely and appropriate healthcare interventions.

The team designed and implemented their HelptoCare App to provide a free, public facing solution to support carers and the people they care for, improving the care they receive at, or close to home.

Cathy Bellman, Associate Director for Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) and Primary Care Network (PCN) Development at NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the System Led Support for Carers award, recognising the collaborative efforts and dedication of the partnership over the last 12 months to successfully implement the HelpToCare App, which supports all those in a caring role.

“We are committed to delivering improved outcomes for our residents, and to be chosen among the other incredible nominees is a wonderful achievement.

“This nomination has been a tremendous boost to everyone involved and I am sure it will bolster our continued efforts to improve our services.”

Clair Bell, KCC Cabinet member for Adult Social Care and Health said: “Since its launch in May, the HelpToCare app has provided essential support to our carers in Kent during extremely challenging circumstances as a result of the pandemic restrictions. I am delighted that it has been shortlisted for this award; a much-deserved accolade for this valuable and successful project.”

Cllr David Brake, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adults’ Services, said: “We are delighted that the Help to Care app has been shortlisted for an HSJ award. The app has been vital tool to help all carers, including those who look after their friends or family members, access support and advice when they need it the most. The app is a fantastic example of our continued partnership working to make sure carers know they are not alone.”

Now in its 40th year, the HSJ Awards is the largest annual benchmarking and recognition programme for healthcare. Through a rigorous, fair and transparent judging process the awards produce a roll call of the best organisations, teams and people in the NHS and the wider health sector.

The full list of finalists for the 2020 HSJ Awards can be found on

Winners will be selected ahead of the ceremony, which will take place virtually in March 2021.




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The most coveted accolade in UK healthcare, the HSJ awards is the largest annual benchmarking and recognition programme for the health sector. Over the last 40 years the awards have been celebrating healthcare excellence through huge political, technological and financial challenges within the sector. Through a rigorous, fair and transparent judging process the awards produce a roll call of the best organisations, teams and people in the NHS and the wider health sector. 


Health Services Journal is the only title to cover all aspects of publicly funded healthcare, providing news, analysis, best practise information from some of the most powerful and respected figures in health. The HSJ audience is formed of healthcare leaders from both clinical and non-clinical backgrounds and both public and private sectors.

HSJ is published by Wilmington PLC, a company dedicated to providing information and training to professional business markets. Their publications across the Health, Risk and Compliance, Finance, Legal and Insight sectors are united by one common aim- to turn knowledge into advantage. Wilmington PLC enables professionals to enhance performance and innovation by providing high quality, relevant and reliable information, education and knowledge 


The Kent County Council Design and Learning Centre for Clinical and Social Innovation has been developed to bring together a wide range of professions, including our Integrated Care Pioneer team, the NHS and social care providers. By working in partnership with clinicians, care professionals and residents we can develop innovative solutions, at the right time to support people to live independently and meet local community challenges.

Our focus is to reduce frailty, develop safe new services and transform the health and social care workforce by promoting independence and self-care. This includes initiatives such as integrated neighbourhood teams, promoting self-management through digital technology and sharing innovative ideas and best practice.

We believe in creating safer ‘out of hospital’ solutions to help reduce the pressure on both health and social care services, in particular reducing the need for hospital beds and giving people the confidence that the services they receive are high quality, safe and affordable.

Help to Care mobile app shortlisted for the 2020 HSJ Awards was last modified: November 26th, 2020 by Justine Wingate