A ground-breaking new app to transform mental health and wellbeing support for children and young people in Worcestershire has been awarded the MidTECH Award for Best NHS-Developed Innovation.
BESTIE – an interactive online platform built by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust and designed by local young people, clinicians and IT experts – won its category at a ceremony in Birmingham earlier this month.
The app has also been cited nationally as the first of its kind, and aims to revolutionise the way children, young people and parents get access to online help to support emotional resilience and wellbeing.
BESTIE encourages users to engage in social, physical and health-related activities.
One version of BESTIE will support children/young people who are accessing mental health services, providing online resources and tools to support their specific care plans, as well as resources which help them to track their mood, goals and progress. This will give them access to tailored help and guidance whenever they need it.
A wider public version will also be available to download which will provide more generic advice and support for young people and parents.
Dr Ben Rogers, Trust Lead for Psychological Interventions said, “Children and young people who use our services have been telling us for years that we need to make better use of technology in healthcare. As digital natives, they have an incredible expertise in the use of online technology which can help to guide the NHS. By taking a leading role in developing BESTIE, alongside clinicians and IT experts, young people in Worcestershire have helped to create a resource that will support others to reach their potential.”
Rob Walkley, a young person who has been working on the project said, “The project throughout has been an empowering, enjoyable experience and really shows what can be achieved when a diverse group of people come together with a mutual goal”.
BESTIE is currently in its final stages of piloting and has been shared across the healthcare sector ahead of going live later this summer.