London, UK - The information and communication service for NHS Trusts is provided by 123 Consultants and Clickatell, the world's leading messaging provider. The service allows subscribers to access a wealth of health information via text message. Users can create their own profile by filling out an online questionnaire focused on common health issues; subscribers will then receive information and advice via SMS on health issues pertinent to their profile, for example, drinking or smoking.
Alternatively, users can text a particular keyword to receive information on a range of topics such as obesity, safe sex or even the contact details for a 24 hour pharmacy. Members will also benefit from free text messages and ring tones as part of the offering. The Heart of Birmingham Primary Care Trust, part of the NHS, has been trialling the service since the beginning of the year and has reported that its smoking cessation campaign has been very successful. As a result, the Trust is now developing a service aimed specifically at younger people providing advice about issues such as drugs, sexual health matters, diet and other relevant teen health issues.
Furthermore, the SMS messages are interactive, enabling the recipient to query any health SMS they receive via text. The service ensures that texts are only sent to opted-in subscribers at defined times ensuring campaigns are both targeted and delivered to a captive audience. Two-way SMS systems of this kind also allow subscriber replies to be documented and used to further refine subsequent campaigns. Deon van Heerden, managing director of Clickatell UK, said, "Health-SMS is an innovative service that will revolutionise the way in which the NHS communicates with the public, whilst improving quality of service, efficiency and significant cost savings. We are delighted to be working with 123 Consultants to deliver our 'any message, anywhere' integrated communications service to audiences we know are receptive to texting."