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Comic Relief funding announcement

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5 July 2018
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The Medicines for Children team is delighted to announce that WellChild, our charity partner, has won funding from Comic Relief's “Tech for Good” programme to develop a tool to help parents and carers to manage their children’s medicines.

Working with WellChild, we have seen first-hand the challenges that families face when caring for a child with complex health needs at home. We are developing a tool that will help parents and carers, for example, to record when medicines are given and to set reminders. It will be particularly useful when several people are caring for one child. The record of doses will also be useful when discussing treatment with healthcare professionals. In creating this tool, we want to empower parents and carers to manage their medicines safely. We will be working closely with parents and carers during the development process and consulting with paediatric healthcare professionals.

 

Chair of the Medicines for Children Board, pharmacist Andy Fox, commented, “We are very pleased to receive this funding and practical support from the Comic Relief Tech for Good programme. We know from our work with WellChild that further support in this area is needed and will really help parents and carers. The rapid development time and support means that we are looking forward to launching this app as early as Spring next year”.

Matt James, Director of Communications and Marketing at WellChild said: “This is exciting news for the Medicines for Children project and the many thousands of parents and carers across the UK managing increasingly complex, 24/7 medicine routines.”

“The Medicines for Children website has already established itself as a trusted source of information for parents on how to give medicines to their children safely. However, we want to take that experience to a new level and give parents and carers an easy-to-use tool that will make managing their child’s medicine routine simpler and safer. Parents report a lack of appropriate information when prescribed new medication, elaborate paper-based systems to keep on top of medicine routines and a constant need to repeat themselves over and again to health professionals. With this tool, we hope to alleviate that – from dosage reminders and record keeping, to instant access to their child’s medicine information wherever and whenever they need it.”

“Whilst the funding from Comic Relief will be essential to make this project happen, the support and guidance we will receive from the ‘Tech for Good’ programme is the real jewel in the crown - ensuring that we create a tool that will truly impact the lives of parents and carers across the UK”.

The 2018 Tech for Good programme will help 13 not-for-profit organisations to develop digital innovations that create social change.  A key aim is for innovations to be sustainable, and suitable for scale up to reach more users. Chosen projects are given funding and access to dedicated technical expertise for 9 months, starting in July. Training days will enable funded projects to connect with each other and to meet Tech for Good experts. Medicines for Children’s digital partner in developing the medicines management tool is Manchester-based social tech agency, Reason Digital. They specialise in social enterprise projects, and are experts in using technology to address social issues.

The completed Tech for Good projects will be demonstrated at a public event organised by Comic Relief in March 2019, with the official launch of our product at the RCPCH annual conference in May 2019.  You can find out more about the Comic Relief Tech for Good Programme here. If you are a parent, carer, young person or health care professional who would like to be involved in the development of this app, please get in touch with the development team at medicines.leaflets@rcpch.ac.uk.

We would like to thank all the health care professionals and families who have given up their time and expertise thus far for the development of this project. Your ideas and practical experience of how best a medicines management solution / tool could benefit families has been the key to the success of this funding bid and is vital to ensure we develop a solution that will help families. We look forward to working with you all further to continue to develop this work. Thank you!

In addition, we are currently looking for healthcare professionals to review our published medicines information. Read more about what this involves here or contact us on medicines.leaflets@rcpch.ac.uk to find out more.