Brief

Assess the feasibility of carrying out the NHS Health Check remotely in line with Southwark Council’s ambition to increase uptake for the NHS HC and improve quality of service.

This phase of the project was an extension of previous research carried out for Southwark Council exploring the use of at-home kits to sample biometric measurements.

This time, we wanted to test the feasibility of taking remote biometric measurements through the use of kiosks placed in communal areas such as leisure centres or pharmacies.

Our goal was to assess the feasibility and acceptability of using community sampling for biometric measurements, with a focus on the BAME community.

Using the COM-B model, our focus in particular will be on understanding citizen’s capability, opportunity and motivation to carry out remote testing components, in the context of completing a fully remote NHS HC assessment.

Client

Southwark Council

What we did

Working with a kiosk provider Sisu, we set up a health station in Elephant and Castle Leisure Centre and invited citizens to test it out.

We sent them step-by-step instructions and a video on how to use it. They documented their experience through video and by filling out a questionnaire. We then followed up with them in a focus group to have a deeper discussion on their experience.

Discussion topics: The discussion guide was developed after listening to participants' initial videos of their experience of using the kiosk combined with insights from the questionnaire.

Key themes were mapped against the COM-B framework to uncover their capability, opportunity and motivation for using the kiosk.

We asked them about:

• Their general experience of using the kiosk

• Whether or not they thought the service was beneficial

• Their privacy concerns

• How they felt receiving their results

• What they thought of the location of the venue hosting the kiosk

Insights: Based on the discussion we were able to get a better understanding of participants’ experience and what the key areas for focus should be.

Here is a summary of our recommendations based on what our participants shared with us:

• Privacy concerns need to be addressed to ensure people feel comfortable and safe using the kiosk.

• Some accessibility features needs to be further considered (e.g making the seat adjustable and having audio feedback for those with visual impairments or illiteracy).

• Follow up support and aftercare need to be further considered. Particularly for those who received bad or unusual results.

• Further focus on the mental side of wellbeing should also be taken into account.

As well as these recommendations, we also needed to ensure that we were answering the brief; How might this service increase uptake of invites to regular health checks?

What is the feasibility of accurately measuring biometrics remotely using a kiosk?

Having incentives (e.g. linking to the gym/leisure centre it’s located in) and clearly conveying the benefits of using the kiosk could increase uptake and motivate people to look after their own health.

Emphasising the ease, convenience and how little time it takes should also be mentioned.

In general, people found it easy to use and easy to understand their results.

Most found it accurate but there were some questions around the accuracy of blood pressure reading as some who measured their blood pressure more than once found they had different readings.

Results

These recommendations were then taken to Southwark Council and Sisu to be further developed into actions that could be taken to make the kiosk live.

Actions for Southwark:

• How does Southwark decide what residents will receive a digital health check?

• Design and develop signage to navigate spaces to kiosk

• Design and develop clear priority pathways for those who identify as high risk

• Collaborate with partners to design incentive strategy

• Briefing for staff at selected locations to prepare for kiosk visitors

• Potential training for selected staff at locations to provide advice and support for results

Actions for Sisu:

Next Steps: Based on our findings of this discovery, Southwark Council has decided to proceed in exploring the suitability and feasibility of a remote, digital NHS Health Check for its residents.

In addition to seeing whether health kiosks in a range of community venues might help residents be better aware of their health and well-being.

COMUZI’s next step will be to work with software company QMS and other partners to develop and test an alpha version of the digital experience which will accompany these remote testing opportunities for residents.