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Students design app to help mental health doctors

19th February 2015

Two Barking & Dagenham College students have been working with the North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) to help design a new app which will save mental health doctors time when finding treatment and care guidance

The Trust’s medical education department came to the College after coming up with the idea to develop an app which will allow doctors to have a wealth of guidance at their fingertips. Mark Bewes, 26, from Dagenham and Sam Bowen, 26, from Rainham, who are studying an Access to IT course at the College, were delighted to help the Trust with the project.

The duo were commissioned by the Trust to provide the technical platform to bring the new Doctors On Call Support (DOCS) app to life. It is believed to be the first app of its kind in the UK and replaces hundreds of pages of online guidance documents, including policies and procedures which are stored on the NELFT intranet and internet. It can be accessed from any smart phone or tablet and also works without internet connection and has features to ensure policies, procedures and guidelines are always kept up-to-date.

The students were mentored by Ellen Kerr, Manager of 2Fix Solutions at the College. 2Fix Solutions is an IT business and shop which gives students real work commissions. Ellen said:

“This is our first project for NELFT and it is typical of the type of work our students get access to. Every industry sector is exploring online solutions, which means the demand for our service is looking healthy.”

Mark said:

“It has been a rewarding project because the NELFT DOCS app has a valuable purpose. Giving students exposure to real client briefs is what makes the Barking & Dagenham College experience so different.” Sam added: “This project has helped me develop both my technical and employability skills.”

Dr Mohan Bhat, NELFT Medical Director, who with his colleagues trains mental health doctors and led the initiative for NELFT, said:

“This is just one measure NELFT is using to ensure junior mental health doctors follow the correct clinical procedures and guidelines, and they have easy access to them.”

The app is quickly becoming an essential resource that mental health doctors across NELFT and junior mental health doctors in training are returning to again and again. Wijay Pitumpe, Chief Finance & Enterprise Officer at the College added:

“Creating opportunities for our students to work on real client projects is a vital part of the experience we offer, across every subject area. In the digital creative sector our reputation for developing effective technical solutions, like this NELFT app, is certainly growing and we look forward to working with the Trust again in the future.”

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