Media Guardian Innovation Award – a Team Effort

medicalnewstoday.com

Media Guardian Innovation Award – a Team EffortAn HPV ‘virtual surgery’ and web chat service on Habbo Hotel¹, commissioned by the
Department of Health and run by NHS Direct to help prepare young girls for the new cervical cancer vaccine, has won a 2009 Media Guardian Innovation Award.

The HPV service was aimed at young girls aged 12 to 13 to help answer their questions about the vaccine² throughout September and October 2008.

A number of agencies and government departments were involved in the project. These included: Mook (digital creative); i-level (digital media planning and buying agency); Habbo (website build); and the Central Office of Information (COI) who coordinated and had strategic input into
the digital activity.

NHS Direct provided two types of confidential, anonymous web chat services as part of the Habbo Hotel service:

  • One-to-one web chat: Girls visiting Habbo Hotel saw promotional materials that directed them to a page about the HPV campaign. This page contained frequently asked questions and offered a web chat with an NHS Direct advisor.
  • One to many web chat: Once a week from 4pm to 6pm, Health Information Advisors (HIA) were available in one of the ‘rooms’ in Habbo Hotel for a ‘one to many’ chat session – like a group question and answer session. The HIA held eight sessions during the two hour slot, each lasting 15 minutes.

Ronnette Lucraft, Commercial Director, said: “NHS Direct leads the way in providing 24 hour health advice and information to everyone in England, every day of the year. And we’re pushing these boundaries even further. By building on our core service we are able to provide a truly multi channel window to the NHS and lead the way for the NHS in ehealth.”

NHS Direct also provided, at the request of the Department of Health, a dedicated helpline with live advisors from September 2008 until the end of October 2008 – they took a total of 4,089 calls. This service was delivered by NHS Direct health advisors, as the information requested was factual and little clinical advice was required.

Health Minister Dawn Primarolo said: “We want as many girls as possible in the target age group to benefit from the cervical cancer vaccine. It is one of the biggest public health campaigns in recent history and means that up to 400 girls’ lives will be saved each year.

“As part of this initiative, it is incredibly important to use innovative channels to give girls all the information they need at their fingertips.”

For further information, please contact Ann Grain at NHS Direct on 0207 599 4223; 07876 596 932

Notes to Editors
¹ Habbo Hotel is a social networking environment aimed specifically at young teenagers
²From the beginning of the 2008/09 school year, the routine childhood immunisation programme in England will include the HPV vaccination for approximately 300,000 12 to 13 year old girls (school year 8). The vaccination will be administered within schools by school nurses.
• The Department of Health provided £8.9m funding to support PCTs in administering the vaccination. There was also a national media campaign targeted at the school girls and their parents.
• Ofcom’s latest Media Literacy Audit shows that 96% of 12-15 year old girls use the internet and 72% of home users use web chat at least once a week. 63% of them use social networking sites.

Ends

Notes to Editors ¹Habbo Hotel is a social networking environment aimed specifically at young teenagers

²From the beginning of the 2008/09 school year, the routine childhood immunisation programme in England will include the HPV vaccination for approximately 300,000 12 to 13 year old girls (school year 8). The vaccination will be administered within schools by school nurses.

• The Department of Health provided £8.9m funding to support PCTs in administering the vaccination. There was also a national media campaign targeted at the school girls and their parents.

• Ofcom’s latest Media Literacy Audit shows that 96% of 12-15 year old girls use the internet and 72% of home users use web chat at least once a week. 63% of them use social networking sites.

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