Healthcare App

Case Study

NHS Ayrshire & Arran

How NHS Ayrshire and Arran uses its app to meet the challenges of communicating with patients, families & carers across a number of hospitals, teams & departments

Improving Patient Communication at NHS Ayrshire & Arran

NHS Ayrshire & Arran employs more than 9,000 staff across their hospitals - two University Hospitals at Ayr and Crosshouse near Kilmarnock, Ayrshire Central Hospital in Irvine and Biggart Hospital in Prestwick, as well as other community hospitals in the area.


NHS Ayrshire and Arran uses a ‘container app’ - an Umbrella app containing other individual apps, each dedicated to a specific service or area of care.
Within the NHS Ayrshire and Arran container app there are dedicated apps containing all key information, updates, handbooks, contacts details, emergency procedures and more about the public health services they provide for patients, families and carers.

As well as patient apps it also has an app containing internal training resources, policies and procedures, contact details, events and more for staff, training and HR.

We caught up with Sharon Callaghan, Project Manager for TEC Digital Services, Cara Durnie, Addictions Education & Prevention Specialist, & Alison Anderson, Respiratory MCN Manager, at NHS Ayrshire and Arran about their experience of using its app for communications and engagement.

Which Features Of Its App Are Proving Most Beneficial?

Cara explains; “We were looking for alternative and more effective ways of providing people with the information to help them manage their conditions. The contacts feature is really helpful, as they’re able to find contacts quickly and call direct from the app, visit websites or send an email. Most useful are the alerts which we use to send instant notifications to patients about new information that we’ve made available, reminders such as when to book flu-jabs or make them aware of our regular content updates. Clinicians are also finding the app a useful tool for quickly accessing important information, updates and other resources, all in one place.”

“We are able to publish lots of information to a wide variety of people, including those not engaged in our services.”


We are able to publish lots of information to a wide variety of people, including those not engaged in our services

— Cara Durnie
Addictions Education & Prevention Specialist


An Easy to Manage, Efficient Communication Channel

Sharon explains how impressed they were with how quickly the app was to get up & running - “In NHS terms, to implement a system like the Piota app was very quick from the beginning to going live. Once we had organised the information we required, with Piota’s training we picked up the CMS and how to use it in around an hour, identified our internal people to manage each content area who in-turn helped populate the app and it was live in a very short space of time.”

Alison continues, “Because the CMS is so easy to use, we can update information quickly & easily and because everything is available in one place this information is readily available to patients, staff and their carers or families. We’re finding family members, such as those caring for people with COPD, find the app particularly useful for information & advice to help them provide support & assistance”.

“The feedback feature within the app allows us to regularly review the information on the app to ensure we’re meeting the needs of the people who benefit most from using the app”.

In NHS terms, to implement a system like the Piota app was very quick

— Sharon Callaghan,

Project Manager for TEC Digital Services

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